10 March 2019 | An interfaith forum discussing challenges in United States immigration policy was held at West Philadelphia Seventh-day Adventist Church on Sunday, February 24.
The Christianity and Immigration Forum was sponsored by Rev. Christopher Neilson of Christianity for Living Ministries and the organization Africom.
The event featured a panel of ministers — Rev. Terrence Griffith, pastor of First African Baptist Church; Rev. Mark Salvacion, pastor of St. George’s United Methodist Church; Rev. Morris Scott, associate and missions pastor at True Light Fellowship Church, Joy Hepkins of the Chapel of the Good Shepherd; and Rev. Rosamund Flynn of United Ghanaian Community Church, a guest.
According to The Philadelphia Tribune, the panel discussed asylum, the border wall, DACA and TPS (temporary protective status). A much-discussed question was, “What should Christians and the church do when one considers today’s immigration climate?”
“My reason for planning this event was not just to educate people in our African and Caribbean communities but to provide a medium wherein Christians can come together and dialogue about a topic that touches all of our lives in one form or another,” said Neilson.
“When one considers that there are over 10 million undocumented immigrants in the United States, it’s time for the Christian community to better understand the issues and offer assistance where possible.” Neilson stressed that immigration issues have existed since Bible times.
“The issues surrounding biblical immigrants of old [like Abraham, Ruth, Joseph and others] were far different than today; however, [because] biblical immigrants moved to other homelands it is obvious that they must have been forced to make cultural adjustments and also comply with the laws of the new land,” said Neilson.