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Syrian Refugees Visit, Speak With Community in Indianapolis

Refugee Event

At near capacity, a crowd gathered at Epworth United Methodist Church in Indianapolis to visit with families that have resettled in Indianapolis from Syria.

The evening's multi-faith presentation featured introductions from many refugee families and a candle lighting ceremony. Following the gathering, food was provided in the lobby. The majority of it was prepared by the refugees.

The family who was resettled by Catholic Charities on Monday was among those in attendance. Abdel Sattar Assaf is the father of the family.

"There are no words to describe how we felt when we found out, indeed, we are coming to Indiana," he said. "We were very happy."

Assaf's sister has lived in Indiana for over a year after being resettled through Exodus Refugee immigration.

Epworth United Methodist Church Pastor Bill Hoopes says that the event was initially planned to be a small gathering, but it was opened up to the public as more and more attention was given to Syrian refugees over the past two weeks.

Last month, Governor Mike Pence requested the state suspend its refugee resettlement program until a more stringent screening policy is put in place.

Although Governor Pence was invited to the gathering, he was unable to attend due to a prior conflict.

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