Southern Baptists are taking the lead in welcoming and ministering to the thousands of Syrian refugees who are fleeing the conflict in the Middle East.
According to an article in the New York Times, although many conservative Republican political figures are vocally against the U.S. accepting Middle East refugees, many conservative Christians have been on the frontlines helping them.
William Stocks, a member of Johnson Ferry Baptist Church in Marietta, Georgia is one such Southern Baptist who is helping a few of the 10,000 Syrian refugees the U.S. welcomed this year.
The 23-year-old Stocks takes time after work to help a Syrian family learn English. Despite having no formal teaching experience, Stocks is willing to help parents Anwar and Daleen and their two children (a third is on the way) transition to life in the U.S.
Stocks said that he does not help the refugees for political reasons, but rather because he believes his Christian faith calls him to help others.
“My job is to serve these people,” he said, “because they need to be served.”
Other prominent Southern Baptists leaders have also spoken out in favor of providing aid to refugees, even though some conservative leaders such as Donald Trump and the Rev. Franklin Graham have called for a temporary ban on Muslim refugees because of the threat of terrorism.
Russell Moore, president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, stated, “It’s not unusual that we have politicians timid in the face of fear. But the task of the church is a different one. The church is called to see the image of God in all people and to minister Christ’s presence to all people. That’s what churches are doing.”
Publication date: September 9, 2016