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One letter to the editor written to a local newspaper has created an increased conversation about three Sioux Center churches bringing Afghan refugees to the town.

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A couple of weeks ago, a Sioux Center resident wrote a letter expressing concern over the plan to bring the Afghan refugees.

“This decision has been sold as a ‘mission project’ to assist dislocated families,” the writer wrote. “In good faith I question the wisdom and long-range repercussions of this decision.”

The letter states 99.7 percent of people in Afghanistan are of Muslim faith — according to Google.

“In other words, we would be integrating non-Christian people into our community,” the writer wrote. “Initially you may think this is a noble mission effort. However, the statistics of Muslims converting to Christianity rarely happens. In fact, less than 1 percent will actually convert.

“In praying and thinking about the effects of this Muslim movement into our community, I wonder if this is God nudging us to take in these people or is there another force at work?”

The writer cited 1 Kings 11:2, Deuteronomy 7:1-4 and Ezra 10:10-11 as passages where God warned the Israelites about intermarrying with those outside the faith.

“Israel was punished when they turned from God’s Word,” the author wrote. “Could this ‘nudging’ be from the devil himself? Through his undermining would Satan ruin a Christian community and its surroundings with the influx of non-Christian people?”

The writer pointed to South Sioux City as an example.

“The schools have implemented Muslim religious prayers three times a day, school lunch provides meals specifically for the Muslim diet regimen and there is a mosque within the community boundaries,” the letter states. “Before this impactful and questionable decision is made, let’s think about the far-reaching results affecting our community, our schools, our children and our grandchildren.”

The pastors of the three churches — John Lee of Bethel Christian Reformed Church, Joel Kok of Covenant Christian Reformed Church and Travis Else of Good Shepherd Church — wrote a letter explaining two things:

First, many Afghans fled the country because their lives were in danger.

“Sioux Center becomes a city of refuge for them, far from the people and culture that they love,” they wrote.

Second, they suggested considering Jesus and “the Good Samaritan.”

“We cannot know yet what either we or our Afghan refugee neighbors will experience when they arrive here in Northwest Iowa,” the letter states. “We can know already that hostility drives people away from Christ, while hospitality opens human hearts to Christ.”

Another letter expressed disappointment in both the newspaper for publishing the original letter and the individual who wrote it. This person called the original letter “racist,” which is odd, as the Muslim faith isn’t a race.

“If Sioux Center is striving to be a Christian community, we are called to a higher standard,” the writer wrote. “Even if we are prejudiced enough to consider Muslims our enemies, we are called to love them.”

There was another letter written in response noting that almost everyone in Sioux Center, Sioux City and the U.S. has an immigrant heritage.

“To those who fear Muslims practicing in our schools and community, I would argue that a faith that cannot stand in the presence of another faith is no faith at all,” this letter said.

Author: Jacob Hall

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1 COMMENT

  1. I’ll wait for these pious “good Samaritans” to show us a successful example of peaceful integration and coexistence anywhere in the US.

    The Constitution is not a suicide pact. If we’re going to bring refugees here, why aren’t we bringing Christian and secular refugees that are being persecuted and killed for their “lack of faith”?

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