The Common Good

'I Was A Stranger' Campaign: Evangelical Leaders Seek Immigration Overhaul

Date: January 17, 2013

Prominent evangelical leaders announced a new effort Monday to persuade conservative Christians and lawmakers they should support overhauling U.S. immigration laws.

Called "I Was A Stranger," the campaign asks churches to spend 40 days studying Scripture related to immigration, centered on the Matthew 25 exhortation to clothe and feed the stranger. Organizers hope to create a groundswell of support for changes that balance national security with keeping immigrant families together.

The coalition includes the National Association of Evangelicals, which represents about 40 denominations; the public policy arm of the 16 million-member Southern Baptist Convention; Esperanza, the Latino evangelical economic development group; pastor Bill Hybels of the influential Willow Creek Community Church in Illinois; and writer Max Lucado. Sojourners, the liberal-leaning evangelical advocacy group, is also participating.