Washington (CNN) – Evangelical advocates for immigration reform are taking a page from the New Testament, specifically the Book of Matthew.
An organization called the Evangelical Immigration Table has organized 193 churches and ministries in 39 states and the District of Columbia to hold a prayer challenge in support of immigration reform, according to the group. The Table does not endorse a Republican or Democratic immigration reform policy, but simply asks congregants to consider Christian principles as they think about the lives of undocumented immigrants.
The program, called "I was a stranger," includes an excerpt from the Book of Matthew in which individuals who help those in need are rewarded with eternal life and those who do not receive eternal punishment.
"Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me," the chapter of Matthews reads.
The group is part of a larger effort by the National Immigration Forum, a coalition working with law enforcement, business and Evangelical Christians to advocate for immigration reform. Richard Land, a leading Evangelical and president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, is part of that effort.
The executive director of the group said they plan to announce a network of conservative and moderate voices in the coming weeks as the conversation surrounding immigration reform continues. The group will tentatively be called "Bibles, Badges and Business."