Fear of ICE Pushes the Closing of a Century Old Detroit Church 


This Sunday, December 31st a Roman Catholic church in Detroit held its last mass service after more than a century of service.

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One of the main reasons for the closing of All Saints Church was the decrease of Hispanic churchgoers who stopped attending because of their fear of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). The immigration raids and the crackdown on undocumented immigrants in the Detroit community have caused a loss of members. According to the Detroit Free Press, a recent Wednesday service only had 4 attendants.

Reverend Marc Gawronski said Immigration agents have an “informal agreement that they have affirmed that they will not go into churches and not hassle people going to church,” Nonetheless, he added, “people are even nervous about being able to get up in the morning and go to church.”

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Among other reasons, the church also has weak finances, is in need of repairs and a construction project on Interstate 75 has hurt attendance.