Hundreds gather in Arizona to keep vigil against new law

Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in Phoenix AZ was the site a large inter-faith prayer service yesterday morning organized by religious leaders in the city opposed to the new law that would ramp up the pressure on undocumented people living in the state of Arizona.

Bishops of the Roman Catholic, Methodist and Episcopal Churches were all part of the service, as well as Evangelical, Pentecostal, Lutheran, UCC and Unitarian ministers. Two Muslim leaders and two rabbis took part as well.

The Episcopal News Service reports:

“Hundreds of SB1070 opponents began the day in prayer and song, chanting ‘Si se puede’ (yes we can) as they marched a mile north from a vigil at the state capitol to Trinity Cathedral for the ‘God is Our Hope’ interfaith service of prayer and thanksgiving.

The overflow gathering of Muslims, Jews and Christians spilled over into the parish hall and cathedral courtyard. The crowd responded with a standing ovation, cheers, applause and whistles as Petra Falcon of Promise Arizona declared ‘We gather as God’s people and we will not be moved.’

She and other faith leaders interpreted a federal judge’s preliminary injunction against portions of the law as an answer to their prayers.

The Most Rev. Minerva Carcano, bishop of the Desert Southwest Conference of the United Methodist Church, and former Arizona State Senator Alfredo Gutierrez called upon President Barack Obama and the federal government to initiate comprehensive immigration reform.”

Full ENS coverage here.

The Rev. Glen Jenks, an Episcopal priest in Arizona who has long been active in the immigrant rights movement was quoted in this NY Times article this morning regarding some of the particular enforcement requirements of the legislation known as SB 1070:

Those provisions of the law, said one advocate for immigrants, the Rev. Glenn B. Jenks, an Episcopal priest in Tempe who was formerly a lawyer, were the “teeth” that “are driving people out of the state,” as the law’s proponents intended.

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