KANSAS CITY – Amid raging anti-Muslim rhetoric, the wife of a Kansas City youth pastor who works as a high school guidance counselor has chosen to wear a hijab, in a show of support to Muslims and refugees.
“It’s really easy to be a Christian in the United States. Lots of people share my faith, lots of people share my holidays, so it’s not really a struggle,” Martha DeVries told Religion News Service.
“What’s a headscarf? It’s 3 yards of material. That shouldn’t separate me from someone whose humanity is so much like mine.”
DeVries decided to don the Islamic hijab to her public school every Monday after her pastor spoke about the importance of challenging oneself to make a difference.
“I felt moved out of my comfort zone,” Martha DeVries said of the motivating sermon.
DeVries, the 47-year-old wife of a youth pastor who resides in Kansas City, Missouri, said she felt obliged to show support for refugees and Muslims.
“I’ve just gotten very tired of hearing so many negative things, like Donald Trump’s ‘let’s not let Muslim immigrants into the United States’ and the scare on Syrian refugees,” DeVries told Baptist News Global last month.
She added that her hijab is an attempt to bolster interfaith relations, citing the Bible’s proclamation that Christians should love others.
“I think of Muslims in my community as my neighbors and it’s not my job to judge them or determine their salvation,” she said.
“My job is to love them.”
DeVries continued, “Someone needs to be communicating with Muslims that there are Christians in this nation who love them.”
The school counselor was fully supported by her husband, Mike.
“The first thing I thought was, hmm, is she really going to do that?” he told Baptist News Global.
“I thought it was kind of cool, actually.”