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Category Archive for: "Statements and Press Releases"

ICYMI: Press Highlight Historic Evangelical Immigration Ad Campaign Nationwide

WASHINGTON, D.C., AUGUST 27, 2013 — Continuing the burgeoning momentum for broad immigration reform, voices of local and national evangelical leaders are resonating on the radio across 14 states, encouraging prayer and action on commonsense reform. The Evangelical Immigration Table’s largest ad buy to date launched last week, continues this week and has been capturing local and national headlines.

The multi-week ads are airing at saturation levels. This more than $400,000 effort puts cumulative media buys in the every region of the country at nearly a million dollars. The ads are the latest effort in the Evangelical Immigration Table’s “Pray for Reform” campaign, during which grassroots support is coming from more than 60,000 people who have signed up as prayer partners.

Local pastors and national leaders spoke about their ads and other efforts on a press call Tuesday. A recording of the call is available here, and the ads are posted here — including five new pastors who have recorded ads since Tuesday’s launch.

The following are just a sample of the top stories from the past week:

National

Associated Press: Coalition of Evangelicals launches ad campaign in key congressional districts
A coalition of Evangelical groups, including the Southern Baptist Convention, hopes to give an earful to key congressional lawmakers about immigration reform …
The ads will feature local pastors and national voices encouraging passage of immigration reform without delay.

Story published in Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin and Washington, D.C.

Associated Press: Voices Opposing Immigration Law Muted This August
“The big story I think of the August recess is that we haven’t seen what some had predicted, this major anti-immigrant movement where members of Congress would be heckled into inaction,” Galen Carey, vice president of government relations at the National Association of Evangelicals, said on a media call this week to announce a $400,000, 14-state radio ad campaign in support of immigration reform. “We’ve seen very much that that has been a muted voice, but actually the pro-immigrant voice has been rather prominent at many of the town halls that we have observed.”
Story published in Arizona, California, Connecticut, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin.

Washington Post: Evangelical pastors step up pro-immigration campaign
The campaign builds on work the coalition has done over the past six months, during which members have held dozens of meetings with congressional offices. The coalition also had aired a previous round of immigration ads in five states during Congress’s spring recess.

NBC Latino: “I could be the voice of those who are voiceless” – religious leaders advocate immigration reform
Several religious organizations are stepping up their support for immigration reform as legislators debate the issue around the country.
Today, the national Evangelical Immigration Table launched the latest in its “Pray for Reform” campaign — a Christian and talk radio ad campaign which will air locally in 14 states, including Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Missouri, Oklahoma, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas and Wisconsi
n.

USA Today: Evangelical group to back immigration reform
A coalition of evangelical Christians will spend more than $400,000 on radio ads urging members of Congress to support immigration reform that includes a path to citizenship for most of the 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the United States.
Story published in Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Montana, Nevada, North Carolina and Ohio.

Illinois

Chicago Sun-Times: Evangelicals take to Illinois airwaves to promote immigration reform
The ad also asks for support of reforms that establish a path toward citizenship, protect family unity and the rule of law, guarantee secure borders and ensure fairness to taxpayers.

Oklahoma

The Oklahoman: A ‘voice for the voiceless’: Oklahoma City pastor pushes for immigration reform in radio ad campaign
“I could be a voice for the voiceless in my church,” Cabrera said of his motivation to participate in the ad campaign.
“I’m not doing this because I’m Hispanic. I’m doing this because I’m a Christian.”

South Carolina

Gannett (S.C.): Evangelicals target Upstate congressional districts with immigration ads
Those involved in the Evangelical Immigration Table said their work represents the grassroots of their congregations, not just church leaders.
“This is not top-down at all. I feel like I’m being brought along by members of my congregation,” said Mike McClenahan, pastor at a Presbyterian church in Solana Beach, Calif.

Story published in South Carolina in Greenville, Hilton Head & Beaufort, Myrtle Beach and Columbia. Also ran in New York, Ohio and Wisconsin.

Texas:

Houston Chronicle: Evangelicals launch radio blitz to sway GOP Texans on immigration reform
Evangelical Immigration Table, meanwhile, have signed up 60,000 people for a grassroots effort called “Pray for Reform,” designed to reach out the wavering or uncommitted lawmakers on immigration reform.
Also ran in the San Antonio Express-News.

PRESS RELEASE: The Evangelical Immigration Table’s Historic Radio Ad Buy

To listen to a recording of today’s call, click here.
To listen to the ads, visit https://soundcloud.com/eit_1/.

WASHINGTON, D.C., AUGUST 20, 2013 — As momentum for broad, commonsense immigration reform continues to build, the Evangelical Immigration Table announced today the launch of its largest radio ad buy to date. With Congress home for the August recess, local evangelical pastors and national evangelical leaders are encouraging their fellow Christians to pray and take action for broad immigration reform. On a press call today, national and local evangelical leaders discussed the more than $400,000 effort, which puts cumulative media buys in the every region of the country at nearly a million dollars.

The multi-week ads, airing at saturation rates locally in key cities across 14 states, are the latest effort in the Evangelical Immigration Table’s “Pray for Reform” campaign, during which grassroots support is coming from more than 60,000 people who have signed up as prayer partners.

 

Ads are airing locally in Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Missouri, Oklahoma, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas and Wisconsin. Members of Congress in these states will return to Washington knowing that they have support at home for immigration solutions that ensure secure borders, keep families together and include an earned pathway to citizenship.

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

Barrett Duke, Vice President for Public Policy and Research, Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission:
“The rule of law and love of neighbor are both necessary values for any civilized people. They don’t have to be competing values. I am praying for our members of Congress as they engage in the nation-defining work of developing immigration solutions that temper justice with compassion.”

Felix Cabrera, Hispanic Pastor, Quail Springs Baptist Church, Oklahoma City:
“I decided to record the radio ad because I feel that through the ad, I could be the voice for those who are voiceless in my congregation. As a Hispanic pastor in the United States, I have to deal with the collateral damages that immigration brings to Hispanic families. There are many who are unjustly detained and deported. Many are separated from their families, leaving behind U.S.-born children without their parents.

“The Bible doesn’t call me to judge the reasons why immigrants arrive to this country. The Bible calls me to love them and welcome them. It calls me to treat them justly. That should be the response of all of us who call ourselves Christians. Immigration reform is urgent — our 11 million brothers and sisters living in the shadows should be able to live here safely and in peace, knowing they’re a part of this nation. Many of them have come here to do good, to work and make the United States a better place. They and their children deserve and need immigration reform.”

Galen Carey, Vice President of Government Relations, National Association of Evangelicals:
“Millions of evangelicals look to Christian radio for news and perspective on social, moral and spiritual issues. Hearing local evangelical leaders present a biblically informed call for a just, compassionate and effective immigration system will unleash a new wave of support for reform. We pray that these radio messages amplify the evangelical witness to God’s love and care for the immigrants whom He has brought to our shores.”

Dr. Stan Coffey, Senior Pastor, The Church at Quail Creek, Amarillo, Texas:
“All of us know that Texas is a border state. We have many, many immigrants in our state, and I think it’s so important for Christians and evangelicals to let our voices be heard on immigration reform. As a minister to the immigrant community I’ve found them to be people who are a family, people who are hard-working, people who make a positive contribution to our community and to our state. And that’s why I’d like to see immigration reform for our nation … I believe that’s what Jesus would have done if he were here. He would have been compassionate.”

Dr. Bob Lowman, Executive Director, Metrolina Baptist Association, Charlotte, N.C.:
“I serve in Charlotte, and the immigrant communities in our metropolitan area are growing to a size that cannot be ignored and must not be neglected. I often talk about the nations that live in our neighborhoods and how we must be actively engaged in building relationships and serving these neighbors in ways that will bless them and their families. We have prayed for years that we would be able to reach the ends of the earth with the love and hope of Christ, and now the ends of the earth have moved to the city where we live. … The more I work and the more I see our local churches and leaders, especially our churches that are actively engaging the immigrant community, the more that awareness and that need come to the front.”

Mike McClenahan, Pastor, Solana Beach Presbyterian Church, Solana Beach, Calif.:
“I never thought I’d be advocating for immigration reform, but I lead a church deeply invested in relationships with our Hispanic neighbors through worshiping and serving together, house-building across the border, tutoring children and encouraging first-generation college students. I urge our elected representatives to say yes to immigration reform that respects the rule of law, maintains family unity and secures our borders. For me, this is not hypothetical but very personal: Children living in fear are not “their children” but “our children.” I believe lasting and comprehensive immigration reform grounded in biblical values will give children and adults the opportunity to move out of the fearful shadows, eventually earn citizenship and contribute to our society with their God-given potential.

“The reason I did the radio ad was because of the urging of my members who have spent the last year or so talking together … our people have a growing awareness and their minds are being changed as they’re engaging in scripture and having honest conversations … I feel that I’m being brought along by members of my congregation.”

###

PRESS RELEASE: The Evangelical Immigration Table’s Historic Radio Ad Buy

To listen to a recording of today’s call, click here.
To listen to the ads, visit https://soundcloud.com/eit_1/.

WASHINGTON, D.C., AUGUST 20, 2013 — As momentum for broad, commonsense immigration reform continues to build, the Evangelical Immigration Table announced today the launch of its largest radio ad buy to date. With Congress home for the August recess, local evangelical pastors and national evangelical leaders are encouraging their fellow Christians to pray and take action for broad immigration reform. On a press call today, national and local evangelical leaders discussed the more than $400,000 effort, which puts cumulative media buys in the every region of the country at nearly a million dollars.

The multi-week ads, airing at saturation rates locally in key cities across 14 states, are the latest effort in the Evangelical Immigration Table’s “Pray for Reform” campaign, during which grassroots support is coming from more than 60,000 people who have signed up as prayer partners.

Ads are airing locally in Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Missouri, Oklahoma, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas and Wisconsin. Members of Congress in these states will return to Washington knowing that they have support at home for immigration solutions that ensure secure borders, keep families together and include an earned pathway to citizenship.

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

Barrett Duke, Vice President for Public Policy and Research, Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission:
“The rule of law and love of neighbor are both necessary values for any civilized people. They don’t have to be competing values. I am praying for our members of Congress as they engage in the nation-defining work of developing immigration solutions that temper justice with compassion.”

Felix Cabrera, Hispanic Pastor, Quail Springs Baptist Church, Oklahoma City:
“I decided to record the radio ad because I feel that through the ad, I could be the voice for those who are voiceless in my congregation. As a Hispanic pastor in the United States, I have to deal with the collateral damages that immigration brings to Hispanic families. There are many who are unjustly detained and deported. Many are separated from their families, leaving behind U.S.-born children without their parents.

“The Bible doesn’t call me to judge the reasons why immigrants arrive to this country. The Bible calls me to love them and welcome them. It calls me to treat them justly. That should be the response of all of us who call ourselves Christians. Immigration reform is urgent — our 11 million brothers and sisters living in the shadows should be able to live here safely and in peace, knowing they’re a part of this nation. Many of them have come here to do good, to work and make the United States a better place. They and their children deserve and need immigration reform.”

Galen Carey, Vice President of Government Relations, National Association of Evangelicals:
“Millions of evangelicals look to Christian radio for news and perspective on social, moral and spiritual issues. Hearing local evangelical leaders present a biblically informed call for a just, compassionate and effective immigration system will unleash a new wave of support for reform. We pray that these radio messages amplify the evangelical witness to God’s love and care for the immigrants whom He has brought to our shores.”

Dr. Stan Coffey, Senior Pastor, The Church at Quail Creek, Amarillo, Texas:
“All of us know that Texas is a border state. We have many, many immigrants in our state, and I think it’s so important for Christians and evangelicals to let our voices be heard on immigration reform. As a minister to the immigrant community I’ve found them to be people who are a family, people who are hard-working, people who make a positive contribution to our community and to our state. And that’s why I’d like to see immigration reform for our nation … I believe that’s what Jesus would have done if he were here. He would have been compassionate.”

Dr. Bob Lowman, Executive Director, Metrolina Baptist Association, Charlotte, N.C.:
“I serve in Charlotte, and the immigrant communities in our metropolitan area are growing to a size that cannot be ignored and must not be neglected. I often talk about the nations that live in our neighborhoods and how we must be actively engaged in building relationships and serving these neighbors in ways that will bless them and their families. We have prayed for years that we would be able to reach the ends of the earth with the love and hope of Christ, and now the ends of the earth have moved to the city where we live. … The more I work and the more I see our local churches and leaders, especially our churches that are actively engaging the immigrant community, the more that awareness and that need come to the front.”

Mike McClenahan, Pastor, Solana Beach Presbyterian Church, Solana Beach, Calif.:
“I never thought I’d be advocating for immigration reform, but I lead a church deeply invested in relationships with our Hispanic neighbors through worshiping and serving together, house-building across the border, tutoring children and encouraging first-generation college students. I urge our elected representatives to say yes to immigration reform that respects the rule of law, maintains family unity and secures our borders. For me, this is not hypothetical but very personal: Children living in fear are not “their children” but “our children.” I believe lasting and comprehensive immigration reform grounded in biblical values will give children and adults the opportunity to move out of the fearful shadows, eventually earn citizenship and contribute to our society with their God-given potential.

“The reason I did the radio ad was because of the urging of my members who have spent the last year or so talking together … our people have a growing awareness and their minds are being changed as they’re engaging in scripture and having honest conversations … I feel that I’m being brought along by members of my congregation.”

###

Evangelical Support Broadens as Momentum for Immigration Reform Builds

WASHINGTON, D.C., JULY 29, 2013 — Results from a new CBS News poll indicate broad support for immigration reform, including widening support among evangelicals across the country. Among the 1,036 respondents, 75 percent of evangelicals expressed support for broad reform that includes the opportunity for aspiring Americans to earn citizenship — alongside border security and other important elements.

The findings capped a week during which more than 300 evangelicals and evangelical leaders from 27 states came to Washington for a Day of Prayer and Action to urge congressional leaders to follow through on broad immigration reform without delay. The Wednesday event, part of the Evangelical Immigration Table’s “Pray for Reform” campaign, made #pray4reform a trending topic in the nation’s capital. (See photos from the Day of Prayer and Action.)

Participants spoke with more than 110 congressional offices, most of them Republican, about the urgency for broad reform. It is the same message evangelical leaders around the country made in a series of op-eds that appeared last week. Mathew Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel, made the evangelical case for reform in a July 22 Washington Times op-ed. He was joined by National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference President Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, Thursday in Politico.

Local voices chimed in as well: Regent University President Dr. Carlos Campo made the case in Wednesday’s Virginian-Pilot, and Revs. Jim Goodroe and Anthony Casey wrote in support of reform in the Greenville (S.C.) News — in House Immigration Subcommittee Chairman Trey Gowdy’s district.

“We’re here today as a group of believers in Jesus Christ to let our elected officials know we are praying for them,” Dr. Russell Moore, President of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, said at Wednesday’s Day of Prayer and Action. “We have recognized that immigration reform is not just a political issue, it’s a personal issue, and we’re praying for justice and compassion, wisdom and mercy. We are speaking to the consciences of our lawmakers.”

For additional quotes from evangelical leaders who spoke at Wednesday’s event, please click here. Video of the day’s worship service is available here.

Evangelical Support Broadens as Momentum for Immigration Reform Builds

WASHINGTON, D.C., JULY 29, 2013 — Results from a new CBS News poll indicate broad support for immigration reform, including widening support among evangelicals across the country. Among the 1,036 respondents, 75 percent of evangelicals expressed support for broad reform that includes the opportunity for aspiring Americans to earn citizenship — alongside border security and other important elements.

The findings capped a week during which more than 300 evangelicals and evangelical leaders from 27 states came to Washington for a Day of Prayer and Action to urge congressional leaders to follow through on broad immigration reform without delay. The Wednesday event, part of the Evangelical Immigration Table’s “Pray for Reform” campaign, made #pray4reform a trending topic in the nation’s capital. (See photos from the Day of Prayer and Action.)

Participants spoke with more than 110 congressional offices, most of them Republican, about the urgency for broad reform. It is the same message evangelical leaders around the country made in a series of op-eds that appeared last week. Mathew Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel, made the evangelical case for reform in a July 22 Washington Times op-ed. He was joined by National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference President Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, Thursday in Politico.

Local voices chimed in as well: Regent University President Dr. Carlos Campo made the case in Wednesday’s Virginian-Pilot, and Revs. Jim Goodroe and Anthony Casey wrote in support of reform in the Greenville (S.C.) News — in House Immigration Subcommittee Chairman Trey Gowdy’s district.

“We’re here today as a group of believers in Jesus Christ to let our elected officials know we are praying for them,” Dr. Russell Moore, President of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, said at Wednesday’s Day of Prayer and Action. “We have recognized that immigration reform is not just a political issue, it’s a personal issue, and we’re praying for justice and compassion, wisdom and mercy. We are speaking to the consciences of our lawmakers.”

For additional quotes from evangelical leaders who spoke at Wednesday’s event, please click here. Video of the day’s worship service is available here.

Over 300 Evangelical Leaders Meet with House Republicans on Immigration Reform

Evangelical Delegations from 27 States Pray, Urge Action

WASHINGTON, D.C., JULY 24, 2013 — Today, on the eve of a critical August recess for immigration reform, over 300 evangelical leaders from across the nation made the pilgrimage to Capitol Hill to pray and urge congressional leaders in both parties to come to agreement and pass immigration reform that respects the rule of law, keeps families together and is compassionate.

The morning kicked off with a press conference on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol and continued with a worship service at a Capitol Hill church. Evangelical leaders have now fanned out across House office buildings, where they are holding more than 90 meetings with their representatives and with House leaders, including many key Republicans.

Evangelical participants represented states and met with congressional delegations from 27 states: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, California, the District of Columbia, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and Washington.

The Day of Prayer and Action comes in the midst of the Evangelical Immigration Table’s Pray for Reform campaign, an effort that has included letters to Congress and a Week of Prayer, billboard and radio advertisements in key states and congressional districts and nearly 30,000 new Pray for Reform partners across the country.

The following quotes can be attributed to speakers at the Pray for Reform Day of Prayer and Action.

Dr. Carlos Campo, President, Regent University; Board Member, National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference:
“Reform is often in the eye of the beholder, but more and more evangelicals—and more and more Americans—agree that we are facing a moral imperative to transform our broken immigration system. This need transcends race, political party and even faith. Our country will be stronger with a system that strategically addresses our immigration problem, and reflects the compassion that has defined our nation.”

Noel Castellanos, CEO, Christian Community Development Association:
“We can all agree that our current immigration system is not working. Therefore we must choose to take action. In a time of political division, it is encouraging to see support from both parties and, more important, from a vast majority of Americans. I pray that lawmakers will share our urgency and quickly move ahead with broad reform.”

Dr. David Crosby, Senior Pastor, First Baptist Church New Orleans:
“The most victimized and vulnerable people in my community are the undocumented workers. They are assaulted, robbed, raped and shot with impunity. Common decency requires us to address their plight with haste and humanity.”

Andy Crouch, Executive Editor, Christianity Today:
“There aren’t many changes more dramatic in American evangelicalism than the way its leaders have embraced the indispensable justice of immigration reform. Evangelical Christians are involved in countless forms of service in cities and towns where they directly experience the dignity and the needs of both documented and undocumented immigrants. Their churches and institutions have been enriched by generations of immigrants from every part of the world. They have seen how directly Scripture addresses the responsibility of nations to welcome and protect the most vulnerable: widows, orphans, and ‘strangers.’ A just and humane system for recognizing and welcoming immigrants is a biblical non-negotiable for any nation that wants to reflect the heart of God.”

Rev. Wendell Griffen, Pastor, New Millennium Baptist Church, Little Rock, Ark.:
“Immigration reform is justice for all. It builds a lawful and predictable system of immigration, assures border security and reorders justice with business solutions, law enforcement solutions and family solutions. Bipartisan cooperation is already at work; many workable solutions are available. Scripture reminds us that ‘to everything there is a season.’ The time to reform immigration is now.”

Rev. Dr. Brenda Salter McNeil, Reconciliation Leader, Author, Professor & Teaching Pastor at Quest Church, Seattle:
“We have a mission to perform, and we are united. This is going to require us to step out with faith for the solutions to a broken system that ruins lives. The world that God created intends for every family to flourish.”

 

Dr. Russell Moore, President, Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention:
“We’re here today as a group of believers in Jesus Christ to let our elected officials know we are praying for them. We have recognized that immigration reform is not just a political issue, it’s a personal issue, and we’re praying for justice and compassion, wisdom and mercy. We are speaking to the consciences of our lawmakers.”

Rev. Gabriel Salguero, President, National Latino Evangelical Coalition:
“We have not lost hope that we can find a way to get to commonsense bipartisan immigration reform legislation. Evangelicals believe that we can both respect the rule of law while finding ways to integrate men, women and children who want to contribute to our great nation.”

Jim Wallis, President and CEO, Sojourners:
“Now that immigration has moved out of the Senate, it’s time for members of Congress, especially those who consider themselves people of faith, to put their faith in to action by supporting common sense immigration reform that reflects our values as a nation.  There is a way forward on immigration that respects the God-given dignity of every person, keeps families together while also securing national borders.  While no solution will be perfect, any solution to help bring 11 million people out of the shadows will require leaders with the moral courage to do what is both right and seeks to serve the common good.”

 

Jenny Yang, Vice President of Advocacy and Policy, World Relief:
“The evangelical community continues to build momentum and urges the House of Representatives to pass immigration reform consistent with Biblical principles of compassion, justice and the rule of law. There is a moral cost to inaction and we urge members to act quickly and in good faith to move our country forward in the right direction.”

The Evangelical Immigration Table Focuses in on the House Debate

**For a recording of the call, please visit: http://tinyurl.com/EIT-House**

WASHINGTON, D.C., JULY 9, 2013 — Ahead of the key House GOP conference on immigration being held tomorrow, national and local evangelical leaders came together to unveil a trio of actions they’re taking to support members who stand up for immigration reform. Now more than ever, these influential leaders are calling on their legislators to pass commonsense immigration reform that is compassionate and just.

On the call, speakers highlighted their most recent Pray for Reform campaign effort — a full page-ad in Politico that ran earlier this morning thanking each senator that voted for reform and letting House members know that they remain in evangelicals’ prayers.

In addition to the ad, the speakers discussed a series of letters that went from Evangelical Immigration Table leaders to House members ahead of tomorrow’s meeting. The leaders also spoke about the upcoming Pray for Reform Day of Prayer and Action in Washington, which will help bring the Pray for Reform campaign to a close. On July 24th, hundreds of evangelicals are expected to come to Washington, D.C. where they will meet for a day of worship and meetings with influential House legislators, urging them to pass immigration reform that adheres to biblical principles before the August recess. Pray for Reform began in May and comprises of tens of thousands of evangelicals across the country.

The following quotes can be attributed to speakers who were on the call.

Noel Castellanos, CEO of the Christian Community Development Association:
“We want to reiterate our thanks to the Senate for passing their version of an immigration bill and now we call on the House to do the same. That’s what we expect to see happen for the sake of our country and also for the sake of the 11 million immigrants in a very vulnerable position.”

Mathew Staver, Chairman of the Liberty Counsel:
“This summer, Congress must follow through with broad immigration reform that simultaneously keeps our borders secure, respects the rule of law and provides a way out of the shadows for our neighbors who dream of becoming American citizens. Each day that passes is a missed opportunity to replace our broken system with a process that adheres to biblical values. The House must move forward, and it must not create a permanent second class that comprises millions of people. We seek neither amnesty nor any special treatment, but rather a tough but achievable process through which aspiring Americans can one day contribute fully to our country as citizens.”

David Cooper, President and Head of School, Front Range Christian School, Littleton, Colo.:
“Looking at immigration through a biblical lens has awakened us to the need for broad reform. We will support our Colorado representatives’ efforts to create a new immigration process that honors the Christian values of human dignity and family unity. Alongside hundreds of evangelicals from across the country, I am coming to Washington on July 24th to tell Congress in person that now is the time.”

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Evangelicals Finish Week of Prayer by Celebrating Senate Vote, Praying for House

WASHINGTON, D.C., JUNE 28, 2013 — Following a final 68-32 Senate vote in support of broad, bipartisan immigration reform, evangelical leaders concluded a week of daily prayer gatherings near the U.S. Capitol on Friday with praise for the Senate’s efforts and renewed prayers for broad immigration reform to move forward in the House of Representatives.

As part of the Pray for Reform campaign, groups gathered to pray for strong legislation that reflects the God-given dignity of every human being, protects family unity, respects the rule of law, keeps our borders secure and includes an achievable pathway to earned citizenship. A mobile billboard bearing the message “Praying for Immigrants. Praying for Congress” has been making its way around downtown Washington this week as well. (See photos of the gatherings and the mobile billboard.)

“This week of reflection and prayer was an important part of our ongoing efforts around immigration reform,” said Jenny Yang, Vice President of Advocacy and Policy at World Relief, which hosted Friday’s gathering. “Every morning we gathered to read through Scripture and pray for immigrants, members of Congress and staffers, and the church. We are encouraged that God is continuing to work in this country toward a more workable immigration system.”

“I am proud to be a part of the thousands of evangelicals who are praying for immigration reform,” added Rev. Gabriel Salguero, President of the National Latino Evangelical Coalition. “It is not only the moral thing to do, it is in the best interest of the future of our country. We pray that the House acts in the same bipartisan spirit as the Senate.”

Other participating Evangelical Immigration Table organizations included Bread for the World, the Christian Community Development Association, the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, the National Association of Evangelicals, the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference (NHCLC) and Sojourners.

The following are quotes from other participants in the Week of Prayer.

Galen Carey, Vice President of Government Relations, National Association of Evangelicals:
“Prayer is an integral part of evangelical advocacy. We align ourselves with God’s purposes and invite God’s gracious intervention and blessing on our leaders as they conclude work on an historic immigration reform bill. We thank God that our leaders are coming together in a bipartisan way to create new opportunities for immigrants to contribute to our nation.”

Barrett Duke, Vice President for Public Policy and Research, Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention:
“God cares about the affairs of humanity. How we treat the weakest and most vulnerable among us matters to Him. I cannot imagine trying to accomplish something as complex and profoundly important as immigration reform without God’s guidance and involvement. It is imperative that we call on Him and follow His lead as we work to accomplish His will on Earth. As we call on Him, we must also do our part. That is why I support immigration reform.”

Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, President, National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference:
“Prayer is more than a spiritual exercise. Prayer serves as the bridge between heaven and earth, our needs and God’s provision, and our will and His. Accordingly, as we pray for immigration reform this week, let us remember that the same God that touched Pharaoh’s heart,  as it pertains to how he dealt with Jewish immigrants, will likewise touch Congress.”

 

Rev. Tony Suarez, Virginia Chapter Director of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference and Senior Pastor, The Pentecostals of Norfolk:
“In the spirit of unity and in the name of righteousness and justice, we gathered to pray at Capitol Hill for comprehensive immigration reform. For the young person who has lived here since they were a young child yet cannot obtain a driver’s license, for the mother or father who crossed deserts and rivers just to give their child a better life, we interceded before the father today and made prophetic declarations that by the grace of God we will see immigration reform come to pass in 2013.”

Jim Wallis, President and CEO of Sojourners:
“While Congress continues to debate commonsense immigration reform, the biblical call to ‘welcome the stranger’ hasn’t changed. Evangelicals want an immigration system that reflects our biblical values. The legislation in the Senate isn’t perfect, but it represents real progress on an issue that Washington has ignored for too long. Today’s prayer gathering is just an example of the attention evangelical Christians across the country are paying to this issue. We pray that the spirit of bipartisanship that has driven this process in the Senate will also prevail in the House.”

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Evangelical Immigration Table Leaders Praise Senate’s Historic Vote

Support for Broad Reform to Continue as Debate Shifts to House

 

WASHINGTON, D.C., JUNE 27, 2013 — This afternoon, in a strongly bipartisan 68-32 vote, the U.S. Senate passed S.744, The Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act. This broad, commonsense bill is the first immigration reform bill to clear the U.S. Senate in decades.

The Evangelical Immigration Table has called for immigration reform that respects the God-given dignity of every person, protects the unity of the immediate family, respects the rule of law, guarantees secure national borders, ensures fairness to taxpayers, and establishes an earned pathway to citizenship for those who qualify and who wish to become permanent residents.

The vote took place amid the Table’s 92-day Pray for Reform campaign, and during a Week of Prayer in Washington that will conclude Friday with a 10 a.m. gathering near the Capitol.

Following today’s historic vote, Evangelical Immigration Table leaders praised the Senate’s courage and reaffirmed their commitment to broad, bipartisan immigration reform as the focus turns to the House of Representatives:

Leith Anderson, President, National Association of Evangelicals:
“We’ve prayed for bipartisan immigration legislation in the Senate. Now it’s time to pray for bipartisan immigration legislation in the House.”

 

Noel Castellanos, CEO, Christian Community Development Association:
“The passage today of an immigration bill in the Senate is an answer to prayer for Evangelicals, and for the men, women and children who will benefit from this action. We thank our Senate leaders for having the courage and resolve to pass a bill that will fix our broken immigration system. Today, all Americans can be proud that our political representatives have pulled together to strengthen the fabric of our great nation.”

Mark DeYmaz, Founding Pastor, Mosaic Church of Central Arkansas, Little Rock:
“Evangelicals across the country, and here in Arkansas, have been united in our support of comprehensive immigration reform, and in urging Washington to fix a broken immigration system. Thankfully our collective voice has been heard. For evangelicals, immigration reform isn’t about politics. It’s about following where Scripture leads in honoring Jesus’ call to love our neighbors and to care for the least among us — people often marginalized by society for one reason or another. Personally I’m thankful for the progress that we are witnessing and pray that Washington will continue to listen to the voices of faithful Americans, including millions of evangelicals, who are closely watching this debate. We will continue to encourage and expect comprehensive immigration reform from this Congress: indeed, the time is now.”

 

Robert Gittelson, President, Conservatives for Comprehensive Immigration Reform:
“For advocates of a solution to our nation’s immigration crisis, today’s victory was years in the making. For the faith community, and particularly for the members of the Evangelical Immigration Table, today’s vote was so much more; it was a serious step toward a moral and biblical solution, and we praise God for giving our Senators the wisdom, leadership and compassion to pass this important bill. We also recognize that much hard work remains, and passing this bill in the House will prove to be challenging. America is built on a foundation of justice and compassion; we pray that the House passes immigration legislation that reflects these values.”

Dr. Leonardo Guerrero, Pastor, Fuquay Varina Baptist Church, Fuquay Varina, NC:
“We give thanks to God for today’s victory in the Senate, which brings us one step closer to fixing our broken immigration system. Immigration reform will fulfill the dreams of millions of families and the promise of a nation. The hard work and especially the prayers of the faithful have lifted up the moral imperative before us and the biblical call to act on behalf of our immigrant brothers and sisters. We know a long road still lies ahead, but we are strongly encouraged and deeply committed to final passage of broad, commonsense immigration reform laden with evangelical values. Our nation, our families and our spirit simply cannot wait any longer.”

Dr. Russell Moore, President, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, Southern Baptist Convention:
“The Senate should be commended for accomplishing something we don’t often see: bipartisan cooperation across the ideological spectrum for the common good. Most of us can agree that our current immigration system is broken, and is neither just nor fair. While this legislation isn’t perfect, it’s clear that our leaders are working toward ‘both/and’ solutions, solutions that both secure our borders and demonstrate compassion for hardworking immigrant families. As Christians, we are called to affirm the rule of law and compassion for the vulnerable. Let’s pray for just such a solution to our immigration crisis.”

Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, President, National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference:
“We commend and applaud the Senate for passing immigration legislation, thus demonstrating that our elected officials stand capable of exhibiting prophetic courage by reconciling conviction with compassion. The immigration cause no longer resides in the Egypt of political apathy or the desert of inevitable deportation. Today, 11 million people stepped into the Jordan called reform. Just a few steps away lies a land of secure borders, families, communities and — above all — our most cherished values. Can the House of Representatives demonstrate similar courage? Can the House repudiate pathetic political expediency and engage in prophetic legislative deliberation? We call upon the members of the House to finish the work now started. At the end of the day, passing immigration reform is not  about advancing the agenda of the donkey or the elephant. Immigration reform is about living out the agenda of the lamb.”

Rev. Gabriel Salguero, President, National Latino Evangelical Coalition:
“As evangelicals we have prayed, marched and mobilized for a moral, just and humane response to our broken immigration system. Today’s vote in the Senate is a genuine sign that as Americans, when we work together, we can provide real solutions to our greatest challenges. While there is still much work to do, we pray that the House will work in the same spirit of bipartisanship to finally bring a resolution in line with the highest of our values. We stand at a defining moment where we must choose between inaction or courageous leadership. For me, the way forward is clear bipartisan immigration reform rooted in justice and morality.”

Wendy Tarr, Director, Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice of Orange County (CLUE OC):
“We celebrate the historic progress that was made today toward establishing immigration reform that provides for the economic needs of our country and maintains a path for legal status and citizenship for immigrants who are contributing members of our communities. We remain in earnest prayer, hope and faith for a final bill that protects the core principles that we have been upholding as people of faith. Our communities have waited long enough. Now is the time for members of the House to show leadership toward unifying our nation and bringing millions of people who have been part of us out of a second-class position.”

Jim Wallis, President and CEO, Sojourners:
“The principles contained in the bipartisan immigration reform bill that passed the Senate today are drawn from the heart of the Gospel welcoming ‘the stranger’ as Jesus commands, protecting families as Christians must do, respecting the rule of law as Christians are biblically asked to do, and fixing and healing a broken immigration system that has shattered the lives of 11 million people, whom the Bible tells us to defend and serve. The meaning of the Gospel in our times is at stake in this long overdue effort to repair our corrupt and cruel immigration system. And the promise of an earned path to citizenship is in the best tradition of American democracy and diversity. That is why so many Christians, other people of faith, and many people of conscience — most of whom also consider themselves American patriots — are coming together to pass this bill and bring this process to a positive final conclusion.”

 

 

Jenny Yang, Vice President of Advocacy and Policy, World Relief:
“We are encouraged that the Senate worked in a bipartisan fashion to craft an immigration bill that incorporates many of the principles World Relief has been supporting for years. We thank those senators who voted in favor of the bill. We believe the passage of this bill sends a strong message to the House that members of Congress are ready to tackle a tough issue, and we hope the House of Representatives will similarly work in a bipartisan fashion to pass immigration reform that strengthens border security, creates more flexible legal avenues for future immigrants and provides earned legalization for undocumented immigrants, many of whom have been suffering in the shadows of our society for far too long.”

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Evangelicals Pray for Reform as Senate Nears Final Immigration Vote

Southern Baptist Convention Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, National Association of Evangelicals Host Week of Prayer Gathering

WASHINGTON, D.C., JUNE 26, 2013 — With a final vote on broad, bipartisan immigration reform expected as soon as Thursday, the Evangelical Immigration Table’s Week of Prayer continued this morning with representatives from the Southern Baptist Convention Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission and the National Association of Evangelicals meeting near the Capitol to pray for reform.

 

The week’s third gathering (see photos) took place not long before a series of votes that keep reform moving toward final passage in the Senate.

“God cares about the affairs of humanity. How we treat the weakest and most vulnerable among us matters to Him,” said Barrett Duke, Vice President for Public Policy and Research at the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention. “I cannot imagine trying to accomplish something as complex and profoundly important as immigration reform without God’s guidance and involvement. It is imperative that we call on Him and follow His lead as we work to accomplish His will on Earth. As we call on Him, we must also do our part. That is why I support immigration reform and encourage everyone to contact their senators tomorrow and urge them to do the right thing.”

“Prayer is an integral part of evangelical advocacy,” said Galen Carey, Vice President of Government Relations at the National Association of Evangelicals. “We align ourselves with God’s purposes and invite God’s gracious intervention and blessing on our leaders as they conclude work on an historic immigration reform bill. We thank God that our leaders are coming together in a bipartisan way to create new opportunities for immigrants to contribute to our nation.”

The Week of Prayer is part of the Evangelical Immigration Table’s Pray for Reform campaign, which focuses on the passage of legislation that reflects the God-given dignity of every human being, protects family unity, respects the rule of law, keeps our borders secure and includes an achievable pathway to earned citizenship. A mobile billboard bearing the message “Praying for Immigrants. Praying for Congress” is starting each day at the prayer gathering, then making its way around downtown Washington.

The Christian Community Development Association will host the gathering at 10 a.m. Thursday. Evangelical Immigration Table organizations hosting gatherings this week also include World Relief, Sojourners and the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference.

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