Dozens of Chaldean Christians were arrested by federal immigration officials over the weekend in the Detroit metropolitan area, leaving the local Church community with sadness and frustration.
“Yesterday was a very strange and painful day for our community in America,” Bishop Francis Kalabat of the Chaldean Catholic Eparchy of St. Thomas the Apostle of Detroit stated Monday in a Facebook post.
“With the many Chaldeans that were awakened by Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents and consequently picked up for deportation, there is a lot of confusion and anger,” he added.
The Rev. Anthony Kathawa of St. Thomas Chaldean Church in West Bloomfield, Mich., told CNA 12 June that “As a community, we’re all suffering seeing the loss of our loved ones.”
And there’s this:
Martin Manna, an Iraqi-American Christian advocate who is president of the Chaldean Community Foundation based in Sterling Heights, said he’s getting information from family members of those arrested, many of who live in Macomb and Oakland counties.
“Most of the arrests of the 40 or so were all done today,” Manna said, adding people on a final order of removal were targeted, most of whom have a criminal record.
Sending them back to Iraq, he said, “is like a death sentence.”
The statement by Bishop Kalabat concludes:
The Church does not oppose justice, all hardened criminals that are a danger to society should be picked up. Many who were picked up are not hardened criminals but for the last decades have been great citizens. The Genocide bill that was just passed by Congress last week to protect Christians goes against this very thing.
This will take a lot of effort but acting in disrespectful ways in front of the federal building only bring harm and not good. We understand the pain that many members of our community are going through but motional outbursts will not bring change.
Please get the official statements from this source and no other. Thanks and let’s pray for God’s blessings to rain down on us.
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