Latin American Christian Leaders Establish Regional Evangelical Alliance

Earlier this month, evangelical leaders from Latin America, Brazil and Spain gathered in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, to institutionalize La Alianza Evangelica Latina, a conglomerate initiative aimed to benefit the nations involved by addressing issues of concern within their societies.

The new structure was established in a meeting hosted by El Foro Iberoamericano de Diálogo Evangélico (FIDE) and was decided upon by leaders who spearhead nationwide evangelical organizations in their own countries and wanted to escalate their level of dialogue into an all-inclusive cooperation.

"All of this is a reminder of the wonderfully positive contribution that evangelicals often make to the health and welfare of society," said Gordon Showell-Rogers, associate secretary general of World Evangelical Alliance. "Latin American evangelicals are very committed to playing their full part, as valued members of civil society, to helping their communities flourish."

For the past century, the evangelical church has grown dramatically, according to Showell-Rogers and as a result, the leaders of these national alliances have been meeting for informal discussions and mutual support over the last few years. In their new initiative, they plan to continue sharing mutual concerns as well as issues pertinent to religious freedom, government corruption and the preservation of the sanctity of traditional family values.

Through the multinational alliance, they also hope to create a greater impact by working together, praying for one another's nations and churches, and speaking out on behalf of the whole membership.

Although 20 Latin American nations are involved in the alliance, Hispanic evangelical leaders in the United States have also partnered with the initiative by pledging their support made evident through a signed agreement at the forum event in Honduras.

The Rev. Luis Cortes of Esperanza, a faith-based organization that serves the Hispanic community, and the Rev. Gabriel Salguero, president of the National Latino Evangelical Coalition (NaLEC), both co-chair Latinos USA, and made the decision to stand behind the alliance.

"Its purpose is to help speak with a unified Latino voice about some of the major challenges that Spanish and Portuguese speaking evangelicals have in the Americas," said Salguero, who also pastors a multicultural congregation, The Lambs Church, in New York City. "This is a time to get together as national leaders and think about those things, that's why Rev. Luis Cortes and I thought it was important for Latinos USA to co-lead with our brothers in Latin America and the Caribbean to think through together about these challenges and what contributions we have to make to broaden our evangelicalism."

La Alianza Evangelica Latina's board of directors, which will be responsible for boosting the alliance's development, will be led by Pastor Alberto Solorzano, current president of the Evangelical Fellowship of Honduras and president of the Evangelical Confederation of Central America.

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