Methodist Bishop calls on elected officials to let Syrian Refugees through

(AP Photo)

TOPEKA (KSNT) — It’s been one week since the deadly terrorist attacks in Paris, and as a result of that there’s a recent push to tighten security and shut-out Syrian refugees.

Bishop Scott Jones, of the United Methodist Great Plains Conference, spoke out against those moves Friday, saying it boils down to a basic Christian duty.

“Hebrews 13:2 ‘Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers for by doing that some have entertained angles without knowing it,” said Jones

Although many Republicans like Kansas Governor Sam Brownback often lean on those same Christian values, when it comes to Syrian refugees, he’s more concerned with security.

“We must take immediate action to ensure terrorists do not enter the nation or our state under the guise of refugee resettlement,” said Gov. Brownback in a statement earlier this week.

“I think there are some people whose fears have gone out of control and they want the kind of vetting that simply isn’t possible.”

Brownback is among governors from 31 states who do not want to accept Syrian refugees and now Congress is joining those efforts with the Safe Act, a measure that would effectively keep any Syrian refugees out through stricter screening processes.

Congresswoman Lynn Jenkins supports that push, saying the nation needs to use common sense to remain safe.

Bishop Jones sees things differently.

“We have to remember that in the 21st Century, some acts of terror have been committed by Americans,” said Jones.

Just one example of that, John T. Booker Junior, an American recruited to carry out acts of terror at home.

Jones says Methodist churches in both Kansas and Nebraska are prepared to sponsor at least 10 Syrian Refugees. He just asks government officials to embrace their Christian values allow that to happen.

We reached out to Governor Brownback’s office for a direct response to the bishop’s call to Christian leaders, and received this statement from his spokeswoman, “The Governor is acting within his authority as Governor to protect the safety of Kansans. There are three relocation services authorized by the State Department to relocate refugees in Kansas. The United Methodist Church is not one of them.”

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