While Hispanic students have made some gains in educational outcomes over the last 20 years, they still lag behind their non-Hispanic classmates. A recent study by Pew Research found that for the first time in 2012, the enrollment rate among Hispanic high school graduates surpassed their white peers.
National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference: Presidential Candidates Must Put Human Beings First In Quest for Leadership
When the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference gathers in Houston this week, we are united by a simple symbol: a cross. And like that cross, our shared mission is both vertical and horizontal.
Seated behind an elderly Mexican American couple, my wife and I stood moved and motivated as we watched Kevin Costner's latest movie, "McFarland U.S.A." The story of immigrant young men, who worked in the fields picking fruits and vegetables in addition to attending High School and running in cross country competitions, re-ignited our commitment to immigration reform.
Based on the performance on display in Iowa last weekend by several of the Republican presidential hopefuls, none of them seem to be paying attention to what could deliver the keys to the front door of the White House: Latino voters.
It has been a discouraging week for evangelical Christians and others who are steadfastly devoted to protecting unborn life.
We live in a time where the very freedom to express our respective faith values stands threatened – a road we have never been down before. From the HHS mandate requiring religious organizations to sacrifice conviction on the altar of political expediency to the failed attempt by Uncle Sam to require businesses, such as Hobby Lobby, to abandon conscience or suffer the consequences of continued litigation, our freedom to worship stands threatened.
In parts one and two, I made the case for how Spirit-filled Hispanics are revitalizing and refocusing the traditional American Evangelical landscape. Here is the lingering question: As this Latino explosion continues to permeate the collective American Christian experience, what does the future look like? What are the optics and metrics of the movement?
In part one of this series I explained that without the presence of Hispanic churches, America's leading Pentecostal/Charismatic denominations would be in serious decline and not in step with the Pentecostal/Charismatic explosion that the rest of the globe is experiencing. In fact, the Hispanic community represents the nation's fastest growing Christian community, one can argue that the future of American Evangelicalism lies in the hands of the Hispanic-Spirit empowered church.
While we all stand privy to a Pentecostal/Charismatic explosion south of the equator as well as in Africa and Asia, many would be surprised by the fact that our nation is experiencing its own Pneumatic surge. What makes this growth even more exciting and unique is that it seems to be coming via the conduit of a booming ethnic demographic – the Hispanic American community.
We should not be talking right now. According to the naysayers who predicted Christianity's demise by the year 2000, we should not even be here.
Evangelicals must address America's educational crisis with both conviction and compassion. We must not only provide food or shelter to help the impoverished survive day to day, we must equip them to thrive.
In the 1960s, the evangelical community largely stood on the sidelines as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. marched for justice. In the 21st century, evangelicals should refuse to repeat history. We should stand committed to contextualizing the moral imperative behind immigration reform. Driven by Matthew 25 and a commitment to reconcile conviction with compassion, the followers of Christ should lead the charge for immigration reform that protects our values, borders and, more importantly, the image of God in every human being.
We live in a time where the very freedom to express our respective faith narratives stands threatened. In essence, we've never been down this road before.
With a convicted spirit and a heart full of compassion, I look across the Charles River in Boston, Massachusetts. This historic city known for her role in the narrative of our nation's Revolutionary War chapter, for her love of sports and for being the birthplace of some of the world's leading educational institutions now stands recognized as another victim of mindless terror.