Religious leaders to show support for Syrian refugees at state capitol

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JEFFERSON CITY- Various faith leaders from around the state will meet at the Missouri State Capitol today to urge lawmakers to let in refugees from countries such as Syria.

The Mid-Missouri Fellowship of Reconciliation, which includes leaders from multiple religions, condemns the acts of violence done by ISIS. Today's meeting comes as Missouri lawmakers debate the state's role in taking in refugees. A June 2015 UN report said nearly 60-million people across the planet, half of them children, have been displace by war and persecution.

"We call upon Missouri and U.S. officials to recognize the suffering incurred by victims of terrorism and war," the group said in a press release. "We implore officials to compassionately welcome many more war refugees into our nation, nurturing our noblest nature rather than stoking the reasonable public-safety concerns Missourians have, with flames of fear."

According to the Department of Social Services, less than 30 Syrian refugees came to Missouri in 2014. Currently the process for a refugee to come to America involves screenings by the FBI, Homeland Security and the Department of Defense, and takes at least 18 months to complete. 

The conference will take place this morning at 10 a.m. in the basement of the state capitol.