Tuesday is World Refugee Day, as declared by the United Nations nearly two decades ago.
14 local organizations representing different faiths signed a declaration of solidarity, which aims to make refugees from anywhere and of any faith feel welcome in Fort Wayne and Northeast Indiana.
Pastor Brian Flory represents Beacon Heights Church of the Brethren. He says the declaration is intended to be a statement of faith, but given the country’s divisive political climate, it can’t be ignored as a political issue, either.
“I believe this is a result of fear. Fear of the unknown, fear of other people who come from unfamiliar cultures with unfamiliar languages and unfamiliar religions,” Flory said. “Fear causes walls to be built, freedoms to be lost and people to be oppressed.”
Flory says the declaration remains a work in progress, as he and other faith and refugee group leaders reach out to others with the hopes of gaining even more support.
The declaration will also be sent to Mayor Tom Henry, Fort Wayne and Allen County Council members, state and congressional legislators and Governor Eric Holcomb.