As people of conscience, we declare our commitment to translate our values into action as we stand on the side of love with the most vulnerable among us. Find how you can act in solidarity by promoting sanctuary, safe spaces for people under threat.
Ways to Expand Sanctuary
- Sanctuary Policies (cities, counties, schools, campuses)
- Sanctuary Communities (community support networks, rapid response, intervention trainings)
- Physical Sanctuary (shelter within a building)
Safe spaces for those under threat
So many communities across the United States are under threat today: undocumented immigrants, LGBTQ people, activists, people of color, differently-abled folks, and more. Reactionary political agendas are targeting these communities through funding cuts, restrictive laws, and unequal policing and criminal enforcement. We are called to do what we can to aid and ally with people whose dignity and humanity is under grave threat.
Many congregations and religious communities have offered their physical space as "sanctuary" to people at risk of immediate deportation. However, the need for safety goes beyond deportation, beyond citizenship status, and beyond a congregation's four walls. It is needed on the streets and in neighborhoods, in schools, campuses, city halls and state houses. Today, Unitarian Universalists and other people of faith and conscience are expanding what it means to offer "sanctuary" to include not only physical sanctuary, but also sanctuary policies, sanctuary campuses, and sanctuary community support networks.
Sanctuary's long and faithful tradition
Sanctuary is a measure of our capacity for love. And just as love knows no borders, our dedication to justice reaches across boundaries and walls. Sanctuary is love's response to the criminalization of black, brown, queer and marginalized people in America. We define sanctuary in the broadest sense, beginning with our congregations as safe places for reflection and healing, welcoming to those who seek spiritual community. Our sense of sanctuary expands to embrace those who are the most vulnerable in our neighborhoods. It is about offering what we have -- a space, a voice, a community -- without hesitation.
- Read the Faith, Protection, Power: Sanctuary Strategies of Now blog post by Caitlin Breedlove, Vice President of Movement Leadership at Auburn Seminary.
- Review the Building Bridges: Refugee Support and Advocacy Toolkit from the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee.
- View the webinars Faithful Discernment: Is Your Congregation Called to Offer Sanctuary? and The Path Toward Sanctuary: A Practical Guide.
- Download the Congregational Suggested Action Guide for sanctuary and solidarity from the UU College of Social Justice.
- Browse the #SanctuaryEverywhere resources from the American Friends Service Committee.
- Explore the Theology of Resistance, from the Prophetic Resistance Project, which offers a multi-faith curriculum, webinars, podcasts and more to inspire multi-faith discourse that supports people of faith and moral courage to bring life to the stories, values, and teachings that inspire our resistance.