Evangelical Community Launches ‘Pray for Reform’ Campaign

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Evangelical Community Launches ‘Pray for Reform’ Campaign

WASHINGTON, D.C., MAY 8, 2013 — On the eve of the Senate’s first markup of the bipartisan immigration reform bill in the Senate, the Evangelical Immigration Table today announced the launch of “Pray for Reform: 92 Days of Prayer and Action to Pass Immigration Reform.” This nationwide grassroots and digital campaign will engage evangelical communities in all 50 states and support congressional leaders as they move toward passing broad, commonsense immigration reform.

The effort corresponds with the Evangelical Immigration Table’s drive for bipartisan passage of a bill within 92 days, corresponding to the number of times the Hebrew word for immigrant appears in the Old Testament. It is only the latest push by evangelical leaders for far-reaching immigration reform.

This year alone, tens of thousands of people have participated in the table’s “I Was A Stranger” prayer challenge, the table launched radio ad campaigns in five key states, and more than 300 evangelical leaders gathered in Washington for the National Day of Prayer and Action, which included more than 90 meetings with congressional leaders.

The following quotes can be attributed to speakers on today’s call:

Leith Anderson, President, National Association of Evangelicals:
“We are now at the point of markup, and what we have worked [on] and dreamed about and talked about for many years is now on the eve of reality. As evangelicals we have come together in a coalition that has stayed amazingly united. … What we’re doing today is a call for prayer for our Congress and for our country to actually pass immigration reform in 92 days, [corresponding to] the 92 Old Testament references to immigrants and immigration. We did this once before: We asked that our [congressional] leadership, in 92 days, present legislation, and we believe that that happened and that prayer was answered.”

Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, President, National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference:
“I am convinced we stand on the edge of the Jordan called immigration reform. On the other side lies the promised land of integration, secure borders and healthy communities. What will it take for us as a nation to get there? Two words: prophetic courage. … This is not the time for political showmanship. The NHCLC calls on Congress not to sacrifice 11 million people on the altar of political expediency. Let’s not be distracted, let us be deliberate in the final crossing.”

Michelle Warren, Colorado Immigration Specialist, Christian Community Development Association:
“Here in Colorado, we had numerous churches in congressional districts all across the state participate in the ‘I Was A Stranger’ challenge, and as a result, the eyes of evangelicals opened to what the Bible had to say about our personal attitudes towards immigrants, and our hearts were changed on how we should treat immigrants in our country. Now we’re launching the Pray for Reform campaign, which will bring evangelicals from all across the country to participate in prayer gatherings around flag poles, in sanctuaries, in front of town halls and with elected officials themselves. … We believe in the power of prayer, we believe that it has been what has driven our momentum here in Colorado and we’re eager to see the results of Christians uniting all across the country to pray for immigration reform.”

Rev. Jim Wallis, President and CEO, Sojourners:
“We’ve seen a message go out across the country that how we treat the stranger is how we treat Christ himself. That message is converting evangelicals by the thousands, by the millions, and we’ve seen now how that conversion is changing politics. … Republicans and Democrats alike are telling us that they want to support this, but there are interests and forces and agendas always putting their weight against positive progress. So we’re praying that dysfunction can be overcome for the sake of 11 million vulnerable, undocumented people that Jesus calls us to welcome.”

Dr. Richard Land, President, Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention:
“This is a moral issue. We’re calling on Congress to not act like politicians who are focused on the next election but to act as statesmen and stateswomen who are focused on the next generation. … I believe that we are at a moment where we’ve seen really a providential convergence of forces. The Evangelical Immigration Table stands together in calling Congress to pass immigration reform in 92 days and the Prayer for Reform campaign will show Congress that evangelicals are behind them on this issue and we are ready to redeem this moment.”

Follow the Pray for Reform campaign on Twitter at #Pray4Reform.


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