Pew finds fear even among 7 in 10 Christian green card holders.
America’s Hispanic churches feel the impact of President Donald Trump’s immigration initiatives in their pews each week.
They’ve seen a drop in attendance as some immigrants stay home rather than risk getting arrested on the way to Sunday services. Pastors find themselves preaching about fear to mixed-status Latino families who are already preparing for the worst: explaining to their kids what happens if Mom or Dad have to leave and packing up their belongings to stay with relatives if they get detained.
“Pastorear en Tiempos de Trump es más difícil y duro de lo que imaginé. Orando, sirviendo, y trabajando por nuestras familias,” tweeted Felix Cabrera, pastor of Iglesia Bautista Central in Oklahoma City and a leader of the Hispanic Baptist Pastors Alliance (HBPA). (“Pastoring in the time of Trump is more difficult and harder than I could have imagined. Praying, serving, and working for our families.”)
Trump’s immigration plan does away with earlier exemptions for residents here illegally, putting more undocumented workers up for arrest, detention, and deportation, the Department of Homeland Security announced last month.
In the wake of the new policy, an “unprecedented level of fear” rose among majority-immigrant congregations, according to Matthew Soerens, director of church mobilization for World Relief.
“These new guidelines create anxiety and concerns about the future of the members of our church and their families,” the HBPA, a coalition of Hispanic Southern Baptist pastors, stated this month. “As an alliance of churches, we are doing our part guiding our members through this challenging time by helping them understand their …