Joey Longley 07-31-2014
Via United Methodist News Service

Rev. John L. McCullough of Church World Service arrested in front of the White House. Via United Methodist News Service

More than 100 faith leaders and immigration activists were arrested today during an act of civil disobedience outside of the White House. The activists were calling on President Barack Obama to take executive action to immediately stop deportations and to deal with the crisis of unaccompanied minors at the border.

"We have come to Washington, D.C., to tell to President Obama and Congress that kicking out suffering immigrant families and unaccompanied children is not the answer,” Bishop Minerva Carcaño, the United Methodist Bishop in Los Angeles, said. “Immediately stopping the deportations and extending due process to children escaping the violence of drug cartels, gangs and poverty is the just way to respond."

Other participants in the protest saw the struggle for immigration reform as part of a larger struggle for justice.

"As someone who has benefited from the courage and civil disobedience of the leaders of the Civil Rights Movement, I cannot stand idly by as I see unjust immigration laws damage our communities and our nation,” Rev. John L. McCullough, President and CEO of Church World Service, said. “It is a moral imperative that we take action now, particularly after the House Republican leadership has miserably failed to enact immigration reform that the majority of Americans roundly support."

This action comes while the Obama administration is conducting a review of deportation policies and pushing for emergency funding for the crisis of unaccompanied children arriving at the border.

Hope Mustakim 06-04-2014
Naz and Hope embrace after 10 months apart. Photo courtesy

Naz and Hope embrace after 10 months apart. Photo courtesy

For Nazry and I, our faith is paramount to how we think about immigration policy. The heaviest tears that we cried during his 10 months of detention were for the men and women in the detention centers who were scared and confused, without a network of support to sustain them like my husband had. 


Helen Schietinger 04-30-2013
by JTF Guantanamo /

A detainee stands in an outdoor recreation yard at Joint Task Force Guantanamo’s Camp IV in 2010. by JTF Guantanamo /

In today’s White House press conference, CBS News' Bill Plante raised the questions with President Barack Obama about the growing hunger strike among prisoners at Guantanamo Bay. “Is it any surprise, really,” asked Plante, “that they would prefer death rather than have no end in sight to their confinement?"

"Well, it is not a surprise to me, “ President Obama responded, “that we've got problems in Guantanamo.”

Last week, a military spokesperson confirmed that the total number of irregularly held prisoners at the U.S. Naval prison at Guantanamo Bay has risen to 92 out of the 166 still in detention.

The Guantanamo prisoners began hunger striking on Feb. 6 after guards confiscated their Korans to examine them for contraband.  The prisoners reported that their Korans had been desecrated by the guards, which a military spokesperson denies. Fueling the strike is the men’s loss of hope of ever leaving Guantanamo alive, most having been held more than 11 years without charge and Obama refusing to free even the 86 cleared for release.

Secretary of State John Kerry, Photo courtesy U.S. State Department.

Secretary of State John Kerry, Photo courtesy U.S. State Department.

Secretary of State John Kerry is calling for the release of an Iranian-American minister from a Tehran prison, a welcome step for advocates who had accused the State Department of being “AWOL” on the case.

“I am deeply concerned about the fate of U.S citizen Saeed Abedini, who has been detained for nearly six months and was sentenced to eight years in prison in Iran on charges related to his religious beliefs,” Kerry said in a statement released on March 22.

“I am disturbed by reports that Mr. Abedini has suffered physical and psychological abuse in prison, and that his condition has become increasingly dire.”

Craig Wong 09-07-2010
Editor's Note: This statement was delivered at an interfaith prayer vigil at the U.S.
There is an old saying that can be quite appropriate at this time of the year: Cold hands, warm heart.
Jimmy McCarty 11-17-2009
The release of photos of Americans supposedly treating imprisoned suspected terrorists badly has been blocked by the Pen
Nate Van Duzer 02-18-2009

It was very humiliating to be handcuffed in front of my family's business, in front of customers and neighbors.

Ryan Beiler 02-10-2009

We at Sojourners continue to be deeply concerned for the safety and well-being of Philip Rizk, who was arrested and detained by Egyptian secret police Friday evening following a rally north of Cairo in support of the people of Gaza.

Richard Killmer 02-02-2009
I'm grateful for President Obama's swift action to halt the use of torture by signing an executive order that requires the CIA to comply with the Army Field Manual, closes secret prisons, ends rend