Pastor sparks controversy with letter about Syrian refugees

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TUSCALOOSA COUNTY, Ala. (WIAT) – An Alabama pastor made some controversial statements about Syrian refugees.

Pastor Ted Sessoms is the pastor of Arbor Springs Baptist Church in the Samantha community of Northport.

Sessoms recently wrote a letter to the editor of the Alabama Baptist Newspaper.

The letter say in part:

I am against allowing the refugees the rights to America’s soil and my neighborhood. These are the same people that hate America, hate Christians and have vowed to take over the world by destroying our way of life. Perhaps our leaders should study the Old Testament when God gave specific instructions to destroy these people (even their women, children and animals). Why would He give such instructions? Because He knew the impact these idol worshippers of false gods would have on His people. It is not a matter of loving your neighbor. My neighbors are the people that value the same standards of life and way of life that I value.

Wednesday night, we talked with Sessoms after a prayer meeting at his church. Sessoms tells us he stands by his statement.

“In this country we are under attack by terrorists and we don’t know who those folks are,” Sessoms said. “And so by allowing these refugees to come in and not know their background. But we certainly know their past is to hate Americans and hate Christianity.”

Sessoms says he wrote the letter to the Baptist newspaper to express his frustration with other Baptist leaders who have advocated for allowing refugees to enter the country.

The pastor says he’s not a racist and loves people. He just doesn’t believe the federal government should allow refugees in the country

Several people have shared their thoughts about Sessoms’ letter on the Church’s Facebook page.

“Your church members should be very proud to have a man such as you as pastor,” T. Anderson wrote. “Thanks again so much for writing what a lot of us are thinking.”

G. Fuller posted to the page, saying, “Your pastor’s words are hurtful and completely anti-Christ.”

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