Faith leaders have called their followers to be compassionate toward the undocumented children crossing in large numbers into the Rio Grande Valley of Texas.

“We do not understand all that these children have experienced in their home countries or in their arduous journey to our borders. We do know that their plight breaks the heart of God. Children are some of the most vulnerable members of the global community. Many come seeking to survive. They all need our compassion and care,” said the bishops of the United Methodist Church in Texas, in a pastoral letter issued last week.

Cardinal Francis George, archbishop of the Diocese of Chicago, has said his diocese wants to offer temporary housing for the children, many of whom enter the country without parents.

“This is an unfortunate, even awful, situation for everyone. So much of what has happened and is happening is out of our control. What we can control is our response to human need. We will try to be the hands and feet of Jesus to those in need,” David Hardage, executive director of the Baptist General Convention of Texas (BGCT), said.

Jeff Johnson, BGCT president, called Texas Baptists to “pray our way in” to the immigration crisis by seeking “both immediate and long-term viable, biblical solutions.”

Mark Dupont, spokesperson for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield, Massachusetts, issued the following statement: “Our Gospel values compel us to reach out to those in need, especially the most vulnerable including these young people…We should resist the urge to treat them as pawns in a larger political debate, rather as victims themselves who are trying to escape unimaginable poverty so as to seek a better life.”

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