Forest Hill Presbyterian in Cleveland Heights is Now a 'Sanctuary Church'

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As America's relationship with its immigrants grows more tense under the Trump administration, cities and churches around the country have been publicly discussing the merits of becoming a "sanctuary," a safe place for those remain undocumented.

Today, Forest Hill Presbyterian opened its doors as a sanctuary church. It's the first church in Cuyahoga County to do so.



"The actions by the federal government are tearing families apart and we can no longer be silent," the Rev. John Lentz said in a public statement today. "As people of faith we stand with the immigrant community and offer sanctuary to those in need. We follow the traditions expressed in the sacred scriptures of all religions."

The church will shelter undocumented immigrants in need of safe haven and protection. A mother of four children has already taken up the church on its invitation.



With an increased emphasis on Latino immigrants, the federal government had doubled down on enforcement and deportation in a tactical sense. Undocumented immigrants have been arrested outside courthouses, moments after paying off a traffic fine or the like. Minor violations have resulted in almost instantaneous deportation, and families across the U.S. have been broken up the government.

Forest Hill seeks to protect men and women who remain vulnerable to the reach of Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

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