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Jason Dzubow on Political Asylum

CBS Special About Refugees and Faith-Based Organizations

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CBS News has announced a new interfaith religion special, "Refugee Resettlement: Faith Communities Making a Difference," to be aired on Sunday, September 25, 2011.


And that's the way it is...

The special will focus on Church World Service("CWS"), which has helped over 500,000 refugees resettle in the U.S. since its founding in 1946.  The special features interviews with Erol Kekic, Director of Immigration and Refugee Program for CWS, as well as Vincent Cochetel, Regional Representative for The UN High Commissioner for Refugees.  The program also includes interviews with volunteers from interfaith co-sponsorship teams (where a Muslim and a Christian are paired to assist a refugee), as well as refugees from Eritrea and Somalia, "who are adjusting with the help of their new friends, many of whom are now like family."



Given the hateful propaganda against Muslims in the U.S. these days, I am particularly interested in the interfaith partnerships.  This seems like a great way to bring people together while accomplishing important work.  The initiative is sponsored by the Minnesota Counsel of Churches and is called the Taking Root program.  Here is an excerpt from the Taking Root website:


Imagine you are a refugee fleeing persecution, arriving in Minnesota knowing no one. You are greeted at the airport and helped in your first months by a team of Muslim and Christian volunteers working together. In your homeland you only knew people of your own religious tradition, or your experience with other religions was one of distrust and persecution. But here your interfaith sponsors help you find a home, a job and make a successful transition to self-sufficiency. Gradually you build a new life of hope, safety, peacefulness and connection. This unique team of volunteers has also given you a gift that may have been unimaginable to you - an experience of interfaith cooperation.


The CBS documentary will help spread the word about interfaith cooperation and about refugee resettlement.  It sounds like a win-win.


Originally posted on the Asylumist: www.Asylumist.com.

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