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Virginia Baptists Respond to “Zero Tolerance” Policy

Posted: 6/21/18 at 3:00pm. Statement by John Upton.

I would like to express a word of appreciation to all those who have been proactive on behalf of the children who have been separated from their families because of the “zero tolerance” immigration policy that has recently been in effect at the U.S.-Mexico border. Many pastors and church leaders have taken the time to write and express their concerns and outrage to senators, congressmen, and the White House. Their efforts have yielded helpful results: one of our pastors is meeting with Virginia senators today, at the senators’ invitation, to express concern. Please pray for that pastor. In the meeting, they are addressing policy which can easily be changed—as has been demonstrated by the recent signing of an executive order. The policy is not currently law, so voicing a concern can have immediate influence.

It is important that Virginia Baptist leaders respond to demonstrate to national leaders that we do not share the interpretation of scripture that attempts to justify separating children from their parents. Baptists must speak out when they feel scripture is being misused and abused.

I also want to thank all those who have expressed a willingness to care for the children and families of those detained. The BGAV is currently exploring ways we can assist with this crisis.

-John Upton, Executive Director of the Baptist General Association of Virginia