George W. Bush promotes immigration reform. The former president calls white Evangelical churches to a renewed focus on immigration reform & saving souls. Warns Evangelical churches have become political tools.

Former President George W. Bush said that America’s white Evangelical churches need a “revival of mission” to get on the right side of the immigration debate. During a teleconference with Dr. Russell Moore of the Southern Baptist Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC) and Yuval Levin of the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), Bush said evangelical churches have become a political instrument focused on politics instead of the church’s primary call—saving souls.

The former President was asked by Dr. Moore what would return Evangelical Christians to advocacy for immigrants and refugees.

“Get speakers to come who remind people of the Call,” Bush said. “The fundamental question is: Are we losing the core basis of religion? Are our churches too political? Are they focused on the right mission—which is saving souls?”

Then Bush claimed Evangelical churches are falling prey to an inappropriate focus on politics, comparing this to have African-American churches have functioned as political instruments.

“It seems to me, the churches, particularly, the white evangelical churches have become political instruments,” Bush said.

Bush said that “until there is a religious awakening,” there may not be a proper view of immigration within America’s churches.

Russell Moore talked with Bush and Levin about the former president’s new book: Out of Many, One: Portraits of America’s Immigrants.

Bush said America has a special place to help the oppressed and refugees. For example, Bush tells the stories of two North Korean immigrants who escaped that regime in his book.

“When democracy retreats, those tales become more numerous,” former President George W. Bush said. “We have an obligation to speak out on behalf of people and we have done that throughout our history.”

Bush summarized his hopes that there will be small movement on immigration reform. He said it should be small steps with strong border protections.

Bush said, “You know Russell, I’m upbeat about the country. I think we can get some stuff done on this issue. It will require work and focus to rally coalitions.