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Catholic Bishops Launch Nationwide Campaign to Disobey Unjust Laws
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Roman Catholic Bishops in the United States have launched a nationwide campaign urging the public to disobey laws that conflict with religious beliefs. In the name of religious liberty, the movement asks the faithful to disobey ‘people-made’ laws that conflict with moral teachings of the church. In a 12-page document quoting Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. the bishops have called upon the lay people, public figures, priests and others to change recent state and federal laws that violate religious freedom.

In Alabama and elsewhere in the country, recent laws, say the Church leaders, have made it impossible to aid undocumented immigrants. Many such laws contain provisions that make harboring or transporting undocumented immigrants a crime.

Also under attack is a recent decision by federal officials refusing to renew a church contract for work with victims of sex trafficking, many from Latin America. Bishops are especially incensed over their lack of access to victims of sex trafficking. However, federal officials hold that the refusal of church officials to provide birth control or abortion services to women made them unfit for the contract.


In New Jersey, the Reformed Church of Highland Park is helping three Indonesian immigrants avoid deportation by offering them sanctuary inside church premises.

Pastor Seth Kaper-Dale has vowed to keep welcoming undocumented Indonesian immigrants to his church. The illegal immigrants claim they found their way to U.S. and to the church because they were persecuted in Indonesia for being Christians.

It is pertinent to mention here that continual organized attacks on Christians in Indonesia is a common affair and led the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to find in 2010 that for purposes of U.S. immigration law, “the record compels finding that Christians in Indonesia are a disfavored group.” Extremely violent attacks occur frequently on Indonesian Christians, and the Pastor’s case for the immigrants has merit.

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It’s been several years since Elvira Arellano became the national symbol for illegal immigrant parents when she disobeyed a deportation order and took refuge in a Chicago church to be with her children.

Several bishops have also closed down adoption and foster care programs following requirements to accommodate children from same-sex couples.

The bishops cited King’s 1963 “Letter from Birmingham Jail” that held an unjust law is “out of harmony with the moral law.”

The bishops wrote, “If we face today the prospect of unjust laws, then Catholics in America, in solidarity with our fellow citizens, must have the courage not to obey them.”


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