‘Pray for Reform’ Efforts Deepen Evangelical Support at Key Moment in Immigration Debate

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‘Pray for Reform’ Efforts Deepen Evangelical Support at Key Moment in Immigration Debate

Pastors in 10 States Appeal to Senators; Leaders to Hold Week of Prayer in D.C.

**To listen to a recording of today’s call, please click here.**

WASHINGTON, D.C., JUNE 20, 2013 — As the Senate forges ahead toward a vote on broad, bipartisan immigration reform, evangelical leaders and local evangelical voices are intensifying their support. On a press call today, leaders spoke about efforts on multiple fronts to broaden the Pray for Reform campaign and encourage senators to pass strong legislation that reflects biblical principles.

Hundreds of pastors are sending letters to their senators and representatives this week and next, from 10 states: Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, North Carolina, Texas, Utah and Wisconsin. The letters speak to the urgent need for reform that respects the God-given dignity of every person, protects family unity, respects the rule of law, guarantees secure national borders, ensures fairness to taxpayers and establishes a path toward earned citizenship for those who qualify.

In addition, a Week of Prayer for immigration reform will begin Monday. At 10 a.m. each day next week, evangelical leaders will gather at a mobile billboard at Peace Circle, near the Capitol, and pray for senators to transcend partisanship and vote for commonsense immigration solutions that include an achievable roadmap to citizenship. Participating organizations include the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, Sojourners, the National Association of Evangelicals, the Christian Community Development Association and World Relief.

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

Leith Anderson, President, National Association of Evangelicals:
“We recognize that immigration is an important national issue, but it also is an important local issue. A key emphasis of the Evangelical Immigration Table has been to encourage Christians across America to read the 92 references in the Old Testament on immigrants. We’ve picked up on that number 92 and we’ve asked people to pray for God’s help and direction over a 92-day period, with the hope and prayer that this will result in legislation.

“I think the process the Senate is considering is very compatible with the biblical teaching, with the rule of law and with the history of the United States. As immigration reform moves forward in Congress, we will pray for all of those that are involved and we will seek to meet with them.”

 

Linda Jones, Missions Coordinator, Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, North Carolina:
“At CBF North Carolina, we have created, empowered and now partnered with our Hispanic network. … They recently had a family retreat that 605 people attended. These are upstanding, law-abiding people who care about this country, who speak English, and almost all our families have lived in the U.S. a long time. This is their home; their children were raised here.

“We’ve had situations where one parent has been deported, leaving the other family members kind of destitute without the one who’s working and bringing in the income. These families live in fear. … We need permanent reform. We need a path to citizenship. This has gone on far too long. These are wonderful people who love our country.”

 

Keith Stewart, Founding and Senior Pastor, Springcreek Community Church, Garland, Texas:
“We’ve gotten involved in the advocacy for immigration reform largely because of the sense of biblical mandate. Our church has continued to go through a transformation of realizing how much vulnerable people really matter to God. No one who reads the Bible can come away with any other conclusion other than that the immigrant matters to God.

“When our people see  how comprehensive the Bible is — God’s Word — about the immigrant and how they’re to be treated, there’s this natural conversion that happens, and people even here in suburban Dallas, Texas, have had a warm embrace around immigration reform. … To us, we feel like we have really a higher authority, and that’s the Kingdom of God, and it trumps all political ideologies. … Even in very conservative districts, the people of God have a heart for the immigrant, and we’ve got to get this done.”

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