Audience members pray at the 60th annual National Prayer Breakfast at the Washington Hilton hotel in Washington, D.C., on Feb. 2, 2012. Photo courtesy of Reuters/Larry Downing

Christian leaders to Trump: We're praying for you, but . . .

(RNS) On the eve of what will be Donald Trump's first National Prayer Breakfast as president, 800 Christian leaders petitioned the president to "remember refugees and immigrants have sacred worth in God's eyes."

"We pray that you use your office to unite, and turn away from your rhetoric and policy proposals that degrade human dignity," said the the petition, signed by Christian clergy, professors and other leaders from Alaska to Florida from Catholic and Protestant backgrounds, including the United Methodist Church, the Episcopal Church and the United Church of Christ.

The petition is a product of Faith in Public Life, a social justice advocacy group in Washington, D.C. It joins a chorus of concern and displeasure from religious groups -- most, but not all of them, from the religious left -- over the president's executive orders on refugees, immigrants and a border wall.

"There is nothing Christian about his ban on refugees from Muslim countries, denigration of immigrants, and repeal of pro-life healthcare," said Sister Simone Campbell, executive director of NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice whose signature appears on the petition. "I call on President Trump to put his Christian values into practice."

Other prominent names on the list of signees include Jim Wallis of Sojourners, Tony Campolo and Shane Claiborne of Red Letter Christians and Sister Donna Markham of Catholic Charities USA.

It was not clear whether any of the signatories were also planning to attend the breakfast.

The National Prayer Breakfast is a six-decade old event held yearly on the first Thursday of February, hosted by a Republican senator and a Democratic senator.

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