Call to Action: Free Binsar

Here I am with my dear friend, Rev. Kara Scroggins. Here we are in front of an MLK50 mural when we visited my hometown of Memphis together in 2018. Since that time, I am continually inspired by her big heart and the ways she reaches out in the pursuit of justice.

Right now she has an urgent plea on behalf of one of her parishioners who faces possible deportation. Kara has been doing everything in her power to halt such an action and is calling upon all she knows to apply pressure to ICE and the powers that be to seek his immediate release.


Binsar Siahaan, a husband, father of two U.S. born children who are minors, and faithful member of Glenmont United Methodist Church, has been separated from his family. According to the Rev. Kara Scroggins, pastor at Glenmont UMC, on early Thursday morning, Sept. 10, six Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) custody officers showed up to the home of Binsar and Eko Siahaan– a home located on the property of Glenmont UMC – and, without warning or honest explanation, took Binsar into custody.

 “They transported him to Baltimore and then to Georgia, and are seeking his immediate removal to Indonesia,” Scroggins said. “The family’s lawyer has left voicemails and emails for various ICE offices, and no one has returned her call to share information about why this has happened.” Binsar and Eko have a pending motion to reopen their strong case for asylum on religious grounds, the pastor said. 

“They have been cooperative with all check-ins and requirements and were taken completely by surprise – and terror – when officers entered their home before 7 a.m. and began searching it,” Scroggins said.  “They have been caring meticulously for the church building since the pandemic began: dusting and vacuuming the empty pews; planting gardens outside the sanctuary; and, just days before he was arrested, Binsar, noticing that the American flag outside the church was tattered, purchased a more durable one, he said, ‘to fly with more pride,” she said.

Please take the time to read more about Binsar Siahaan’s story. Please his story in a Washington Post article and in the Episcopal News Service here.

Faith Leaders Call for Binsar Siahaan’s Immediate Release

:For the Most Up-to-date Information and Action:

Glenmont UMC Call to Action Page

Two Online petitions:

Faithful American

United Methodist-specific petition

A Baltimore-Washington Conference of The United Methodist Church article can be found here. Her full remarks calling for his release are found here.

Published by Rev. Claire Matheny

Pastor | Kittamaqundi Community Church | Columbia, Maryland

2 thoughts on “Call to Action: Free Binsar

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