Lawsuit Claims U.S. Border Patrol and ICE Violated Religious-freedom Rights for Detainees Including Adventists — and More News Shorts

In this week’s news round-up, a lawsuit filed by the ACLU claims U.S. Border Patrol and ICE violated religious-freedom rights for detainees from various faiths, Adventists in Uganda assault fellow member, Caribbean Adventists provide bicycles for youngsters, an Adventist church in California gives out over 400 pairs of shoes to school children.

Lawsuit Claims U.S. Border Patrol and Immigration and Customs Enforcement Violated Religious-freedom Rights for Detainees, SDA Men Included. Detained immigrants from various faiths — Muslims, Sikhs, Hindus, and Christians — have reported incidents in which Border Patrol and Immigration and Customs Enforcement have violated their religious-freedom rights. Despite the agency’s “Religious Sensitivity” policy, which directs officers and agents to “remain cognizant of an individual’s religious beliefs while accomplishing an enforcement action in a dignified and respectful manner,” officials have seized rosaries from Catholic immigrants. Immigrants have had their Bibles confiscated at the border, including Catholic and Seventh-day Adventist men represented in a lawsuit filed last year by the ACLU. One pork sandwich every eight hours for six straight days was the only food that Border Patrol provided to Adnan Asif Parveen, a Muslim immigrant who was detained in South Texas in January because his work permit had expired and was pending renewal. Parveen reportedly informed officials that his religion forbids him from eating pork. All he could eat were the slices of bread from the sandwich. In Victorville, California, Presbyterian, Catholic, Seventh-day Adventist, Sikh, Muslim, and Hindu immigrants detained at a federal prison were not allowed to attend worship services or participate in any group prayer or religious study. One immigrant was even admonished for singing hymns to himself in his cell. From ACLU.org, “Border Patrol and ICE Routinely Violate Immigrants’ Religious Rights.”

Uganda Adventists Assault Fellow Member. The leadership of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Uganda has condemned the attack and assault of the Western Field Bishop Samuel Mwebaze (whose name does not appear in the Adventist Yearbook) by a group of fellow Adventists. Mwebaze, who is recovering from his injuries, was assaulted in his office in Fort Portal by a group of men from various SDA churches in Kabarole District. They accused him of planning to financially drain the Western Field in his grand mission to make it annexed to the Kasese Field. He was also accused of misusing church money by opting to stay in expensive hotels even though the Church owns houses for accommodation. The men also accused Mwebaze of personalizing a church vehicle, among other allegations. Emmanuel Ogwal, the Public Affairs Director, Uganda Union Mission of Seventh-day Adventists, said the assault is highly condemned and unchristian. “The church condemns such acts whether by members or non-members….The Seventh-day Adventist Church is a global movement with the mission of preparing the whole world for the second coming of Jesus Christ,” Ogwal’s statement reads. He asked the Union to call upon all SDA Church members across the county to be calm while police carry out investigations and while church leadership discuss the way forward. Police are holding six people suspected to have been behind the act. From Daily Monitor, “SDA Church Christians beat up their bishop.”

Caribbean Adventists Provide 33 Local Youngsters with Bicycles. Members of the Mount Scenery Seventh-day Adventist Church on Saba, an island in the Caribbean, provided some 33 Saban youngsters with bicycles. This project was made possible through one of the many Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment SZW in The Hague initiatives called “Opportunities for all Children.” The Mount Scenery SDA Church was one of the non-profit organizations to receive funds to execute projects for the youth of Saba, of which this cycling project was the first. In collaboration with the Centre for Youth and Family, Caribbean Netherlands Police Force KPCN and the Social Domain Department of the public entity Saba, the SDA project leaders were able to make this project a success. “Where required, our church will continue to work with these entities for any future projects,” they stated. “I was very much impressed by the excitement of the kids,” was the sentiment of project leader Ann Leter-Lake. “Bringing the resources where a difference is to be made is what we as a church have been called by our Saviour to do.” She said Saba’s SDA Church had worked very hard to make this event special and unique for the boys and girls of Saba. “We are grateful and thank God for the support from the Ministry of SZW in The Hague. We can gladly say that for us the “Opportunities for all Children” project has been successful. However, there are even greater things in store on our part for the island should God choose to spare our lives.” The SDA Church extended “special thanks” to project leaders Mervin Alexander and Leter-Lake. Additional gratitude went to Dozlyn Pouchie for his “tremendous and courageous” support in transporting the bikes and their accessories from St. Maarten. “We, the SDA family in Saba, will continue to support and contribute to the community under the guidance and leadership of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ,” Leter-Lake said. From The Daily Herald, “Seventh-Day Adventists in Saba give 33 bicycles.”

Victorville Seventh-day Adventist Church delivers 429 Pairs of Sports-style Shoes to Needy Elementary Students. Donations raised by the Victorville Seventh-day Adventist Church in California at Christmastime have become a springtime gift for all Lucerne Valley Elementary School students. Recently, church members packed up a U-Haul truck and delivered a total of 429 pairs of sports-style shoes to students of all ages. Pastor Raewyn Orlich and Associate Pastor Guillermo “Wally” Peralta accompanied a contingent of volunteers who helped unload numerous boxes and handout the new shoes to the happy children. Orlich then joined several Lucerne Valley teachers and staff members in helping the younger students put on their new sneakers. “I’m so excited,” said Orlich as she helped young students in Christine Fuller’s kindergarten class put on their new shoes. “It was a step of faith for our congregation. Somehow we knew the shoes would come.” The sole-ful donation was made through the church’s “God’s Lighthouse Ministry” whose kitchen regularly prepares and provides meals for the homeless. Carisha Burns, the school’s student records technician, was contacted by Jennie Pena from the ministry about the blessing. But with only half the amount needed to provide shoes for all LVES students, the ministry’s project looked doubtful months after the first donations were given. Barbara Stacy, a physical therapist for the school and a member of the church congregation, helped facilitate the buying and delivery of the shoes. School staff member Ashley Thompson also played a key role in making the shoe giveaway a reality. The result was clear. The new shoes, which are perfect for playground activities, brought emphatic approval from students and staff alike. “It’s awesome,” Mr. Umstead said. “It’s such a blessing for our kids. There are lots of smiles!” From Daily Press, “Victorville Seventh-day Adventist Church donates 429 pairs of shoes to Lucerne Valley Elementary School.”

Pam Dietrich taught English at Loma Linda Academy for 26 years and served there eight more years as the 7-12 librarian. She lives in Yucaipa, California.

Photo by Kiwihug on Unsplash

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This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/9516

While I find this treatment of “ immigrants “ unkind, maybe even vicious, these people invading our country are here ILLEGALLY, breaking our laws and have no right to be here !

If that sounds harsh, I compare it with my home in France, forty miles from the Italian border

When I take the train into Italy ( because the farmers markets there have wonderful produce and are cheaper ) I see many black people sitting hopeless, helpless and hungry around the Italian train station. These are the “boat people” who have migrated across the Mediterranean from Africa in flimsy craft and at great peril to themselves.

Italy does not want them, and neither does France.

On the train trip back to France, the train stops at the first French town and gendarmes ( police ) board the train to ensure no Africans are on board.

At Calais on the English Channel, all trucks are monitored for carbon dioscide ( humans exhale carbon dioxide ). This is tp ensure that no illegal migrants are smuugled inside the trucks which are about to board ferries to take them to the the United Kingdom .

If the UK and France can monitor their borders why cannot we?

More particularly, since we are already twenty two trillion dollars In debt and can not afford more free handouts to citizens other than our own.

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For a country to monitor its borders is perfectly natural, and I’m not certain that anyone would argue against a nation monitoring its borders. But that isn’t what this article and the broader argument is about. The great concern for us as Christians is not that the law is being enforced but how it is being enforced. These fellow human beings–some of them brothers and sisters in Christ, and even fellow Adventists, according to the article–are being treated inhumanely and without legal recourse. And this is not an isolated incident.

“Cursed be anyone who deprives the alien, the orphan, and the widow of justice," says Moses in Deut. 27:19. “Truly I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of my brethren you did it to me.” says Jesus in Matthew 25:40. And these are just a couple of the many verses where God commands his people to show grace and charity specifically to the “alien and stranger.” Regardless of our political leanings, the great weight of Scripture not only commands us to show charity and kindness to the foreigners among us but it warns us of the grave spiritual and temporal danger of ignoring their well being.

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Adventist’s shouldn’t be invading other countries…

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A basic sign of Christianity means we should be capable of telling the truth, but this has not been the case. It is the so-called white man who left Europe and took his perversion of Christianity and love of money around the world. It was this white man who set out to enforce this belief with Biblical proof that God would agree with the institution of slavery. It is with the evil mind that many used the Bible to fool slaves into believing that God wanted them to be slaves. It is under this label of them exalting themselves as God chosen race set out and wiped nearly off of this American land all native tribes and set enslaved the African to be free labor so he could get rich. No.no.don’t tell me these truths have nothing to do with today because they do! The unconverted heart of this Nation still beats with racism and hatred which should not exist in a Christian nation.

READ their history because they made sure it was there to document how they conquered. Which countries went to Africa took the salt, gold, silver, and minerals and left the people NOTHING to build an economic system with! Foolishly and blinded by greed the African man who sold their own into slavery not understanding how vastly different the two systems of slavery would be in this nation compared to Africa. He too will have to answer if he has not already asked God for forgiveness.

To the real point of this article for this so-called Christian nation to stomp on the practices of another’s religion is disgusting at best but that shows this nation is not a Christian nation. Purposely feeding religious people pork shows how demented and empty of any sense of Christianity those in charge are in this nation. This nation has an individual who practices all methods of sick ways to humiliate and strip the dignity of those he deems undesirable. If this nation were a Christian nation, then we would not be reading about such inhumane tactics.

Make no mistake, for those seeking to regain the heights of evil that once existed just “as in the days of Noah”; God will act. Those who are blinded by their hate will one day answer to God for all their unjust acts against their fellow human beings.

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Yes. You are so very right.

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So this week we are a Christian nation? We have immigration laws. They can not be ignored.

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I agree but let that apply to ALL groups not just the brown or dark ones. To the question about this country being a Christian country is equally a joke. Plus the some of the VERY people who cry we are a country of laws are fine as LONG as when the punishment is for others and not them. When it is THEIR turn to face jail or prison time then mercy is what they seek but they show NONE for others.

I am for the law being blind to all “subgroups.” The law is to be the law for all. All should be judged equally by it.
My comment is that “Religious Liberty” mag and SDA mantra has always been that this isn’t a Christian nation by law. Correct? So out of the woodwork are those who now claim such actions as “Immigration” or ideas of redistribution of income and taxes to the “least of these” are to become a “Christian concept” in their view. Just looking for rational consistent thought. Is the US a “Christian Nation” or what? Thanks for your comment.
Regards,
Pat

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Questions are valid, however, the rise of this belief that America is or has been a Christian nation did not begin with SDA. In the history of this County its has pushed this belief that America IS a Christian nation, so when unfairness has occur such as slavery, it was then argued how can a Christian nation enslave another group of human beings. Was SDA wrong then for advocating for the civil liberties or a end to the brutalities faced by the African -Americans? I agree with them calling out the poor treatment such as feeding pork to a group just to stomp on their religion. That is what I was addressing in my comments, this Country does not have to accept people from other countries but to treat them as if they were animals will produce no good fruit.

Was Jerry Falwell and the “Christian Coalition” wrong for trying to change public opinion on abortion and LGBT (early) by their understanding of Christianity. Liberty seemed to think so. All I am saying is what is fair for one group claiming a Christian moral position is fair for another. So, pehaps a belated apology is due Falwell from an “intellectual” consistent position.
When someone knowingly enters a country illegally they should not expect to have a menu from the Hilton.Or, be surprised when they are detained. For the SDA church to imply otherwise is overstepping in my opinion. What moral leaders should be demanding is Dems.be willing to help create responsible immigration laws…not anarchy.
Regards

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I don’t have a problem with them changing public opinion but don’t glorify men who grab, rape and then demand a woman carry the seed of that pain placed in her by an evil man. Killing babies is wrong but nowadays there are live abortions taking place every day with these kids being killed by their own parents. As for overstepping, my ancestors welcome the Europeans the original immigrants and feed them corn with deer meat to bad these laws didn’t exist then. Yet, still how about demanding not being slaves to a King but then thinking nothing of enslaving another group of people for hundreds of years. The issue was stomping on another’s religion I don’t think is right and would not cost that much but being evil and claiming Christianity is a joke. Have a good week.

The point is no one is claiming it is a Christian nation. It is a nation built on Judaeo-Christian belief and common law. It seems your memory is selective and you only find this country repulsive for doing what all other major countries have done. Progress is not vertical but spiral in nature. I suggest this country today is more pluralistic and offers more economic possibilities for “the one and many” than any on earth. Nothing is accomplished by looking back 200 yrs. as a default for hubris.
Just apply and come in legally through responsible laws. That’s all most conservative Christians and other conservative/moderates are asking for.
Plain common sense and sound law. Seems that is too much to ask for these days even of some SDA leadership who find it easy to criticize but short on solutions…other than ignore!

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LIBfacts27,

You ask:
HOW CAN A CHRISTIAN NATION ENSLAVE ANOTHER GROUP OF HUMAN BEINGS?

It was precisely BECAUSE we were a Christian nation that we had slavery!

In our own Christian Bible, Paul gives a vehement emphatic endorsement of slavery, when he proclaimed : SLAVES OBEY YOUR MASTERS. Probably as a sop to his wealthy Sanhedrin friends who owned unruly slaves.

It was precisely this biblical injunction that the American slave traders and the slave owners ( all of them Christians ) used to justify their commerce in human beings.

Agreed! Let’s read their history: Slavery in the Americas

Consider these comments: American slavery: Separating fact from myth

Sadly a legendary misquote by ignoring its context. Fortunately, Tim Maas provides a healthy antidote:
What does “Slaves, obey your earthly master” mean?

Trump and his gang, who separated families (not very Christlike), held the White House, Senate and House of Representatives. They could have dealt with responsible immigration laws—but did not.

They could have dealt with many legal and regulatory issues, instead of the president using executive orders.

Where is this a fact? That migrants and immigrants expect Hilton-hotel treatment? My ancestor immigrant families certainly did not.

No surprise to them, but family separation is far from a Jerry Falwell idea. Ask James Dobson how that works for families? Where is his voice? The voice of the family advocate?

Perhaps a timely apology and parallel action by the President would go a long way to reuniting families and healing them. Healing families: wasn’t that the business Christ was in? Restoration? Reuniting? Isn’t He still in that business?

Fly across this country. America is not “full.” Families have come here through the last four centuries or so, seeking asylum from persecution, assault, executions, war, and horrific conditions. This country has and continues to be a blessing. Seeking asylum is not a crime. It is not illegal. It is how America was built.

God help our country for the “support” for devastating families given to the President by Bible-thumping “Christ”-ians.

Well Harrpa, I think that the problem may be that the POTUS is spending too much time reading TWO Corinthians… :wink: :rofl:

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