Christian Declaration on Caring for Refugees: An Evangelical Response

Impacting nearly 60 million people,[1] the global refugee emergency is a humanitarian crisis of unprecedented size.[2] Never have so many people been recorded as being displaced, put in danger, and sent on the move.[3] In Syria alone, more than 13 million children and their parents need humanitarian aid.[4] Nearly 4.4 million have been forced to flee to neighboring countries for safety.[5]

Moments like these are when Christians cannot remain silent and still. In light of this crisis, we commit ourselves and our churches to actively care for and minister to global refugees with mercy and compassion, both here and abroad, based on God’s compelling concern for all people in need and especially refugees.

In light of these concerns, we affirm the following:

    • Refugees possess the image of God and, as such, are infinitely valuable to God and to us.
    • We are commanded to love our neighbor, and it is our privilege to love refugees.
    • As Christians, we must care sacrificially for the refugee, the foreigner, and the stranger.
    • We will motivate and prepare our churches and movements to care for refugees.
    • We will not be motivated by fear but by love for God and others.
    • Christians are called to grace-filled and humble speech about this issue.

In light of these Christian principles, we cannot allow voices of fear to dominate. Instead, we commit to actions of love and compassion for refugees who have been admitted into our nation(s) in refugee status.

We acknowledge that there are genuine security concerns and encourage governments to be stewards of safety, but we also observe that choosing to come to North America as refugees would be among the least effective ways for those who intend to do us harm.[6]

So, as governments oversee matters of security, we will care for the hurting, calling Christians to embrace refugees through their denomination, congregation or other non-profits by providing for immediate and long-term needs, such as housing, food, clothing, employment, English language classes, and schooling for children.[7]

We distinguish that the refugees fleeing this violence are not our enemies; they are victims. We call for Christians to support ministries showing the love of Jesus to the most vulnerable, those in desperate need, and the hurting. This is what Jesus did; He came to the hurting and brought peace to those in despair.

Critical moments like these are opportunities for us to be like Jesus, showing and sharing His love to the hurting and the vulnerable in the midst of this global crisis. Thus we declare that we care, we are responding because our allegiance is to Jesus, and we seek to be more like Him, emulating His compassionate care for the most vulnerable.

Drafting Coalition
Ed Stetzer, Executive Director of LifeWay Research
Rich Stearns, President of World Vision
Stephan Bauman, President & CEO of World Relief
Jo Anne Lyon, General Superintendent of The Wesleyan Church
Frank Page, CEO of the Executive Committee of the Southern Baptist Convention
Alton Garrison, Assistant General Superintendent of the Assemblies of God
Jamie Aten, Director of the Humanitarian Disaster Institute
Sue Elworth, Vice President of Development, Marketing & Communications of the Willow Creek Association
Paul Ericksen, Interim Executive Director of The Billy Graham Center for Evangelism
Jenny Yang, Vice President of Advocacy & Policy of World Relief
Amanda Bowman, Director of Church Mobilization of World Vision
Micah Fries, Vice President of LifeWay Research

*Organizations are for identification purposes only.

Click here for theological foundations & document footnotes.

Click here to sign the statement.


First NameLast NameCityStateTitleOrganization
Kimberly Reisman West Lafayette Indiana Executive Director World Methodist Evangelism
David Crabb Minneapolis MN Co-founder The Gospel Fund
Matthew Soerens Aurora IL U.S. Director of Church Mobilization World Relief
Joshua Turansky Orange CA Pastor Calvary Chapel
Soong-Chan Rah Chicago Il Professor North Park Theological Seminary
Keelan Cook Wake Forest NC Urban Resource Coordinator Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary
Beth Cossin Fishers IN Director Wesleyan Justice Network, Wesleyan Church
Randy Littlefield Wichita Kansas Assoc Suppperintendent Multiplication Ministries Evangelical Friends Church
Matt Bennett Oklahoma City Oklahoma Director People to People Ministries
Nicholas Kersten Milton WI Director of Education & History Seventh Day Baptist General Conference of US & Canada
Tony Burrell Hammond IN Executive Director The Welcome Network
Todd Unzicker Durham NC Pastor of Missions The Summit Church
Ron Hamilton Woodbury MN Conference Minister CCCC
Laura Truax Chicago Il Senior pastor LaSalle Street Church
Alejandro Mandes Minneapolis MN National Director of Immigrant Mission The Evangelical Free Church of America
Chris McElwee West Chicago IL Pastor of Local Impact Wheaton Bible Church
Sarah Blumenshine Boston MA Co-Director, Greater Boston Refugee Ministry Emmanuel Gospel Center
Tom De Vries Grand Rapids MIchigan General Secretary Reformed Church in America
roger hernandez lawrenceville ga Director Seventh-day Adventist
Scott Olson Elgin Illinois President & CEO International Teams
Bill Schuit Denville NJ Global Ministries Director Liebenzell USA
Steve Jones Fort Wayne In President The Missionary Church
Matt McCormick Fort-Liberte Haiti Partner Paulos Group
Paul Nethercott Carol Stream Illinois Missionary-Filmmaker TEAM
Peter Howard Washington DC DC Senior Director, Emergency Response Food for the Hungry
Stephen Offutt Wilmore Ky Professor of Development Studies Asbury Theological Seminary
David Drury Indianapolis IN chief of staff The Wesleyan Church
Roger Sandberg Portland Oregon Director of Emergency Relief & Global Security Medical Teams International
Duane Brown Wilmore KY Senior Director Church Ministry The Mission Society
Paco Amador Chicago IL Pastor New Life Community Church
JR Rozko Elgin IL Co-Director Missio Alliance
Phil Linton Northville MIchigan World Outreach Director Evangelical Presbyterian Church
Levi Velasco Wheaton IL President Global Intercultural Services
Steve Haas Tacoma WA Chief Catalyst World Vision
Diane Velasco Wheaton IL Mrs. Global Intercultural Services - GLINTS
Nicole Watts Syracuse NY Executive Director Hopeprint
Scott Gustafson Grand Rapids MI Middle East Director Purpose Global Strategies
Brian Stiller Toronto Ontario Canada Global Ambassador World Evangekcal Alliance
Mariam Varghese Pompano beach Fl VP of Ministry Operations OneHope
Earl James New Brunswick NJ Coordinator for Missional Mosaic Reformed Church in America
Rick Kingham Bedford TX President The Center For Glocal Leadership
Mike Young Rockford IL Regional VP Kids around the world
Sam George Vernon Hills IL Executive Director Parivar International
Bob Bouwer Dyer Indiana Sr Pastor Faith Church (RCA)
Vernon Brewer Forest VA President World Help
Noel Yeatts Forest VA Vice President World Help
AJ Thomas Bangor ME Rev. Pathway Wesleyan Church
Brian Kaylor Jefferson City Missouri Generational Engagement Team Leader Churchnet
Michael Wear Reston VA Founder Public Square Strategies LLC
Darien Gabriel Summerville Sc Pastor Grace christian fellowship
Edward Smither Columbia SC Professor and Dean Columbia International University
Jonathan Opgenorth Orange City Iowa Senior Pastor Trinity Reformed Church
Robert Hocutt Jr Greensboro NC Program Coordinator The 5:14 Initiative
Matthew Terrill Boston MA N/A Aletheia Church
Tim McGhee Powell Tennessee Elder for Missions First Baptist Church, Powell
Tom Albinson Minneapolis MN President International Association for Refugees (IAFR)
Josh Branum Clarksville Tennessee Associate Pastor of Missions Living Hope Baptist Church
Paul Fries Richland Center Wisconsin President Minnesota-Wisconsin Baptist Convention
Ginny Thompson Austin Texas N/A N/A
Rob Clements Orono ON Director Clements Publishing Group Inc.
Joel Richardson Author, Speaker, Film-maker
David Atwell Indianapolis Indiana Editor Redeeming Culture
Timothy Chan Newark California Elder IMprint Church of Fremont
Brantley Gasaway Lewisburg PA Associate Professor Bucknell University
Matt Stacy Atlanta Georgia Lead Planter Tapestry Church
Marty Duren Hermitage TN Editor Kingdom in the Midst
Casey Oliver Greenbrier TN Statistician LifeWay Research
Ray Chang Brea CA President Ambassador Network
Jason Dillingham Pinconning MI Pastor The Wesleyan Church
Derek Vreeland St. Joseph MO Discipleship Pastor Word of Life Church
Philip Hamner Overland Park KS Senior Pastor Overland Park Church of the Nazarene
Thomas Richards Fulton New York Refugee focus International Teams
Jason Elam Birmingham Alabama Pastor Revolution Church
Olivia Metcalf Nampa Idaho Pastor Northwest Nazarene university
Stephen Roshong Dayton Oh Mr. N/A
Kaylan Paxton Quinlan Texas Lead Pastor Grace Baptist Church
Michael Edwards Bowling Green Ky Pastor for Local Impact Living Hope Baptist
Jay Hartsfield Lawrenceburg TN Worker SB
Sanuel Rogers Marion SC Pastor Reedy Creek Baptist
Bryan Padgett Stillwater OK Pastor Redeemer Church
Todd Korpi Flint Michigan Lead Pastor The Cathedral
Matthew Johnson Searcy AR Pastor Saint Paul United Methodist Church
Kendra Lubiens Nampa Idaho Marketing Coordinator Northwest Nazarene University
Rhonda Bare Kirkland WA Associate Pastor Church of the Nazarene
Matt Snowden Waco TX Dr. First Baptist Church of Waco
George Bullard Columbia SC General Secretary North American Baptist Fellowship of the Baptist World Alliance
Zachary Hicks Seaboard NC - North Carolina Mr. Severn Baptist Church
Bruce Barnard New York N.Y. Director of Operations Metro New York District for the Church of the Nazarene
Richard Btowning Laceys Spring AL Minister Valhermoso Baptist Church
Gabriel Catanus Chicago IL Lead Pastor Second City Gospel Church
Dylan Does Marshalltown Iowa Lead Pastor Restore Church
Cynthia Meal Kimball Wheaton Il Professor Wheaton College
Erin Presby Newberg OR N/A N/A
Greg Long Sturgis Michigan Pastor Sturgis Baptist Church
Christopher Brown Aurora IL Small Group Leader Community Christian Church
Lon Snyder Kent OHIO Missions Pastor Riverwood Community Chapel
Jonathan Davis Urbanna VA Director and Founder Small Town Churches Network, USA
Jason Eeten Ellhorn Wisconsin Pastor of Student Ministries Southern Lakes EFC
Austin Fogt Tulsa OK Intern Mercyview
Thomas Smith Jackson MS Former Missionary International Mission Board