The following Statements of Concerns have been issued by the International Council of Community Churches Board of Directors.
July 18, 2019
The ICCC Assembly at its 69th Annual Conference affirmed the following NCC Statement – End Policies Creating the Crisis on the Border
July 2, 2019
“A voice was heard in Ramah, wailing and loud lamentation, Rachel weeping for her children;
she refused to be consoled, because they are no more.” -Matthew 2:18, NRSV
Upon the recent news of numerous deaths on the US-Mexico border and appalling conditions in facilities detaining persons seeking refuge, including babies and children, the National Council of Churches is distressed by the Trump Administration policies that separate children from adult family members and caretakers, creating this crisis. We grieve the lost lives of Mr. Oscar Alberto Martinez Ramirez, his toddler daughter Valeria, drowned in the Rio Grande, and others whose names are unknown. We echo the words of Senator Ron Johnson (R-Wisconsin), Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California), and countless voices from the faith community that such deaths must never again occur.
 
In addition, we are shaken by reports of overcrowding and unsanitary conditions at a border control facility in Texas where children are being detained in yet another example of mass incarceration.  This horrific treatment of these most vulnerable asylum seekers is reprehensible, immoral, and must cease immediately. Scripture is replete with calls to give special care to, and concern for, those seeking refuge: we are reminded over and over again to “love the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt (Deuteronomy 10:19 NRSV).”
 
Factors at work in this humanitarian crisis include consequences of the misguided “War on Drugs,” economic exploitation by the US of Central American countries, and a ruinous foreign policy that has shut down efforts by local people to cast off dictatorial rule. Innocent people seeking refuge should not have to bear the burden of these failed policies of the US government and decades of corrupt local leadership in Central and South America. At the same time, oppressive forces such as authoritarian governments and criminal gangs have contributed to the chaos.  
 
As followers of Jesus Christ, we believe that God will judge all who contribute to the dehumanization of others, as well as those who are complacent and unwilling to speak out on behalf of the most vulnerable (Matthew 25:31-45 NRSV).  We call upon the US Government and the Department of Homeland Security to appropriate the resources necessary to adequately care for persons seeking refuge. DHS should swiftly and completely implement changes to current operations ordered by the US District Court in the Central District of California. We demand that free and unrestrained access be given to international inspectors, the International Committee of the Red Cross, and the press to the detention facilities on the border.  
 
We call upon financial institutions to end their relationships with private companies that profit off the warehousing of brown and black bodies, whether through immigration detention or private prisons. We call upon Congress to stop funding deportation, imprisonment, and border militarization and respond robustly to the ever-worsening humanitarian disaster both at the border and in the countries from which so many are fleeing. And we call upon the Trump Administration to embark upon foreign policy initiatives that will build up healthy societies in Central and South American nations.  
“The Church, when it welcomes the stranger, provides an uplifting moral and spiritual witness. While we respect and adhere to the laws of the U.S. Government, ultimate authority belongs only to God and not the State. As we seek to love our neighbors and welcome the stranger, we also seek laws that are humane and just, as are the laws of God. In light of the highest political ideals grounded in justice, equality and freedom.”
“We embrace the deeper theological conviction that we are not separate and distinct from other human beings, but are a part of the same interconnected, interdependent, human family. We reaffirm previous National Council of Churches USA policies that call on the United States to do its share to alleviate human suffering in other lands by admitting refugees and immigrants and providing sanctuary to persons needing to relocate.” 
  — From the “Resolution on Immigration and a Call to Action,” National Council of Churches, November 12, 2008.
 
June 29, 2018
STATEMENT OF CONCERN Regarding Separation of Families at the Border
From the Board of Trustees, Endorsed by the Board of Directors, International Council of Community Churches
 
Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of injustice,
to undo the thongs of the yoke,
to let the oppressed go free,
and to break every yoke?
Isaiah 58:6
 
From our beginnings in 1950, the International Council of Community Churches has spoken and lived a powerful witness for justice, reconciliation and Christian unity. Central to our witness has been our conviction, based on Jesus’ teachings, that all of God’s children are precious and valuable. So, it is painful and distressing to us as an international fellowship, when governments treat human beings and their status as pawns in internal political maneuvering, and when those who are fleeing violence in their former homelands are treated with contempt.
 
The recent decision by the government of the United States to separate children from parents whose immigrant status is under question, is an offense against human dignity and against the will of God. Attempts by government officials to justify their policy of separating families by appealing to Holy Scripture are an abomination. We are taught “you shall love the alien as yourself, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God” (Leviticus 19:34). Jesus’ commandment is, “ ‘Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God, the Lord is one; you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength’ The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12: 29-31.)
 
Keeping families together rather than tearing them apart is not an unreasonable request on government. However, asylum is guaranteed under international law. The administration has changed what was a misdemeanor into a crime which excludes the opportunity to apply for asylum. Separating families as a “deterrent” is evil. Jesus foretold the final judgment on those who mistreat the least among us: “You that are accursed, depart from me into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels; for I was hungry, and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me….” (Matthew 25: 41-43)
 
We call upon Republicans and Democrats to reason together and craft a policy/legislation that humanely reflects a policy based of justice for all of God’s Children. We call upon the churches and ministry centers of the International Council of Community Churches to stand with the least of these, to protest government policies that separate families, to advocate for policies related to immigration that are centered on respect for human beings; and to seek answers to public policy issues that fulfill the vision of Amos (5:24): “But let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.” As Christians seeking to be faithful to our Lord Jesus Christ, we call upon governments and governmental agencies to treat all human beings with respect and dignity.
 
Approved June 29, 2018.

February 20, 2017

INTERNATIONAL COUNCIL OF COMMUNITY CHURCHES
The Board of Trustees
A Statement of Concern regarding Immigration and Related Matters
‘When a foreigner resides among you in your land, do not mistreat them.
The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born.
Love them as yourself, for you were foreigners in Egypt.
I am the Lord your God.’
Leviticus 19: 33-34 (NIV)
 
The International Council of Community Churches was formed in 1950 to champion justice and reconciliation as well as Christian unity. We recognize the need for realistic regulations among and within nations that support their need for public safety. We cannot and do not give our support to national regulations that automatically exclude or discriminate against people who are seeking a place of sanctuary because of their national origin, race, religious faith or other arbitrary markers. Such classifications deny the fact that God has created all people, and in so doing encourage bigotry and hatred while doing nothing to increase public safety.
 
We are saddened by the numerous conflicts that exist around this small planet, and we are further saddened that the violence and destruction of conflict have displaced large numbers of those who under God are our sisters and brothers. Our duty and privilege as followers of Him who was exiled as an infant to a foreign land, is to offer hospitality and refuge to those who have been made homeless. We are compelled by faith and love to be among those to whom our Lord will say at the last day,
 
‘I was hungry and you gave me food;
I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink;
I was a stranger and you welcomed me….
truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these
who are members of my family,
you did it to me.’
Matthew 25: 35-40 (NRSV)
 
We call upon all nations to turn away from the counsels of fear, and to show mercy to those who are in an hour of desperate need.
 
Adopted by the ICCC Board of Trustees and endorsed by the ICCC Board of Directors, February, 2017
 
 

May 2, 2015
The International Council of Community Churches
A Statement of Concern regarding Racial Reconciliation

We are deeply disturbed by the recent events that have befallen Baltimore Maryland and by similar events elsewhere in the United States. Since 1950 the International Council of Community Churches (ICCC) has stood for harmony, reconciliation and justice for humanity. The widespread violence and murder among African American men are injustices toward God and humanity.

While the vast majority of police officers act within their sworn oath of allegiance to protect and serve their communities, there are issues of integrity among law enforcement.  Therefore, the ICCC supports the ongoing review of policies and procedure of Baltimore Police Department. The Council applauds the Department of Justice’s role as a dispassionate third party in its investigation of this matter.

As people of faith we believe that it is our duty to speak out against injustice and to seek ways to bring all humanity into harmony. Micah 6:8 states, “He has shown you O man what is good, and what the Lord requires of you.  To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” To the churches and all the citizens of Baltimore: as you move toward reconciliation, we stand in solidarity and in readiness to assist you as you seek healing in rebuilding your community.

April 29, 2015
INTERNATIONAL COUNCIL OF COMMUNITY CHURCHES
The Board of Trustees
A Statement of Concern Regarding Divisive Discourse

In Pennsylvania a judge has ruled that blatantly anti-Muslim ads be permitted placement on public transportation vehicles.  In nations worldwide, notably in those nations in Africa and Asia served by churches of the International Council of Community Churches, the rhetoric of bigotry by those who claim that they are “defending” their own religious traditions has issued into widespread violence and even murder. It is important that people of faith speak clearly to the immorality of malignant hatred.
 
Bigotry anywhere is offensive everywhere, and as Christians we give witness to the Biblical teaching that all people are children of God. Jesus did not assign greater or lesser dignity to individuals based on society’s norms Indeed, Jesus taught us to love our neighbors as ourselves (Mark 12:31). As servant leaders in our communities and throughout our nations, we of the International Council of Community Churches have a shared responsibility to increase understanding among all of people.  We have seen too much hostility and violence based on real and perceived difference among people throughout the world.


While we affirm the protection of free speech, we call on the members of our own congregations, on all people both people of faith, and those of no faith at all, to join us in opposing intolerance; to take a stand in the face of divisive rhetoric; to embrace our diverse voices; to stand in solidarity with those who might otherwise be alienated; and thus to effect positive change.

We call upon all people to be aware of name-calling, bullying, physical violence, and other forms of harassment, and not to remain silent about such abuse, but to speak the truth in love. We call upon all to condemn inflammatory messages that seek to divide, stigmatize and incite prejudices. We call upon all to reject efforts to stereotype any tradition or community. We call on all to work for justice, reconciliation and unity within our own faith communities, in our vocations and economic life, and in the broader discourse within our cities and towns, our states and our nations.

 
August 28, 2014

A STATEMENT OF CONCERN FROM THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES OF THE INTERNATIONAL COUNCIL OF COMMUNITY CHURCHES
As the Board representing the churches and ministry centers of the International Council of Community Churches, we grieve with the family of Michael Brown and with the community of Ferguson, Missouri as they struggle with their grief and with the tragedy of violence and its consequences. We pray for justice, and we also pray for both Divine and human mercy. We pray that by God’s grace, healing and comfort, all may find their way toward a reconciliation that does not ignore the past, but that instead transcends sorrow and bitterness and reaches toward peace.