Associated Press

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) – A church in Columbia, Missouri, has decided to become a sanctuary congregation in response to recent national political discourse that threatens immigrants and refugees.

The Columbia Missourian reports the Unitarian Universalist Church voted Sunday to join an effort called the National Sanctuary Movement, which has the support of 400 congregations across the country.

The Rev. Molly Housh Gordon says the church will provide a host for an individual or family while they pursue options to stay in the country legally. The congregation will provide shelter, food and legal counsel with the help of other community organizations.

A group of local churches called Faith Voices of Columbia will hold a rally at the church April 18 to show support for the decision and urge other congregations to also become sanctuaries.

(© Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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