PRESS RELEASE: Evangelical Leaders Amplify Call For Bipartisan Immigration Reform With Radio Ads in Key States

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PRESS RELEASE: Evangelical Leaders Amplify Call For Bipartisan Immigration Reform With Radio Ads in Key States

WASHINGTON, D.C., APRIL 3, 2013 — With members of Congress home for their Easter recess, leaders from the Evangelical Immigration Table announced today a new round of immigration ad buys on Christian radio in four key states: Colorado, Florida, North Carolina and Texas. The ads are playing statewide at saturation levels.

The ad campaign further increases the Evangelical Immigration Table’s support for Congress to produce a new, bipartisan immigration process this spring. It also presages the April 17 Day of Prayer and Action in Washington, during which evangelicals will meet with legislators to demand action, as well as continue the biblically inspired reflection on immigration exemplified by the “I Was a Stranger” immigration prayer challenge.

The buy follows a successful ad campaign on Christian radio stations in South Carolina that led into the recess. Last week, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., met with evangelical leaders in South Carolina, including the speaker in the ad, to discuss immigration.

The following quotes are from the speakers on today’s call.

Dr. Richard Land, President, Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, Southern Baptist Convention:
“Evangelical Christians who listen to Christian radio tend to be well educated in the scriptures and politically engaged. Reaching them with this message about God’s heart for immigrants and the importance of immigration solutions rooted in biblical values will be absolutely crucial for building the political will we need to pass meaningful reforms in 2013. Our political leaders need to hear from our constituents and from their constituents and know that evangelical Christians are strongly behind them if they have the moral courage to act on the values we see in Matthew 25 and other places in the scripture concerning welcoming the stranger.”

Rev. Dr. David Uth, Senior Pastor, First Baptist Orlando:
“There’s a consistent message throughout scripture, and it’s a command to welcome and to treat fairly all people, but especially the stranger and the foreigner in your land. … When we fail to welcome the stranger, in essence we fail to welcome Christ. And so Christians in our church, when they learn about God’s heart for the immigrant and what the Bible has to say, their hearts are open because we are a people of faith and it is our desire to live out that faith in our world. Coupled with that, when they meet these immigrants, when they have personal encounters, all of a sudden this issue has a face, it has a story. And it’s in that meeting that transformation happens and has happened here for us. … We know that the time is now for this discussion.”

Rev. Dr. David Fleming, Senior Pastor, Champion Forest Baptist Church, Houston:
“We’re beginning now to see [immigrants as] ‘us’: We live together, we work together, we serve together, we’re all in this together, and the notion of welcoming the outsider and the stranger and inviting them in has been key to that. We see the immigrant as a person created in the image of God. They’re husbands and wives, they’re parents, they’re children. Oftentimes our broken immigration system causes great suffering in the homes and in the families and in people’s lives. … I believe and my experience has been here in Texas that conservative Christians and evangelicals are rising to support a biblical approach to this very complex issue.”

Rev. Nick Lillo, Lead Pastor, WaterStone Community Church, Denver:
“The Bible doesn’t give us a piece of legislation to govern our immigration system, but it does give us a framework and an approach on how we can think as Christians in a way that’s faithful and biblical. … I really didn’t understand the injustice of our immigration system or how convoluted of a process and unfair of a process it is, but when you start talking to people who are even in the midst of that, it just angers you, because it’s not treating them fairly or justly. … As evangelical Christians, we have to ask ourselves whether or not the way we think and feel and act toward immigrants as individuals, as a community, and as a country really reflects the way we think that Jesus himself should be treated. And we need to ask our elected officials to ask themselves the same questions.”

Noel Castellanos, CEO, Christian Community Development Association:
“It is impossible to read the scriptures and not to conclude that how we treat the stranger and the vulnerable among us is very closely connected to the authenticity of our Christian faith … The focus of our effort as evangelical leaders goes way beyond politics. It’s about changing hearts around the nation, including changing the hearts of our legislators. … We’re a growing movement of evangelical Christians who are committed to supporting Congress and exerting pressure on our elected officials to make sure that commonsense, just immigration reform is a reality this year.”

**To listen to a recording of today’s call, visit http://tinyurl.com/Evangelical0402.
To listen to the ads, visit https://soundcloud.com/eit_1.**

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