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Statement on the Life and Legacy of Sen. John McCain

August 30, 2018 

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The leadership of the Evangelical Immigration Table issued the following statement reflecting on the life and legacy of Sen. John McCain (R-Arizona), who died on Saturday. Quotes from Table leaders and Arizona evangelical pastors follow the statement:

“As evangelical leaders, we honor the life and leadership of Sen. John McCain. We will particularly miss his leadership in the long struggle to reform our broken immigration system. Sen. McCain pushed for immigration reform for years, participating in countless meetings with evangelical leaders both in Arizona and in Washington, D.C. He expressed appreciation for the approach and principles of the Evangelical Immigration Table, with a concern for border security, family unity, refugee resettlement, a responsive legal immigration system and a workable solution for the undocumented.

Representing a border state at the center of the nation’s immigration debate, he displayed a clear understanding of the issues and a keen appreciation for the invaluable contributions of immigrants to strengthening our nation. 

Sen. McCain was a man of character and faith, which he displayed in the many meetings during which he requested the prayers of faith leaders. He frequently would take the time to pray with those he encountered as he sought wisdom and courage to carry out his leadership duties faithfully.

His passing leaves a large void in Congress, not only on immigration but on other issues, including religious freedom and human rights. His leadership and role as a senior statesman will be missed deeply. Our prayers are with Sen. McCain’s family and loved ones during this difficult time.  We pray for others to take up his mantle of courageous and compassionate leadership.”

Leith Anderson, President, National Association of Evangelicals

Scott Arbeiter, President, World Relief

Shirley V. Hoogstra, President, Council for Christian Colleges and Universities

Hyepin Im, President & CEO, Faith and Community Empowerment (formerly Korean Churches for Community Development)

Jo Anne Lyon, Ambassador and General Superintendent Emerita, The Wesleyan Church

Russell Moore, President, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention

Samuel Rodriguez, President, National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference

The following are quotes from national leaders of the Evangelical Immigration Table and from local pastors in Arizona:

Leith Anderson, President, National Association of Evangelicals:
“John McCain courageously sought immigration reform — seeking answers instead of arguments. Who will courageously continue his cause?”

Scott Arbeiter, President, World Relief:
“Sen. John McCain was a champion for refugees, immigrants and vulnerable people around the world. His values-driven leadership made our country and the world better, and he will be greatly missed.”

Caleb Campbell, Lead Pastor, Desert Springs Bible Church, Phoenix:
“Sen. McCain represented me in Washington for the majority of my life. Though a maverick, he was no island. He was part of the community and nation he served. His steadfast courage, principled leadership and winsome storytelling will be greatly missed.”

Hyepin Im, President & CEO, Faith and Community Empowerment:
“What a great loss for our country and the world. We will miss Sen. McCain’s leadership and presence.”

Chris Schutte, Former Rector, Christ Church Anglican, Phoenix:
“In the midst of his busy schedule in the fall of 2013, Sen. McCain took time with meet with a group of evangelical pastors to discuss how we might best engage our congregations on the issue of immigration. The senator took many personal risks in his consistent advocacy for a compassionate, pragmatic, and inclusive immigration policies—respectful of the rule of law while also understanding the complexities of individual stories—and his courage inspired us to draw on the biblical stories of welcoming strangers in our own life and ministries. He also seemed genuinely desirous of prayer. No one can replace Senator John McCain, but I’m hopeful that his vision for Arizona, America, and the world might take root in these most troubling times.”

Small Town Life and the Great Commandment

Re-posted with permission from Texas Baptists: 

By Chris McLain

I can’t speak for those living in urban contexts, but in Crowell it matters whether you’re native-born or a transplant from elsewhere.

Let me explain. It’s not that new people who move into our community are any less welcome or loved than the locals, but their experience of small-town life is certainly different.


Over 750 Faith Groups, Leaders Say Trump Must Allow More Refugees in the US

August 26, 2018

An interfaith coalition of more than 750 religious groups and leaders have demanded that the Trump administration allow for more refugees to settle in the United States.

The Trump administration has garnered controversy for its reduction in the number of refugees being allowed to resettle in the United States.

In a letter addressed to President Donald Trump and officially dated Aug. 21, the religious groups declared that “people of faith will not stand by idly as the United States turns its back on these individuals.”

Read more from The Christian Post>>

Unexpected Mission Field

By Devin Tressler

If you ask Liang where he’s from, he’ll tell you simply, “Burma.” But if you talk to him much longer about his home, you find out that it’s complicated: He’s of the Zomi people from Chin State, in the country most of the world calls “Myanmar”. Where you’re from and what you call yourself is important there. Many of the Zomi people are Christian. In fact it was their faith that led the government of the mostly-Buddhist country (controlled by a different ethnic group) to expel them from the country.


Trump Admits Only 23 Christian Refugees From Mideast In 2018

August 13, 2018 

In a now embarrassing January 2017 interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network, Donald Trump was asked, “The refugee changes you’re looking to make, as it relates to persecuted Christians, do you see them as kind of a priority here?” Trump answered, “Yes. They’ve been horribly treated . . . We are going to help them.” However, a new letter from the Evangelical Immigration Table notes that in the first half of 2018, the Trump administration admitted only 23 Middle Eastern Christian refugees. 

Read more from Forbes>>

Adopted and Undocumented

August 12, 2018

Mauricio Oviedo Soto was 6 years old when a judge in a Milwaukee County, Wisconsin, circuit court officially recognized his adoption. With the stroke of a pen, he became Mauricio Cappelli, taking the surname of his new American father.

Nearly 32 years later, on March 12, 2018, Cappelli stepped off a commercial flight at Juan Santamaría International Airport in San José, Costa Rica, in the country of his birth. He was still processing the last 24 hours: Early that morning, officers entered his holding cell in a South Texas immigration detention center and told him he would be deported that day to his native country for the second time in his life.

Read more from The Intercept>>

Evangelical Leaders Urge White House To Raise Refugee Admissions For 2019

August 9, 2018

Seven evangelical Christian organizations have jointly criticized the Trump administration for allowing refugee resettlement to hit a historic low at a time when the global refugee crisis is intensifying. 

In a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and religious freedom ambassador Sam Brownback, the leaders of the Evangelical Immigration Table told the administration its drastric cuts to refugee admissions could be undermining its pledge to protect religious freedom worldwide. 

Read more from Huffington Post>>

Making Sense of Missouri

August 9, 2018 

Making Sense of Missouri: “Democrats may have scored their most definitive win of Donald Trump’s presidency on Tuesday, as unions routed Republicans in a Missouri ballot measure battle that showed shocking strength from organized labor,” Politico’s Ian Kullgren reports.

“Unions crushed the state’s so-called right-to-work law, overwhelming conservative opponents by a 2-to-1 margin after running a deep-pocketed campaign,” Kullgren writes. “The outcome signals that unions still have paths to victory in red-leaning states — and provides a new playbook for fighting the policies of Republican-controlled state governments.”

Read more from Politico>>

Evangelical Leaders Ask Trump to Raise Refugee Ceiling for 2019, Cite Religious Freedom

August 8, 2018 

Seven evangelical leaders have directly voiced concern about the Trump administration’s drastic slowing of refugee resettlement to the United States, citing the administration’s own call to protect religious freedom worldwide.

Leading Southern Baptist ethicist Russell Moore and prominent Hispanic evangelical leader Samuel Rodriguez joined their colleagues from the Evangelical Immigration Table on Tuesday in sending a letter to three top federal agency officials expressing “deep concern about the impact on international religious freedom of recent changes in the U.S. refugee resettlement program.”

Read more from The Christian Post>>

A Kind of Homelessness: Evangelicals of Color in the Trump Era

August 7, 2018 

Before the 2016 election, Nikki Toyama-Szeto had thought of the term “evangelical” as neutral. “It was about theology,” she told me recently. She had a long history working with evangelical organizations like International Justice Mission and Intervarsity, and as the executive director of Evangelicals for Social Action, she was a well-known speaker and activist in evangelical circles. Her faith had been central to affirming her own racial and gender identities.

Read more from Religion & Politics>>

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