PRESS RELEASE: Evangelical Leaders Announce Nationwide Week of Events for Immigration Reform
*To listen to a recording of the press call, please click here.*
WASHINGTON, D.C., OCTOBER 9, 2013 — Evangelical Christians across the country are planning more than 300 events and gatherings in 40 states next week to pray for immigration reform.
The effort, “Pray4Reform: Gathered Together in Jesus’ Name,” was the subject of a press call today on which local and national evangelical leaders announced the Oct. 12-20 events and spoke about the urgency for reform.
With immigration reform on deck for Congress, this week of prayer continues the Evangelical Immigration Table’s ongoing Pray for Reform campaign, which has attracted more than 175,000 people to sign on as prayer partners. Next week’s events will focus on praying for immigrants, for lawmakers and for action on immigration reform that reflects biblical values, including family unity and the God-given dignity of every person.
The following quotes can be attributed to participants on today’s call:
Noel Castellanos, CEO, Christian Community Development Association:
“Jesus teaches his disciples to pray with shameless persistence in pursuit of his justice. Today, Christians across our nation are doing just that on behalf of our immigrant brothers and sisters. We are crying out to God to move in the hearts of our lawmakers to fix our broken immigration system.”
Rev. Steve Dozeman, Associate Pastor, Calvary Christian Reformed Church, Holland, Mich.:
“It can be easy to look the other way on immigration reform, but as a Jesus-follower it is impossible. His call to look after the least of these, the oppressed, those experiencing injustice is crystal clear. Any power or privilege I have been given is a gift to be used to bless and serve the least of these … As a pastor, any time you have the opportunity to speak biblical truth about the stranger and about Christian hospitality and compassion, we are absolutely called to do that, and we’re certainly doing that here in our church in the west Michigan area.”
Dr. John Jackson, President, William Jessup University, Sacramento, Calif.:
“As the President of an evangelical university, I am for immigration reform that is just, merciful and compassionate. I am praying for our legislators that they will establish a ‘new Ellis Island’ that, coupled with safe and secure national borders, will again declare that the United States is the ‘land of the free and the home of the brave’ as a nation under God. Immigration laws that reflect the just and compassionate heart of God is my prayer.”
Tim Moore, Pastor, Walk Worthy Baptist Church, Austin, Texas:
“We are doing everything in our power in Texas to bow our heads and bend our knees, that our leaders of our nation will find the time and will find the heart to come together on this critical issue of our day … I pray that our time is now. We’re in this together, and it is time for the nation to come together on serious, rigorous immigration reform.”
Pasqual Urrabazo, Associate Pastor, International Church of Las Vegas:
“As a third-generation Hispanic American, I’ve grown up in the communities of North Las Vegas and have lived among the family fragmentation caused by our present immigration system. People are continually drawn to this nation, even at risk of separation from their loved ones. Decades of the present immigration policy have led to an entire population living essentially ‘underground’ for fear of this family separation. This situation is not what this nation was built for — we were built to be a nation of families, not one that separates them.”
Dave Workman, Pastor, Vineyard Cincinnati:
“The system that [immigrants are] stuck in is just a really, really broken system. These are people who really want to work, really want to contribute to our city, and are stuck in the littlest ways, [which] has created all sorts of turmoil in their lives and really difficult situations in their families … The idea of beginning to pray for our leaders and just to get some sort of movement of reform in our immigration policy — that just seems like a smart and wise thing to do. I know it’s a complex problem, but I know there are solutions here that will satisfy [both ends] of the spectrum in terms of politics.
Jenny Yang, Vice President of Advocacy and Policy, World Relief:
“Despite the many challenges facing our nation, including the shutdown, the moral urgency of immigration remains. Every day that immigration reform is delayed is a day of justice deferred for the millions of immigrants in our country. We believe Congress can and should work together on immigration reform, which has significant economic and social ramifications for our country, by the end of the year. In doing so, they will restore the confidence of the American people that they are placing people over politics, with thousands of evangelicals praying for them in the process.”
Join the conversation on Twitter using #Pray4Reform.
The Evangelical Immigration Table is a broad coalition of evangelical organizations and leaders advocating for immigration reform consistent with biblical values.