Last weekend, billions of people around the world celebrated Easter, which marks the end of Lent and is one of the holiest days of the Christian faith. Along with celebrating the life of Jesus last weekend, many Christians who are also advocates of immigration reform gathered together to show support for undocumented immigrants. Unified in their belief that Jesus was resurrected to save the world on Easter Sunday more than 2,000 years ago, Catholics, Greek Orthodox, Baptists, Protestants and many other members of Christian denominations found their way to their local church to give thanks and praise as well as raise awareness of this greatly polarized political issue.
Immigration reform advocates reflect on Jesus Christ’s life
Advocates of immigration reform showed up at the Adelanto Detention Center in California on Good Friday, reciting prayers and moving through the 14 Stations of the Cross to commemorate the crucifixion of Jesus. According to Hilda Cruz, the coordinator of Justice for Immigrants at the Diocese of San Bernardino, the immigrants held at the detention center reflect the life of Christ, in a way.
“As Christians we remember how Christ was unjustly detained. A lot of our brothers and sisters are unjustly detained because of our broken immigration system,” Cruz told the Victorville Daily Press. “The messages relate to our modern day oppression. We’re expressing our faith through the stations of the cross, but also our solidarity to those detained.”
Christian leaders discuss immigration reform with President Barack Obama
Immigration reform supporters in San Bernardino were not the only ones active during Holy Week. Suzii Paynter, the executive coordinator of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, and Russell Moore, the president of the Southern Baptist Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, were among a small group of faith leaders who visited President Barack Obama to tell him about their personal experiences with undocumented immigrants and how their lives have benefited because of them.
“It’s time to retool our laws for immigration,” Paynter told the Baptist Standard. “We can meet as a country at the intersection of moral conscience and common sense and pass reform.”