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In a welcome move in response to the cruelty of this Republican administration, the largest Lutheran church in the country has become the first “sanctuary church” for undocumented immigrants.

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America made the announcement last week after voting in favor of the motion during their annual Churchwide Assembly. It means they will provide shelter for undocumented immigrants, fight back against ICE raids, and assist with deportation cases.

With more than 9,000 congregations across the country, that’s no small thing.

“It just keeps getting worse and worse in terms of unaccompanied children, separated families, detention centers that are just horrific, and so what we wanted to say as a church body, as the Lutheran church, we wanted to now act with our feet and take action,” Evelyn Soto Straw, director of unit operations and programs for the ELCA’s Domestic Mission, told Religion News Service.

Are you listening, evangelicals?

This is a church that’s not afraid to put its proverbial money where its mouth is. They’re taking the words of Jesus seriously when it comes to caring for the “least of these.” (Why wouldn’t they? Jesus was also a refugee). It also makes sense given there are far more verses about caring for others than following laws — much less laws that are patently “unjust.”

This is what happens when you don’t treat “thoughts and prayers” as a substitute for action but as motivation to do real, tangible work. Good on ELCA for following both the gospel as well as their consciences.

(Image via Shutterstock)

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