Evangelical Leaders, Local Pastors Highlight New Film Exploring Biblical Response To Immigration
**For a recording of today’s call click here.**
CHICAGO, JUNE 3, 2014 — Local and national evangelical leaders joined a press call today in advance of Wednesday’s world premiere of The Stranger.
The documentary film, a project of the Evangelical Immigration Table, looks at immigration from a biblical perspective and highlights the stories of three families caught in our broken immigration system. These stories underscore the immense human costs our current system exacts on our churches, families and communities.
The premiere event Wednesday will include a screening and panel discussion with national and local evangelical leaders. Throughout the month, it will screen at local churches, theaters and community centers across the country — already, more than 500 screenings are scheduled in more than 30 states.
A trailer is available at the film’s website, http://www.thestrangerfilm.org.
The following are quotes from leaders on today’s press call:
Paco Amador, Pastor, New Life Community Church, Little Village, Chicago:
“The Stranger describes the kind of immigration reform that we as evangelicals believe our nation needs. This is not an obscure issue being talked about in semi-empty halls of government buildings. It is a daily conversation at kitchen tables, classrooms, boardrooms, factories, parks and social venues throughout the land, with direct impact for countless individuals, families and entire communities.
“The kind of immigration reform we are seeking has the power to influence the destiny of our country for generations to come by providing real hope and opportunities for every hardworking and responsible person within our borders. This film paints our message in human strokes.”
Galen Carey, Vice President of Government Relations, National Association of Evangelicals:
“The Stranger tells the stories of immigrant families, showing that they are people just like us, with hopes and dreams — and the added challenge of having to navigate our broken immigration system. It is heartbreaking that children worry about their parents being taken away, and devastating to know that these nightmares have too often become a tragic reality for innocent children. Evangelicals are responding with compassion and with the conviction that there must be a better way.”
Noel Castellanos, CEO, Christian Community Development Association, Chicago:
“The new documentary The Stranger is another important effort to educate and mobilize a growing movement of evangelicals across a wide spectrum that have joined our effort to reform our broken immigration system.”
Filmmaker Linda Midgett, Owner/Executive Producer, Midgett Productions:
“It was an honor to be asked to produce The Stranger by the Evangelical Immigration Table. It’s not often that I am able to use my skills as a filmmaker to address such an important issue. I went into this project not sure what I thought personally about our immigration system. After doing the research, interviewing experts and, most important, hearing the stories of families who are being torn apart, I am convinced that it’s imperative we reform our laws now. I pray evangelicals rally around this film and create change that will help our nation and show the love of Christ to all.”
Rev. Gabriel Salguero, President, National Latino Evangelical Coalition; Pastor, The Lamb’s Church, New York City:
“The power of The Stranger film is that it brings to the screen the pain and suffering caused by a broken immigration system. Evangelicals continue to urge Congress to act this year to bring a humane resolution to hurting families.”
Pastor Derrick Smith, Kaleidoscope Multi-Ethnic Fellowship, Spartanburg, S.C. (featured in the film):
“This film is important because American Christians ought to view immigration reform more as loving Christians and less as offended Americans. The Bible is clear that Christians are to welcome the stranger.”
Information about the world premiere:
World premiere of The Stranger, followed by a panel discussion with national and local evangelical leaders
Paco Amador, Pastor, New Life Community Church, Little Village, Chicago
Leith Anderson, President, National Association of Evangelicals
Noel Castellanos, CEO, Christian Community Development Association, Chicago
Peter Hong, Lead Pastor, New Community Covenant Church, Chicago
Mike Rolfes, Director, Renew Chicago
Lilian Samaan, Executive Director, World Relief Chicago
Matthew Soerens, Field Director, Evangelical Immigration Table; U.S. Church Training Specialist, World Relief
Jim Wallis, President, Sojourners
Jenny Yang, Vice President of Advocacy and Policy, World Relief
7 p.m. CDT Wednesday, June 4
Park Community Church
1001 N. Crosby Street