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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Afghans find refuge in U.S.

Congregations help, wait for more

The halting speech and anxiety of Afghans entering our communities tell of the trauma and determination that brought them to the United States. Listening ears and helping hands in congregations make navigating a new life situation more manageable.

When a woman, her head covered, tentatively entered an English as a Second Language class hosted by an ELCA congregation just days after Sept. 11, her story moved the parishioners to action.

"Freedom motivated this family to come. Her husband is an enemy of the Taliban, and they left everything ... diplomas, family members ... for this chance," says a member of the congregation, which asked that identities not be used to protect the family from ongoing security threats. "Right now, we're just trying to keep them from being homeless."




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