Several white evangelical leaders reject anti-immigrant rhetoric. Why do their flocks embrace it?

Source: Vox

Members of the Central American caravan wait in line for food and other items while in a camp on October 31, 2018, in Juchitan, de Zaragoza, Mexico.
 Spencer Platt/Getty Images

How should Christians respond to Trump’s rhetoric on immigration?

Within the white evangelical world, at least, that answer is complicated. On the one hand, several major evangelical leaders and institutions have been vocal advocates for the dignity of refugees, and for a more compassionate public policy toward immigration overall.

In June, delegates at the Southern Baptist Convention’s annual conferences passed a near-unanimous resolution affirming the dignity of migrants and refugees. More recently, six major evangelical leaders, including Russell Moore, director of the Southern Baptist Convention’s policy arm, and Galen Caley, a vice president of the National Association of Evangelicals, released joint statements urging President Donald Trump to allow members of the Honduran migrant caravan currently making its way to the US-Mexico border to seek asylum in the United States.

“People fleeing for their lives are not to be used as political props,” Moore has said. “Those escaping violence and persecution in Honduras and elsewhere bear the image of God and should be treated with dignity and compassion. As Christians, we should share the heart of Jesus for refugees and others imperiled.”

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