Maine synagogues issued a joint statement Monday condemning President Trump’s order suspending entry by refugees into the United States and barring entry to individuals from Muslim-majority countries.

“Our Jewish tradition teaches that every individual was created in the image of God. We must not turn our backs to the suffering of those individuals who have fled horrific violence, and who continue to be in extreme peril,” the statement says.

“We appeal to President Trump to revoke his executive order, and, failing that, we urge Maine’s senators and representatives to rescind that order through legislative action.”

Bishop Robert Deeley of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland also spoke out against the ban. Deeley said the president’s order has left many refugee families in Maine “filled with anxiety and fear about what will happen to them.”

Deeley said the diocese will continue to support the Refugee & Immigration Services program of Catholic Charities Maine.

Jonathan M. Gelchinsky of Temple Beth El in Portland said in a written statement that the synagogues stand by “our Muslim brothers and sisters and all of the immigrants and refugees affected by the Trump administration’s ban. … As Jews, whose families suffered greatly at the hands of oppressive regimes and who were often refused safe passage at a time of most desperate need, we cannot sit idly by and watch as our Muslim brothers and sisters are denied refuge in this country simply on the basis of their religion and nationality.”

It is signed by nine synagogues around the state: Adas Yoshuron Synagogue in Rockland; Beth Israel Congregation in Bath; Congregation Bet Ha’am in South Portland; Congregation Beth Israel in Bangor; Congregation Etz Chaim in Biddeford; Congregation Etz Chaim in Portland; Congregation Shaarey Tphiloh in Portland; Temple Beth El in Augusta; and Temple Beth El in Portland.


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