Korean-American sanctuary church movement
40 Korean-American pastors from the group met in July at the United Methodist Building to build and expand the sanctuary church ministry among Korean American churches across the U.S.
The Bible is our ultimate immigration values handbook. It was written by, for and about migrants, immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers. It is an aid for responding to our sisters and brothers from around the world that leave their home country and go to another one seeking safety, sanctuary and sustenance.
Korean immigration to the United States, like any other immigration, has been driven by political, economic, and military reasons. Approximately 1 million Korean immigrants were living in the U.S. in 2015, representing about 2 percent of the 43.3 million immigrants in the U.S. About one in eight Korean-Americans are undocumented.
A group of Korean-American Pastors decided to get involved in the sanctuary movement in the spring of 2017 after meeting with several Korean-American lawyers concerned with current trends in immigration policy. They started a network for this ministry with several goals: to help immigrant brothers and sisters, Korean and non-Korean alike, avoid deportation; to bring attention to the issue of immigration; and to promote the sanctuary movement and rights of the immigrants.
Forty Korean-American pastors from the group met in July at the United Methodist Building. Having started their network in New York, they are expanding the sanctuary church ministry to other states, with a goal of supporting the sanctuary church ministry among Korean American churches across the U.S. They have three task forces located in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. There are also seven people working in their regional sanctuary task forces as volunteers.
The network is an ecumenical effort with nearly 100 Korean-American churches actively participating and supporting this ministry. There are 12 primary churches sponsoring the ministries, two of which are United Methodist.
These sanctuary churches are not just for Korean-American immigrants, but are open to immigrants of all backgrounds — Latino/a, Chinese, European, African and others — seeking sanctuary.
There are also people outside of the church who are doing their best to help raise funds for the immigrants.