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Sunday, June 2, 2013

Growing list of American Evangelicals calling for Congress to pass immigration reform

Staff report
 
Dr. Russell Moore, president-elect of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, joined fellow Kentuckian Timothy Tennent, president of Asbury Seminary, on the growing list of American Evangelicals calling for bipartisan immigration reform.
 

Dr. Russell Moore (Photo from russellmoore.com)

The list represents a coalescing of one of the broadest ranges of Evangelical opinions seen in recent memory. It brings together individuals and groups as diverse as Jim Wallis, the president and CEO of Sojourners magazine, and George Wood, general superintendent of the General Council of the Assemblies of God.
 
The list of heads of denominations, organizations, universities, seminaries, think tanks, media outlets and churches calls itself the Evangelical Immigration Table. They have instigated a 92-day pray for immigration reform challenge as legislation moves through Congress. They have also left no tech-savvy tool unturned. They’re on Twitter, on smart phone, on radio and on the Web with calls for personal prayer and prayer meetings.
 
The EIT announced May 30 the release of their “newest and largest paid-media campaign to reach evangelicals on the issue of immigration.” Moore is one of the voices on both the national radio ad and the Kentucky ad, and he spoke on yesterday’s press call. To listen to the ads, click here. To hear the half-hour press call, click here.
 
EIT explained in a press release that the call “took place as small groups of Christians in at least 20 states gathered in their communities to pray for immigrants and for Congress as part of the campaign.” The national ads went out to Christian and talk radio stations. The Kentucky ad features Moore calling for “compassion and justice” for our nearly 11 million neighbors who find themselves caught in this debate. In the 60-second ad, Moore urges Congressional action “that respects each person’s God-given dignity.”
 
In the press call, Moore is quoted as saying, “Evangelicals understand that our broken system is a moral issue; this isn’t just a legal issue, it isn’t a political issue or an economic issue only. It’s a moral issue and it’s been a stain on our country for too long.”
 
EIT is organizing an Evangelical Day of Prayer and Action in Washington, D.C., on July 24, with a worship service at 10 a.m. and a trip to the Capitol to meet with members of Congress. At an April meeting in Washington, EIT members heard the prayer of Bill Hybel, founding and senior pastor of Willow Creek Community Church outside Chicago: “God, my request is that your Church, the hope of the world, would rise up, and not only welcome strangers at our gates, but advocate passionately for their well-being. And God, my simple request is that lawmakers would do the job that they have been sent to this great city to do – to solve pressing problems, to weed out unfair practices, and, God, may this ongoing nightmare end very, very soon.”
 

The group also sent Congress an open letter dated May 2 in which they wrote: “While not perfect, the Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013 (S. 744) represents a good-faith, bipartisan effort that largely upholds our principles. We encourage members of both parties and in both chambers to work together over the coming months to shape meaningful legislation.”
 
To access the list and the letter, click here.
 
Becoming a Prayer Partner with EIT will allow partners to receive weekly prayer emails or text messages from EIT. There is also a Prayer Guide to download for individuals or groups. Among other Scriptures, the guide cites Old Testament references in Genesis, Leviticus, Jeremiah and Malachi. New Testament verses come from the Books of Matthew, Hebrews and Revelation.
 
The guide asks people to pray for God “to give Christians a vision of all people of every nation worshipping God in Heaven” and “to help Christians see immigrants as people for whom Jesus died and an opportunity to help more people enter the Kingdom of Heaven, rather than as a burden.”
 
To access the Prayer Guide, click here and to sign up to become a Prayer Partner, click here.
 

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