Leaders ask Alabama governor to soften refugee stance

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Gov. Robert Bentley (file)

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) – More than 110 religious leaders are asking Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley to soften his stance against accepting Syrian refugees.

Bentley is a Southern Baptist, and pastors are delivering a letter to his office in Montgomery on Tuesday saying faith includes a requirement to welcome strangers and love neighbors.

The letter is signed by dozens of moderate clergy members and other religious leaders from around the state. It was initiated by Greater Birmingham Ministries, an ecumenical organization in the state’s largest city.

Bentley’s office didn’t have any immediate response to the plea.

Bentley last month ordered state agencies to prevent the relocation of Syrian refugees to Alabama. He and other governors are trying to block possible refugees amid fears that terrorists will slip in among them.

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