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Thursday, March 30, 2006

Evangelicals and Immigration

From the Wall Street Journal (subscription):

Major evangelical groups have been more muted on immigration than other Christian organizations. In fact, the dispute is exposing rifts in the evangelical community. Evangelicals who favor a tough stance toward illegal immigrants also want their leaders to speak out on the issue. "Our side is so afraid of sounding unmerciful," says Cathie Adams, a member of a nondenominational Dallas Bible church. "It's like it's a nonissue in the church. . . It's very frustrating."

The majority of influential Christian conservatives have either delayed taking a stand, such as the National Association of Evangelicals, or have no position, such as the Southern Baptist Convention, the National Black Evangelical Association, James Dobson's Focus on the Family and Concerned Women for America.

When united, the evangelical movement has had considerable success influencing U.S. politics in recent years, helping to elect President Bush, working to scuttle Harriet Miers as a Supreme Court nominee, and influencing stricter laws on abortion. But as evangelicals attract more adherents, it will be increasingly difficult for the groups to reach consensus on many issues.

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