Austin Methodist pastors charge A.G. Sessions with 'church law' violations

United States Trump family separation policy family separation immigrant family immigration detention facility US President Donald Trump Trump administration world news

The U.N. human rights office called on the Trump administration Tuesday to "immediately halt" its accelerating policy of separating children from their parents after they cross the US border with Mexico, insisting there is "nothing normal about detaining children".

In a remarkable speech on Thursday, Sessions responded to the criticisms from "church friends", citing Romans 13, a passage in the New Testament that calls on Christians to obey secular authorities. That policy includes separating children from their parents after an illegal crossing.

Sessions is a member of Ashland Methodist Church in Mobile, Al.

"The letter, signed by 640 United Methodist clergy and laity members, said the child abuse charge was for "[separating] thousands of young children from their parents [and] holding thousands of children in mass incarceration facilities".

Wright said the group's goal in filing charges was to prompt such discussions.

Many church leaders have spoken out against that, including Debra Wallace-Padgett, Bishop of the North Alabama Conference of the United Methodist Church.

Members of the United Methodist Church are not the only religious body to speak out against the family separation policy.

"As a long-term United Methodist in a tremendously powerful, public position is particularly accountable to us, his church".

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The group accuses Sessions, a fellow United Methodist, of violating Paragraph 270.3 of the denomination's Book of Discipline.

"In the 50 years of the United Methodist Church as a denomination, I am not aware of any case that moved beyond those initial stages", Lawrence said. That's not what I would want from this.

The American Academy of Pediatrics, cited by al-Hussein, has been one of the most vocal groups to criticize the USA government policy of separating parents from their children.

United Nations Human Rights Commissioner Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein called on President Donald Trump to end his "unconscionable" family separation policy in remarks in Geneva on Monday, according to The New York Times. "Changes to these laws need to be addressed starting today".

Meanwhile, the Trump Administration is not backing down from its "zero tolerance" policy on illegal immigration that has led to numerous recent discussions about separation of families.

Already, the United Methodist bishop who oversees Sessions's home congregation in Alabama has decried separating immigrant mothers from their children, calling it "unjust". Leaders from 20 religious organizations met in Washington D.C., formulated a statement, urging the USA government to stop separating families.

"Tearing children away from parents who have made a risky journey to provide a safe and sufficient life for them is unnecessarily cruel and detrimental to the well-being of parents and children", the letter said.

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