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Statement by Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, President

National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference (NHCLC)/CONEL

Regarding Presidential Candidate Donald Trump’s call for ‘total and

complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States’

Dec. 8, 2015

“As American Christians committed to being light in a world darkened

by sin, terrorism and fear, we must affirm our commitment to religious

liberty as the proverbial firewall against totalitarianism.

For that matter, while our government must protect our citizenry from

individuals committed to terror, death and destruction, we cannot and

must not embrace policies that incorporate a religious litmus test for

those legally responding to the compassionate invitation written on

the Statue of Liberty.

It behooves all of us to revisit those powerful words:

‘Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning

to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.

Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp

beside the golden door!’

For that matter, no presidential candidate, elected official or branch of

government carries the authority to extinguish the aforementioned

lamp. With a commitment to building a firewall against Islamic

extremism and protecting our most cherished of values, we must

make certain that the lamp will shine the light of freedom for

Christians, Jews, Muslims and all others yearning to breathe free.”


NHCLC/CONEL is the world’s largest Hispanic Christian organization. It

serves as a representative voice for the more than 100 million Hispanic

Evangelicals assembled in over 40,000 U.S. churches and another 500,000

congregations spread throughout the Spanish-speaking diaspora. For

additional information, visit

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