The Christian community faces the border crisis

OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – As the country’s border crisis continues to escalate, many Christians, who often focus on caring for those in need, are wondering how to respond.

“There is probably no issue more polarized than immigration,” said Steven Eng. “Were [just] reminding people of what the Bible has to say about these issues.

For several months, cameras across the country captured the chaos of migrants coming to the United States in droves seeking refuge or asylum, but rather in confusion.

According to the United States Customs and Border Protection, a large number of people fleeing to the United States and trying to cross the border are from Venezuela, Nicaragua and Cuba.

Oklahoma Brenda Kirk with the National Immigration Forum told KFOR that she recently led a group of evangelicals to the border to see the crisis for themselves and discuss the importance of advocating with local communities.

She also said that according to the scriptures, the Christian answer is clear.

“Immigrants move all over the world,” said Kirk, who is a consultant and regional organizer for the National Forum on Immigration.

“And the scriptures are very clear that we are responsible for caring for the vulnerable,” she added. “Often when you hear scriptures that refer to the care of the orphan and the widow, what is often omitted when people refer to these scriptures is that it also includes the immigrant or the stranger.”

Kirk took a group of Christian leaders to the border earlier this summer to experience the crisis first hand.

“We hear of illegal immigrants [well] people seeking asylum are not illegal,” Kirk continued.

“According to US law, when someone comes forward seeking asylum, they must apply once they get here. They cannot seek asylum outside the country. They have to present themselves at the border and ask for asylum.

Evangelical Christians gathered in Bethany on Tuesday at Southwestern Christian University to discuss advocacy for migrants on the move said they were looking for common ground.

Steven Eng said he represents the National Association of Evangelicals’ political work and mobilizes advocates nationwide and has associated himself with ministry to the marginalized for 30 years as an ordained pastor with the Evangelical Alliance Church.

“We really focus on areas where we think there is broad bipartisan support. And I think there’s probably no more polarized issue than immigration,” Eng said.

“[We’re] reminding people what the Bible has to say about these issues [and] there is probably a lot more consensus than what we see in the media,” he continued.

“People who are immigrants are not liabilities or pawns to the political system, but are truly gifts in themselves. [They’re] people and they are created in the image of God,” he continued, also saying Tuesday evening’s forum would discuss ways for Christians to use Bible-based advocacy to help families and low-income workers, immigrants, refugees and other vulnerable populations.

But the evangelical community is divided on its perspective.

In an email on Tuesday, local pastor and former Oklahoma gubernatorial candidate Dan Fisher said “America is a nation of laws”:

“There is a legal process to enter the United States. Any entry in violation of these laws is by definition – illegal. We certainly care about the fate of others, but a country that does not maintain its borders is no country at all. Every American citizen understands this principle. This is why we personally have locks on the doors of our homes, cars, etc. Otherwise, we would most likely be robbed blind. The idea of ​​wide-open borders is nonsense.

Pastor Dan Fisher, co-pastor Fairview Baptist Church, Edmond, OK

Brenda Kirk said she believed it was possible to show Christian compassion while respecting border security.

“We need to have border laws that work well for the security of this country,” she said. “If you believe the Bible [is] directly from God, I don’t see how we couldn’t have compassion.

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