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Latter-day Saint leaders reaffirm support for refugees

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The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is reaffirming its support for refugees and encouraging members to create welcoming communities for the newcomers. (Photo: International Rescue Committee / Facebook via MGN)

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is reaffirming its support for refugees and encouraging members to create welcoming communities for the newcomers.

The Utah-based faith said in a statement posted online Monday night that it has "great concern and compassion" for people around the world "who have fled their homes seeking relief from violence, war, or religious persecution."

The embrace of refugees by the religion has roots in the history of the faith, which counted many immigrants among its early members. The Latter-day Saints also reflect back on their own ancestors, pioneers who crossed the country looking for a place to settle and practice their beliefs.

The support for refugees from the church as well as Utah Gov. Gary Herbert, a Republican, comes as President Donald Trump has limited the number of refugees entering the United States.