Harriet Tubman: An Icon of Christian Courage and Faith in Action

The courageous Christian who helped hundreds of slaves escape on the Underground Railroad will be the new face of $20 bill.

Harriet Tubman.
Harriet Tubman. (photo: Public domain.)

WASHINGTON — As the U.S. Treasury announces the legendary Harriet Tubman as the new face of the $20 bill, she also drew praise from religious-freedom advocates for her deep and abiding Christian faith.

“Harriet Tubman was a woman of faith who was not afraid to act on her beliefs to fight for justice,” said Kristina Arriaga, executive director of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty.

“Her incredible moral and physical courage is an example to all Americans, as is her willingness to act on her Christian faith,” she said. “She is an icon of religious liberty.”

Known for helping rescue hundreds of fugitive black slaves through a network called the Underground Railroad, Tubman will replace former President Andrew Jackson, who will now be placed on the back of the bill, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew announced April 20.

Lew said Wednesday that Tubman's life “reflects both American values and American democracy, but also the power of an individual to make a difference in our democracy.”

The Civil War era hero was a member of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church and credited her Christian faith for inspiring her to help slaves escape from the U.S. South and into a free life in Canada, the Becket Fund reported.

Archbishop of San Francisco Salvatore Joseph Cordileone attends the mass and imposition of the Pallium upon the new metropolitan archbishops held by Pope Francis for the Solemnity of Saint Peter and Paul at Vatican Basilica on June 29, 2013 in Vatican City, Vatican.

A New Era?

A NOTE FROM THE PUBLISHER: Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco has a profound understanding of what the U.S. bishops have called the preeminent issue of our time, and his stand is courageous.