Tennessee Governor Asks Federal Officials to Halt Influx of Syrian Refugees to Tennessee

— Tennessee Pastors Network: Christians and Churches Struggle to

Balance Jesus’ Calling for the ‘Least of These’ and Americans’ Safety —

As Christians and political leaders alike debate how to handle thousands of Syrian refugees who are fleeing their war-torn country, the Tennessee Pastors Network (TNPN, www.tnpastors.net) is weighing in, especially after Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam has asked federal officials Monday to stop sending Syrian refugees to the state.

According to The Tennessean Newspaper, Haslam made the request last week, as governors from other states are doing the same, amid fears that, without a reliable vetting process, terrorists disguised as refugees will infiltrate the United State and perpetrate attacks similar to those in Paris.

“This is a crucial time in our nation, as we consider Americans’ safety along with our Christian duty to support ‘the least of these,’ said TNPN President Dale Walker. “But there are ways to help others as God commanded without putting our nation in harm’s way so that another devastating terrorist attack like the one in Paris is not repeated here at home. It’s imperative that pastors open up debates about these important topics in their churches, as we enter such perilous and uncertain times.

“It is time for Christian leaders,” Walker continued, “to clearly train their congregations in what is facing the Christian church relating to coming persecution, which will be led by the Muslim world.”

The Tennessean also conducted an online poll about whether the U.S. government should stop sending Syrian refugees to Tennessee. As of Monday, Nov. 23, nearly 70 percent said yes, they should not come to Tennessee.

The state office for refugees reported that 30 of the 1,601 refugees who settled in Tennessee between July 2014 and June 2015 came from Syria. Between 1996 and July 2014, 16 Syrian refugees settled in Tennessee, while nearly 22,000 refugees were resettled in the state during that same time frame.

“Over the course of the next federal fiscal year, which began Oct. 1, the office anticipates another 1,800 refugees will re-settle in Tennessee,” The Tennessean reports. “Roughly 1,300 are expected to settle in Davidson, Rutherford and Williamson counties…”

TNPN is a state chapter of the American Pastors Network (APN, www.americanpastorsnetwork.net), the largest national network dedicated to equipping pastors to be a voice for truth in the public square.

TNPN and APN offer pastors numerous online resources that help clergy choose sermon topics and find information for other church ministries. With some free and some paid resources, topics include abortion, apologetics, creation, the culture war, economics, education, the environment, history, homosexuality, Islam and marriage, along with many others.

The Tennessee Pastors Network encourages pastors to bring together biblical and constitutional principles in their sermons and provides resources to pastors throughout the state. For more information on TNPN, visit its web site at www.tnpastors.net, its Facebook page or call (931) 267-0816.

TNPN is a group of biblically faithful clergy and church liaisons whose objective is to build a permanent infrastructure of like-minded clergy who affirm the authority of scripture, take seriously Jesus’ command to be the “salt and light” to the culture, encourage informed Christian thinking about contemporary social issues, examine public policy issues without politicizing their pulpits and engage their congregations in taking part in the political process on a non-partisan basis.

The American Pastors Network is the largest, national network of pastors who believe in the authority of scripture; who boldly preach the whole counsel of God with a disciplined application of a biblical worldview to public policy; who are building a permanent infrastructure of biblically faithful pastors and lay leaders; and who are mobilizing congregations to participate in the political process on a non-partisan basis. For more information on APN, visit www.americanpastorsnetwork.net, its Facebook page or follow APN’s Twitter feed, @AmericanPastors. Those interested in forming a chapter in their state may contact amy@americanpastors.net.

The American Pastors Network is a Ministry Program Affiliate of Capstone Legacy Foundation (a 501(c)(3) non-profit Christian Public Community Foundation registered nationwide). APN’s daily short radio feature, “Stand in the Gap,” airs on more than 40 stations, and the American Family Radio Network airs the one-hour “Stand in the Gap Weekend” on 140 additional stations nationwide. A live one-hour program launched in 2015, “Stand in the Gap Today,” airs on several Pennsylvania radio stations.


To interview Dale Walker from the Tennessee Pastors Network or a representative of the American Pastors Network, contact Deborah Hamilton at 215-815-7716 or 610-584-1096, ext. 102, or Beth Harrison at 610-584-1096, ext. 104, Media@HamiltonStrategies.com.