With Congress back from their spring recess, work has resumed on several key issues, and faith-based groups have been deeply involved. As the Senate took up expanding background checks for gun sales, interfaith religious leaders, including clergy from Newtown, Connecticut, held a 24-hour prayer vigil in support of new gun control measures. They set up more than 3,000 grave markers to honor the people shot to death in this country since the Sandy Hook school massacre on December 14. The leaders prayed for an end to gun violence. Religious activists made more than 10,000 phone calls to the Senate this week urging support for new gun restrictions.
A broad array of faith groups also played a prominent role as advocates for comprehensive immigration reform took their case to Capitol Hill. At a massive rally, religious leaders joined others in calling on members of Congress to support a bill that would offer a path to citizenship for up to 11 million people who are in this country illegally. Rabbi David Saperstein told the group Scripture calls for such reform:
Rabbi David Saperstein: “Thirty-six times, more than any other law, it say, treat the stranger, the resident non citizen, as yourself. Could God not be more clearer than that command?”
Meanwhile, many Catholic churches around the country held special services to pray for changes in immigration policy.