Heads
of denominations reveal joint



declaration
of  resistance



to mass
deportations and gridlock in Congress on Immigration Reform, signed by over 100
faith groups and leaders.

Ministers, Rabbis,
Sisters Religious, and religious leaders gathered and led and interfaith
service on Sunday, October 20th, to unite in a commitment to resist a “cruel
and broken” immigration system, and calling on Congress to break the gridlock
on immigration reform.  The interfaith service was held at Central Spanish
Baptist Church in Chicago.

“We will resist
‘business as usual’ while mass deportations continue and immigration reform
efforts remain paralyzed in Congress,” declared Pastor Lilian Amaya of
Ministerio Hazel in Chicago.  “Non-violent acts of civil disobedience,
fasts, vigils, and offering sanctuary in our houses of worship are some of the
ways we can honor God’s call to justice and protection for the most
vulnerable.” Rabbi Laurence Edwards shared, “we have witnessed an
immigration system which tears families apart…we renew our commitment to
uphold our sacred traditions by resisting injustice.”

Rev. Dr. Larry
Greenfield, Executive Minister of the American Baptist Churches, led a prayer
for protection of families. “Lord, protect the sanctity of the family, and let
no person threaten or separate the bonds of love which emanate from you.”

After an interfaith
service, the group held a procession on the street, led by two members of the
coalition dressed in orange jump suits, signifying liberation of the
captives.  “Holy One, set us all free to live wholly dependent on you, to
follow your law, and to work together for your peace,” prayed Sr. Margaret
Hansen, Province Leader of the Holy Spirit Missionary Sisters.

Many of these leaders
have met with Congress representatives, including Representative Roskam and
Representative Lipinski, to ask for their support on an Immigration Reform that
will include a path to citizenship.

The event, organized
by the Chicago Religious Leadership Network, was a gathering of over 20
congregations and religious communities who have declared themselves “Immigrant
Welcoming Congregations.”  These congregations pledge to pray and take
action toward justice and mercy for immigrants.  Martinelli Quincenella,
member of Central Spanish Baptist Church, urged more congregations to join in
the coalition. “We’d like everyone to know the invitation is open to everyone
to work together for dignity for the immigrant.”

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