• US evangelical leaders issued a statement on Thursday expressing shock over claims in a whistleblower complaint that immigrants at a detention facility in Georgia were sterilized without their content.
  • “The violation of these female immigrant detainees is an affront to our pro-life ethic,” says the statement from the Evangelical Immigration Table, a coalition of Christian groups.
  • Walter Kim, president of the National Association of Evangelicals, said God judges societies by how they treat the least fortunate.
  • “As evangelicals who believe that every individual is made in God’s image, we grieve to hear horrific allegations like these and urge the accountability of individuals and structures that prey on the weak,” Kim said.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Evangelical leaders are expressing horror over allegations that women at a US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention center have been non-consensually sterilized, saying the claims should be investigated and that the US government should embrace alternatives to incarceration.

In a statement released Sept. 17, the Evangelical Immigration Table, a coalition of Christian groups, called for “full transparency and strong accountability” in the wake of claims that some immigrants held at the privately-run Irwin County Detention Center in Georgia were being referred to a doctor offsite and given hysterectomies, sometimes without their knowledge.

The claim was made in a whistleblower complaint sent to the Department of Homeland Security’s inspector general, sparking outrage from Democrats in Congress, who have pledged to investigate. Dawn Wooten, a nurse at the facility, said detained immigrants were also routinely denied COVID-19 tests.

“If these allegations are true,” the evangelical leaders’ statement reads, “we condemn them in the strongest possible terms and call for those responsible to be held accountable. The violation of these female immigrant detainees is an affront to our pro-life ethic.”

Walter Kim, president of the National Association of Evangelicals, said the Bible teaches that societies are judged by how they treat the least fortunate.

“As evangelicals who believe that every individual is made in God’s image, we grieve to hear horrific allegations like these and urge the accountability of individuals and structures that prey on the weak,” Kim said.

The largest Protestant denomination in the US, the Southern Baptist Convention, also weighed in, likening the alleged treatment to abuses meted out “by brutal regimes elsewhere in the world,” in the words of Russell Moore, president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, the public policy arm of the church.

“These alleged violations of women and children under the care of ICE, ranging from unwanted hysterectomies to COVID-19 exposure, should rattle all but the most seared-over consciences,” Moore said. “[W]e never expected to have to address such allegations about our own country.”

ICE, in a statement to Business Insider, said it “vehemently disputes the implication that detainees are used for experimental medical procedures.”

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(Excerpt) Read more Here | 2020-09-17 23:42:32
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