Faith leaders ranging from evangelical to Jewish came together Wednesday to launch a nationwide mobilization of people of faith to call for immigration reform that does not tear families apart.
Already the “Together, Not Torn: Families Can’t Wait for Immigration Reform” campaign has collected over 100,000 pro-reform postcards that will be delivered to members of Congress next week. Organizers anticipate they will collect more than a million postcards within the next month.
"People of faith are calling for immigration reform because every day they witness the human consequences of the broken immigration system – families separated, workers exploited and communities in fear,” said Jen Smyers, associate for immigration and refugee policy at Church World Service. “We pray that Congress will have the moral courage to enact humane immigration reform immediately, because our families and communities can no longer wait.” more >>
Evangelical leaders across the nation on Tuesday participated in prayer vigil events to call for comprehensive immigration reform.
The vigils took place in six cities where immigration policy is especially contentious: Phoenix; Denver; Santa Ana, Calif.; Chicago; Memphis, Tenn.; and Miami. The largest event occurred in Phoenix where more than 120 evangelical leaders from across the country gathered for a “Day of Education, Witness and Action” on immigration reform.
"The broken immigration system has taken a heavy local toll, and many call Phoenix ‘ground zero’ for immigration issues," said Kit Danley, president of Neighborhood Ministries, the host group in Phoenix. "Our brothers and sisters in Christ from around the country are standing in solidarity with us to call for something better, something more fair, something more compassionate." more >>
WASHINGTON – A group of evangelicals, comprised of scientists, economists and theologians, said the mainstream view of pending catastrophe caused by climate change is exaggerated. They made the claim at an event Thursday just days ahead of a key U.N.-sponsored climate change conference in Copenhagen.
The evangelical scholars argued that science, contrary to what many leading scientists claim, does not support the claim that increased CO2 in the atmosphere is having a negative effect on the earth. Rather, no one currently really understands clearly how the earth is responding to the increase in the greenhouse gas, they say. more >>
WASHINGTON – Unlike in the United States, there is little controversy among evangelicals around the world on whether climate change is real, said an evangelical representative at a press briefing on Capitol Hill.
“They know it is real,” said Deborah Fikes, executive advisor of the World Evangelical Alliance – a global alliance of churches in 128 nations and over 100 international organizations. But in the United States, many evangelicals deny climate change is real, causing their brothers in sisters in Christ around the world to interpret that they are “self-absorbed” and “lack [the] spiritual will” to change their lifestyle to help solve a problem that is life threatening, she said.
Fikes was a member of the delegation of evangelical leaders and leading climate scientists that briefed top White House advisors and U.S. Senate offices Tuesday about climate change. The self-described odd partners urged lawmakers to put aside their differences, as they had, and quickly act to address the climate change problem. more >>
Groups for and against immigration reform continue to butt heads over the recent stance taken by the National Association of Evangelicals, which last month expressed their support for reform that includes more compassionate treatment of undocumented immigrants.
America’s Voice, which supports humane comprehensive immigration reform, blasted leaders of NumbersUSA for encouraging its evangelical members to “hammer” their denominations with complaints against the NAE’s new immigration resolution.
In a Nov. 2 article in the Congressional Quarterly, Roy Beck, executive director of NumbersUSA, said that “about a third of our members are evangelicals” and “they immediately started hammering their denominations” after being informed of NAE’s stance. more >>
President Obama may get a shot at ushering in a new era of bipartisanship in Washington as he had promised with the largest evangelical body in the country having recently stated its support for immigration reform, including a pathway for 12 million illegal U.S. immigrants to become citizens.
When President George W. Bush was trying to pass immigration reform in 2007, the National Association of Evangelicals – which claims to represent 30 million U.S. evangelicals – abstained from taking an official position on the issue.
Now, two years later, the NAE has taken a firm and very public stance in support of comprehensive immigration reform. Top NAE leaders earlier this month even testified before the U.S. Senate in support of an earned pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants. more >>