The Common Good

Activists End Immigration Fast As Thousands Of Others Take Up The Cause

Date: December 3, 2013

WASHINGTON (RNS) Sapped by three weeks of a water-only diet, three activists for immigration reform ended their fasts Tuesday (Dec. 3) with a morsel of bread blessed by a priest and “passed the fast on” to others who hope to keep attention focused on the issue. “You have truly put your faith in action,” said retired Washington Archbishop Theodore McCarrick, one in a small crowd of political and clerical dignitaries who came to the National Mall to praise those who have gone without food in a bid to pressure Republican House leaders to pass an immigration reform bill….

Fasting is an effective response to a dysfunctional government that refuses to help immigrants in need, said the Rev. Jim Wallis, founder of the progressive Christian group Sojourners, who began to fast Tuesday but does not know for how long he will go without food. “Fasting is a weapon,” he said. “It is a weapon of spiritual warfare.” Few of the new fasters plan or are expected to last as long as activists Eliseo Medina, Dae Joong Yoon and Cristian Avila, who went 22 days without food, or Lisa Sharon Harper, who drank only juice. All were checked by doctors Tuesday, who found they lost an average of 20 pounds each. According to “Fast For Families” organizers, more than 3,000 people nationwide have pledged to fast for at least a day in the name of immigration reform.