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Chicago: Pastor de megaiglesia hispana lanza candidatura a alcalde



Mundo Cristiano

Chicago:  Pastor de magaiglesia hispana lanza candidatura a alcalde La mayor organización cristiana hispana de Estados Unidos, la Asociación Nacional de Evangélicos Hispanos (NHCLC por sus siglas en inglés), anunció la candidatura a la alcaldía de Chicago del Reverendo Wilfredo De Jesús, pastor de la iglesia “Nueva Vida de Pacto”. “Chicago requiere un liderazgo que reconcilie la integridad con la mayordomía. Como pastor y líder comunitario, he demostrado la habilidad de afrontar problemas con soluciones reales, en asocio con empresarios y líderes civiles”, dijo De Jesús. “Trabajaré arduamente para enfrentar nuestras tres mayores crisis: trabajos, educación y crimen. Sólo un acercamiento independiente y práctico, que acople fe, empresa y liderazgo cívico puede catapultarnos a nuestro completo potencial”, agregó el pastor. El presidente de NHCLC, Reverendo Samuel Rodríguez, cree que la candidatura de De Jesús habla de una mayor narrativa. “La candidatura del pastor Wilfredo habla del crecimiento de nuestra comunidad al extender nuestro compromiso con la rectitud y la justicia más allá del púlpito”, expresó Rodríguez. “Por todo Estados Unidos, más y más cristianos hispanos buscarán cargos públicos y demostrarán que ofrecemos una agenda que reconcilia el mensaje del Dr Martin Luther King y el compromiso de justicia de Lincoln, con el optimismo de John F. Kennedy y Ronald Reagan. La victoria de Marco Rubio (nuevo senador por el estado de la Florida) prueba que los hispanos que tienen un fuerte compromiso de fe pueden ofrecer alternativas viables al actual panorama político polarizado”, concluyó Rodríguez. De Jesús obtuvo, en tiempo récord para un candidato latino, las firmas necesarias para que su nombre pueda aparecer en la papeleta de alcaldes. “Si creen que esta carrera ya está predeterminada, como han declarado algunos analistas, estamos a punto de demostrar que los días de la típica política de Chicago han acabado. Es hora de limpiar Chicago y estoy determinado, por amor a nuestros niños, a engranar, empoderar y enriquecer a la familia de Chicago”.

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Latino Christianity and The Future of American Evangelicalism


Latino Christianity and The Future of American Evangelicalism Click Here For Audio File Rev. Samuel Rodriquez has been named one of the “7 most influential Hispanic leaders” in America. As President of the NHCLC that represents 16 million Hispanic Christians, Rodriguez boldly proclaims, “We want Hispanics to be the forerunners, and preservers, of our Christian faith” in America. Rev. Samuel Rodriguez speaking at “Coming Together 2010” on the future of Hispanic Christianity in America. He meets frequently with members of congress, and participates in White House meetings, advocating on issues of justice, family values and immigration on behalf of Hispanic evangelicals. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary, National Association of Evangelicals, and Christianity Today. He also serves on the advisory Board of the National Campaign to Reduce Teen Pregnancy and Pro Life initiatives with various coalitions. Rev. Rodriguez is the Current President of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, also known as the Hispanic NAE, America’s largest Hispanic Christian Organization with 25,434 member churches.  Sam lives to Build the Kingdom of God, reconciling a platform of righteousness and justice. CNN named Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, “The leader of the Hispanic Evangelical movement”. The Wall St. Journal has identified him as one of America’s 7 most influential Hispanic Leaders, and the only religious leader on the list. Meanwhile the San Francisco Chronicle described Samuel as one of the 6 Leaders of the New Evangelical Leadership. Often quoted by the Washington Post, CNN, FOXNEWS, Bill Moyers, Chicago Tribune, Christianity Today, Newsweek, Univision NY Times, The Wall St. Journal, Boston Globe, Atlanta Constitution, Ministries Today, and others as the Preeminent Leading Voice of Hispanic Born Again Believers in America, Sam is the leading voice of Hispanic evangelicals in America. He is an Assemblies of God Ordained Minister since the age of 23. He resides in California with his wife Eva , celebrating 20 years of marriage while she serves as Senior Pastor of Christian Worship Center. Rodriguez earned his Master’s degree in educational leadership from Lehigh University. Currently he pursues a doctoral degree in Organizational Management and Behavior. As the leading Hispanic Christian on the issue or Comprehensive Immigration Reform, Rev. Rodriguez and the NHCLC were credited by Sydney Blumenthal and others as the primary reason why the plans for deportation were stymied. He frequently meets and consults members of both parties in Congress and participates in White House meetings on social justice, Latino and values issues. An award winning writer, Rodriguez writes and contributes to world recognized publications such as Ministries Today, Enrichment Journal, The Washington Post and Newsweek “On Faith” Panel, Outreach magazine, Vida Cristiana, Charisma, Christianity Today, Yale Reflections” and others.
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Conservatives Demand Immigration Reform

Conservative Demand Immigration Reform Conservative activists said Tuesday that they’re ready to launch a “Strength Movement” to demand immigration reform for undocumented Hispanics as a way to combat certain “reprehensible” measures against that minority. At a press conference, the activists chiefly criticized a bill being promoted by Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) to deny citizenship to children born in the United States of undocumented parents. King presented a bill Wednesday that would restrict automatic citizenship exclusively to children born in the U.S. of parents who are native-born or naturalized citizens, legal residents or members of the Armed Forces on active duty. On Friday King sent out a letter to garner more support for his bill, considering that the automatic citizenship established in the 14th Amendment of the Constitution has encouraged illegal immigration and global “birth tourism.” King and other critics of immigration claim foreign women come to the United States for the purpose of giving birth to “anchor babies” in hopes of parlaying the children’s U.S. citizenship into legal residence for the rest of the family. But activists promised to promote a movement like the campaign for civil rights in the 1960s to defend the rights and values of Hispanic immigrants. King’s proposal “is morally reprehensible,” does nothing to resolve the U.S. immigration crisis and serves only to distance Republicans even more from the Latino community, the Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, said. “The future of Republicans, of the conservative movement, is in the hands of the Hispanic community,” Rodriguez said. He added that his group supports immigration reform that, without offering amnesty, protects U.S. borders and promotes fair and just integration into the United States in a way that “respects the rule of law.” With regard to the Strength Movement, Rodriguez said that the goals of this grassroots mobilization are to activate above all the community of the faithful to defend Hispanic values, promote immigration reform, and fight the educational disparities so unfair to Latinos. For his part, Galen Carey, director of government affairs for the National Association of Evangelicals, said that King’s measure, instead of fixing the current immigration system, “simply adds fuel to the fire of the immigration dispute and divides our country even more.” Carey expressed confidence that most Republican leaders will roundly reject this proposal. Juan Hernandez, a co-founder of Conservatives for Comprehensive Immigration Reform, said that his organization will continue pressuring Republicans to find a formula “for correcting the illegal immigration problem” in the United States. Conservatives organized the conference call with the press two days after a group of state legislators promoted a controversial bill to combat the immigrant “invasion” by eliminating automatic citizenship for the children of undocumented aliens. The goal of the bill is to unleash a wave of lawsuits that will eventually lead to a verdict in its favor. The 14th Amendment, adopted in 1868, reversed the Supreme Court’s 1857 decision in the Dred Scott case, which ruled that descendants of Africans could never become United States citizens. The amendment rules that “all persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.” Measures like the one proposed by King and state legislators do not have a very promising future: the Supreme Court has upheld the 14th Amendment on several occasions, most recently in 1985, when it ruled that a child born here of an undocumented alien is a citizen of this country.
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My Take: Christians Should Keep The Dream Act Alive


Carlos Campo, Special to CNN

My Take: Christians Should Keep The Dream Act Alive Click Here For CNN Article As we hear the (ominous for some, joyous for others) sound of the door slamming shut on the Dream Act, Christians in America are left to wonder if this is a missed opportunity or the exercise of justice. Not all share my opinion that the Dream Act was not window dressing for a hidden amnesty agenda, but a reasonable step in confronting the complex issue of how best to deal with the millions of undocumented immigrants who now call America home. The Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, one of the most articulate and compassionate Christian voices for Latinos in America, has stressed that Christians must embrace “a solution that emphasizes assimilation and justice.” Others, like Alan F. H. Wisdom, vice president of the Institute on Religion and Democracy, argue: “Alongside the biblical teachings about hospitality to strangers also stand the teachings about the rule of law.” Surely, Portia’s famous lines from Shakespeare’s “The Merchant of Venice” come to mind, as she declares that mercy “is an attribute to God Himself,” and further cautions Shylock to: Consider this, that, in the course of justice, none of us should see salvation. We do pray for mercy; and that same prayer doth teach us all to render the deeds of mercy. Of course — as many others have pointed out — Portia seems to forget her very words when she later joins others to lash out at Shylock, who responds to their attack with: I am a Jew. Hath not a Jew eyes? Hath not a Jew hands, organs, dimensions, senses, affections, passions? fed with the same food, hurt with the same weapons, subject to the same diseases, healed by the same means, warmed and cooled by the same winter and summer, as a Christian is? If you prick us, do we not bleed? If you tickle us, do we not laugh? If you poison us, do we not die? We cannot read these lines and not be tempted to rephrase the speech and ask, “Hath not the undocumented eyes?” Will they not “bleed?” America bears some responsibility for the immigration issue we now face. We did not (and still do not, in my mind) properly secure our borders. In fact, from the ‘70s through the ‘90s, we gladly allowed immigrants — especially from Mexico — to flood into our country to help deal with labor shortages. These immigrants helped reduce the costs on goods from strawberries to new housing, and became the backbone of our service industry. Most statistics indicate that they were more law-abiding than the average citizen (perhaps because they feared deportation) and attended church more regularly as well. As a negative, unintended consequence, they may have unduly taxed our educational and medical systems. Many young undocumented immigrants bear no responsibility for entering our country illegally. Before we visit the “sins of the fathers” on these young men and women, might we consider a better way? They know no other country; they pledge allegiance alongside their American brothers and sisters day after day in our classrooms, bless our God in our churches, desire to serve in the military and give their lives as they have given their hearts to this great country, whose welcoming freedom still rings to all those who dream as we do. Many of us have seen the harrowing sign on San Diego’s 405 freeway: Bold letters warn drivers, “CAUTION,” and just below those letters we see a family of three. The father leads them into danger, head down, determined. The mother follows, also leaning forward in full flight, clutching the arm of a young girl, her pony tail streaming behind her, feet barely touching the ground. It is she, that young girl, and so many like her, who were brought here by determined, sometimes desperate parents. Should she not be able to dream? To serve? I know my descriptions have idealized some of the undocumented people living in the U.S., but we serve a God who taught us to pray, “Forgive those who trespass against us.” As Christians, is this the trespass that we simply will not forgive? The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Carlos Campo.

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Hispanic Evangelicals Call Upon Republican to Support the Dream Act


WASHINGTON, Dec. 7 / Hispanic Christian News/ — America’s largest Hispanic Christian Organization, The National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference (NHCLC), The Hispanic National Association of Evangelicals, called today for passage of the pending Dream Act legislation and warned legislators that further alienation of the Hispanic electorate is at stake. Conference President, Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, issued the following statement: “The Dream Act, because of its commitment to education and personal responsibility via the conduit of academic enrichment and military service, represents the most pro family, traditional,  pro military, self reliant piece of legislation in years.  Republicans should rise as the staunchest supporters of a public policy proposal that incorporates many threads from the Conservative credo.   After all, the Act presents the most significant antidote to an increased presence of welfare dependent minority families since the successful passage of Welfare Reform legislation in the 1990’s. Corresponding legislation successfully transformed welfare and ended the cycle of generational government dependency through the collaborative effort of the Gingrich Revolution and President Bill Clinton.  Today, Republicans can work with President Obama in facilitating educational and service opportunities that will insure socio economic vitality in ethnic communities for generations to come.; unless, of course,  political expediency trumps principled leadership. For that matter, opposition to the Dream Act must be interpreted as both politically naïve and morally irreconcilable with any pro family agenda. By supporting the Dream Act, Republicans stand poised to reconnect with an electorate that continues to distance itself from a party that is perceived to be anti-Hispanic and anti-immigrant. Republicans have an opportunity to demonstrate that they truly embrace the ideas of Lincoln and Reagan and not the polarizing rhetoric of Tancredo and JD Hayworth. Morally, the Judeo Christian narrative that Republicans continuously reference should compel legislators to support the Dream Act. For it would be difficult to justify punishing innocent children for the transgressions of their parents. Christ himself admonished us to permit the little ones, the children, to come to him for the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to them.  Without a doubt, Christ stood committed to the care and protection of the most vulnerable, especially children. To continue to punish these children is nothing less than anti-Christian, anti-Hispanic and anti-American. Republicans and Conservatives who do not support the Dream Act will find it difficult to advocate for family values. Opposition to this critical piece of legislation will continue to serve as fodder for those that believe the Republican Party’s definition of family values exists for those outside the purview of ethnic America and not applicable within the corridors of our inner cities. For at the end of the day, 2000 years ago a little boy was born in a manger because there was no room at the inn. In 2010, the question arises, is there room at the inn for immigrant children? In the Spirit of Christmas and with an eye on the boy in the manger, let us pass the Dream Act. The National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference is the Hispanic National Association of Evangelicals unifying, serving and representing the Hispanic Born Again Community via 30,454 member churches and 16 million constituents by reconciling the vertical and horizontal of the Christian Message through the 7 Directives of Life, Family, Great Commission, Stewardship, Justice, Education and Youth.
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Hispanic Evangelicals and the Manhattan Declaration

Christians, when they have lived up to the highest ideals of their faith, have defended the weak and vulnerable and worked tirelessly to protect and strengthen vital institutions of civil society, beginning with the family. It was in this tradition that a group of prominent Christian clergy, ministry leaders, and scholars released the Manhattan Declaration on November 20, 2009 at a press conference in Washington, DC. The 4,700-word declaration speaks in defense of the sanctity of life, traditional marriage, and religious liberty. It issues a clarion call to Christians to adhere firmly to their convictions in these three areas. Download the Manhatten Declaration (English) Download the Manhatten Declaration (Spanish)

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The Answer to America’s Immigration Dilemma: A Just Integration Strategy

The Hispanic National Association of Evangelicals, The National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, stands recognized as the leading faith organization in both articulation and advocacy of a solution to the current immigration crisis from a biblical worldview. In partnership with organizations ranging from Christians for Comprehensive Immigration Reform to America’s Voice, National Association of Evangelicals, Congress of Racial Equality and Freedom Federation; the NHCLC seeks a solution that reconciles the rule of law with our Judeo Christian heritage. Without a doubt, the current reality continues to leave our borders unsecured, polarizes our communities and serves as a facilitative platform for racial profiling and other activities non reflective of America’s ethos. Accordingly, permit us to present a number of understandings and a subsequent solution to America’s immigration dilemma. READ ARTICLE: “DANIEL GARZA: Las Personas No son Ilegales” READ ARTICLE: “DANIEL GARZA: People Are Not Illegal” DOWNLOAD/READ LETTER: “Dream Act Senate Testimony Support Letter READ ARTICLE: “My Take: Christians Should Keep The Dream Act Alive” DOWNLOAD/READ ARTICLE: “Deficits, Lawsuits, Diminished Public Safety: Your State Can’t Afford SB 1070″ (National Immigration Forum) DOWNLOAD/READ MAGAZINE: “Thinking Theologically About Immigration” from the Dallas Theological Seminary DOWNLOAD/READ ADVERTISEMENT: “An Evangelical Call for Bipartisan Immigration Reform” ARTICLE: On ‘Cinco de Mayo’, Please Check Your ‘Actitud’ RESOURCES: PRRI’s recent study of religion, values, and immigration reform is here:  www.publicreligion.org/research/?id=279 Analysis of white evangelical Protestants’ support for comprehensive immigration reform: www.publicreligion.org/blog/2010/05/20/white-evangelicals-support-immigration-reform/ Facts:

  • Amnesty is not a viable solution
  • Deportation of 12 to 20 million undocumented individuals is not practical, financially feasible or programmatically sustainable.
  • The majority of Americans as of May 1st, 2010 support Immigration Reform that does not provide amnesty but rather an earned pathway to a guest worker status, permanent residency or, after meeting determined criteria, citizenship.

Solution: A Just Integration/Assimilation Strategy with the following components:

  • Protect the Borders: America has a right and a moral responsibility to secure our borders and citizenry particularly in light of the recent drug wars in Northern Mexico. We must stop all illegal immigration.
  • Create a system that will serve as an integration measure where the undocumented can come out of the shadows with the following stipulations:
    • Admonition of Guilt
    • Pay Fines
    • Criminal Background Check in order to identify perpetrators of serious crimes including murder, rape, drug trafficking, and other nefarious activities. We recommend that such individuals be deported.
    • Learn English
    • Acquire a guest worker status with the possibility of permanent residency and after meeting determined criteria, if desired, citizenship.

In essence we propose that the President and Congress pass a Just Integration Strategy that:

  • Respects the God-given dignity of every person
  • Protects the unity of the immediate family
  • Respects the rule of law
  • Guarantees secure national borders
  • Ensures fairness to taxpayers
  • Establishes a path toward legal status and/or citizenship

Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, NHCLC President, recently testified before the United States Senate Judiciary Committee. His presentation captures the spirit of a Just Integration Solution. Rev. Samuel Rodriguez President, National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference Senate Hearing Testimony October 8, 2009 Embedded within the fabric of the American faith community lies a clarion call and a prophetic supplication for national unity accompanied by an alignment of our core values. Values that include both security and compassion, the rule of law and welcoming the stranger, mercy and justice. Accordingly, the lack of passage of Comprehensive Immigration Reform legislation has created a reality where our Borders are yet fully secured and the immigrant families a long with the entire Hispanic American community find ourselves facing racial profiling, discrimination and a hostile ethnically polarized environment not seen since the days prior to the successes of the Civil rights movement. For at the end of the day this is not a political issue but rather one of a moral and spiritual imperative. An issue of justice firmly grounded on biblical truth. In scripture, the number twelve emerges as the foundational pillar of the Nation of Israel and as the initial composition of the followers of Christ. My prayer is that this Congress remembers another twelve. Twelve million people living in the shadows. Twelve million hiding in fear. Twelve million without rights, Twelve million without a nation, and without legal covering, Twelve million not knowing if today is the day they will be separated from their children. Twelve million people living in a land without the opportunity of ever experiencing the fullness of life, embracing the hope of liberty or pursuing the promise of happiness. Yet these 12 million carry one common commodity; hope. Hope that the President and members of Congress that ignited a movement and ushered in change will bring down the walls of political expediency and incorporate within immigration reform the bridge to assimilation and a pathway to the American Dream. Hope that this Congress who stands committed to saving the auto industries, our banks, homeowners and healthcare will similarly apply that saving grace and spirit to these 12 million souls. Hope and faith that this Congress will pass comprehensive immigration reform. Via our 25,434 churches , the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, , stands committed in framing the moral imperative for CIR by reconciling both Leviticus 19, treating the stranger amongst us as one of our own and Romans 13, respecting the rule of law. Let us be clear. As Hispanic Christians, we stand committed to the message of the Cross. However, that cross is both vertical and horizontal. It is salvation and transformation, ethos and pathos, Kingdom and society, faith and public policy, Covenant and community, righteousness and justice. For example, as we deal with immigration, via the prism of the vertical and horizontal cross,, we humbly encourage Congress to finally pass and sign into law legislation that will protect our borders, put an end to all illegal immigration, create a market driven guest worker program and facilitate avenues by which the millions of families already in America that lack the legal status can earn such status in a manner that reflects the Judeo Christian Value system this nation was founded upon. But here lies the challenge; can we reconcile Leviticus 19 and Romans 13? Can we repudiate xenophobic and nativist rhetoric, push back on the extremes from both the left and the right and converge around the nexus of the Center Cross where righteousness meets Justice, border security meets compassion and common sense meets common ground? For the fact of the matter is that these immigrants are God fearing, hard working, family loving Children of God who reflect the values of our founding fathers and embrace the tenets of the American Constitution, The Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights. Moreover, our desire is for every immigrant in America to become a productive citizen, master the English language, embrace the core values of the American idea and realize the American Dream. Finally, we understand that every day that passes without Comprehensive Immigration Reform adds tarnish to the soul of our Nation. The question arises, can this nation be saved. Let us save this nation, not by providing amnesty but by providing an earned pathway to citizenship. In the name of Justice, in the Name of righteousness, in the Name of The Divine, pass comprehensive immigration reform. By doing so we will protect our borders, protect families, and protect our values and in the end we protect the American Dream. Since 1992, via AMEN (Today the NHCLC), Hispanic Evangelicals have sought a biblical solution to the immigration crisis in America. For that matter, in 2006, the NHCLC commissioned an immigration task force, the National Latino Evangelical Coalition on Immigration. Today, the coalition functions as a subsidiary of the NHCLC committed to promoting a Just Integration Solution by working with other ethnic faith groups, community development organizations, government agencies and civic partners. ——————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————– Often politics and economics frame the immigration debate in North America. Yet Christ-followers must frame the topic of immigration by wider parameters— by two biblical mandates: the Great Commission and the Great Commandment. Matthew 28:19–20 says to make disciples of all people—not legal people only, but all people. As Christ-followers our focus must shift from nationalism to the Great Commission and the Great Commandment, from politics to the gospel, from winners and losers, to how we can best glorify God. We must never deny that illegal immigrants are breaking the law. Yet these immigrants’ law-breaking is no reason for the church to remain uninvolved in North America’s largest mission field today consisting of fifteen to eighteen million people, many of whom tremble in the shadows of our society. Civil law is written on soft paper and constantly evolves. God’s law was chiseled on stone tablets and has remained unchanged. The eighteen million undocumented people living among us present both danger and opportunity. The danger lies only in the sense that the people are outside of the “system.”But we have an opportunity in terms of our mission. Many of these people are outside of their home countries, separated from their families, and outside of their own governments’ systems. They are prime for the gospel! Many churches want to do something, but they wonder what they can do. And here’s where we need some reminders: it is legal to evangelize; it is legal to make disciples; and it is legal to be compassionate. What the law says is that it’s illegal for us to hire them. We also cannot provide false paperwork. So how do we live out our biblical mandates? • We must remember that immigrants were made in the image of God. That means in all our dealings we must treat them with dignity. • We must keep in focus the Great Commission and the Great Commandment. • We must emulate Paul’s actions in the first century as we walk the fine line between compassion and execution of the law. Paul’s epistle to Philemon mentions the runaway slave, Onesimus. Onesimus was out of his country and running from the law when he encountered the apostle Paul. Knowing the legal system, Paul could have turned him in immediately. Instead, Paul loved him, evangelized him, and discipled him. This probably happened over the course of months or even years. But as any disciple must be, Paul was also a person of obedience. For that reason Paul ultimately sent Onesimus back to his master. Yet he did not return him empty handed. He sent him with a letter that told Philemon to treat Onesimus as a brother and put his debt on Paul’s account. In other words Paul, rather than turning in Onesimus or staying aloof from him, stayed on mission. The result was fruit. And the ultimate result was obedience in all spheres—first to the gospel, then to compassion, then to civil law. So what must the church do about contemporary illegal immigrants? • Speak. Christian leaders must articulate that the commission and commandment apply even to these modern-day Samaritans. • Pray. Pray for the Lord of the harvest to send forth laborers, and work for a legal resolution on the matter of immigration reform. • Love. Show compassion. Mercy builds bridges to the gospel in ways words cannot. • Serve. Volunteer to teach English as a second language. Serve as a life coach. Counsel the vulnerable. • Share. Spread the gospel. Show the way to Christ. If God put immigrants in our paths, we have the privilege of sharing the message of salvation. • Enjoy. Build relationships without worrying about the language barrier. Love is a universal language. • Envision. Recognize that many illegal immigrants are demographically the future of North America. We have an opportunity for significant outreach in a time of need. Within three to five years approximately eighteen million North American immigrants will probably come out of the shadows. Those who have shared in their pain have an opportunity to share in a harvest of souls in a magnitude never before seen. Most evangelicals did not join with Dr .Martin Luther King Jr. in his nonviolent opposition to racial injustice. Now many wish they had. The church today has an opportunity to show compassion, to be missional, to demonstrate obedience to the Great Commandment by reaching immigrants with love. So here’s the question to ask ourselves about immigration: Will we think only politically or will we think missionally, eternally—like Paul. And ultimately like Jesus?

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New Coalition to Mobilize Hispanic Churches

Kansas City, MO-TheCall to Conscience recently partnered with The National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference (NHCLC) to help mobilize Hispanic Christians around the issue of abortion.   The new effort, led by Lou Engle, founder of TheCall to Conscience, will work with the NHCLC’s more than 25,000 churches to educate Hispanic Americans on traditional moral issues.  Each church will provide the resources and training for at least two adoptions in the next year, saving more than 50,000 infants.   “We will protect countless lives, ignite the youth of America in a righteousness and justice movement and mobilize the Hispanic Community in prayer and fasting in an unprecedented manner,” said NHCLC President Rev. Samuel Rodriguez.   “TheCall to Conscience has always been committed to advancing efforts that will affirm life,” said Mr. Engle.  “That is why we are thrilled to be partnering with the largest Hispanic Christian organization to help provide the tools and information that promote adoption as an alternative to the destruction of abortion.”   “Hispanics will play a critical role in the upcoming midterm elections and beyond, and an overwhelming majority of them are pro-family and pro-life.  We want to harness their energy in order to ensure that the life issue remains at the forefront.”   “Planned Parenthood has grown itself into abooming business that targets poor and minority Americans, especially Hispanics.  Planned Parenthood’s massive abortion facility on Gulf Freeway in Houston is truly unprecedented and will lead to countless innocent deaths and make late-term abortions more convenient and accessible.”   TheCall to Conscience, founded by leading pro-life, pro-family voice Lou Engle, is an organization created to educate and inform Americans – especially young adults – about pressing social issues and advocate for policies that are consistent with the Bible and core Christian principles.

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New Force for Broad Immigration Reform: Conservative Evangelicals


Dan Gilgoff, CNN

(CNN) — Tea Party activists and other conservatives are planning rallies next month in support of Arizona’s tough new immigration law, which has come under attack from Democrats, Latino groups and some maverick Republicans.   But a growing chorus of conservative evangelical leaders has broken with their traditional political allies on the right. They’re calling the Arizona law misguided and are attempting to use its passage to push for federal immigration reform that includes a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants.   The group, which includes influential political activists such as Richard Land, head of the Southern Baptist Convention’s public policy wing, and Mathew Staver, dean of the Liberty University School of Law, will soon begin lobbying Republican leaders in Washington to support comprehensive immigration reform under President Obama.   But a big part of their job is to first persuade rank-and-file evangelicals to get on board.   “There’s a misconception among people at the grass roots that the pathway to citizenship is amnesty, and it’s not, but we have to overcome that,” said Staver, who heads the law school at the university founded by Jerry Falwell. “There’s a lot of work to be done.”   Staver and Land have partnered with the Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, an influential Hispanic evangelical figure, and Rick Tyler — former House Speaker Newt Gingrich’s longtime spokesman and head of Gingrich’s new values-based organization — to try to draft a consensus evangelical position on immigration reform.   “After securing our borders, we must allow the millions of undocumented and otherwise law-abiding persons living in our midst to come out of the shadows,” reads a recent draft of the document, which is still being finalized. “The pathway for earned legal citizenship or temporary residency should involve a program of legalization for undocumented persons in the United States. …”   Many conservatives say illegal immigrants should be forced to return to their home countries and start the process of legally coming to the U.S. from scratch.   Rodriguez, who heads the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference — which represents about 16 million Latino evangelicals in the U.S. — says he’ll soon start presenting the document to Republican leaders like Gingrich, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and Florida Senate candidate Marco Rubio in hopes that they sign on.   “If the conservative evangelical community looks to the Republican Party and says, ‘We demand integration reform, we demand a just assimilation strategy,’ that may be the tipping point in getting substantial Republican support for comprehensive immigration reform,” Rodriguez said.   The conservative evangelicals pushing comprehensive immigration reform say that undocumented workers should have to pay fines, clear background checks, learn English and take a civics class before being granted citizenship.   Many evangelicals say their push for immigration reform is biblically based, citing passages urging respect for civil laws and concern for migrants and the vulnerable.   “Discussion of immigration and government immigration policy must begin with the truth that every human being is made in the image of God,” the National Association of Evangelicals said in a recent resolution backing comprehensive immigration reform. “… Jesus exemplifies respect toward others who are different in his treatment of the Samaritans.”   But evangelical leaders are also working to convince Republicans that the party will lose Hispanic voters — a fast-growing bloc — if they take a strident line on immigration.   The Southern Baptist Convention’s Land said that Hispanics, like non-Hispanic white evangelicals, generally take a conservative approach to social issues like abortion and gay marriage, but that they often vote for Democrats because of the immigration issue.   “Hispanics are hard-wired to be like us on sanctity of life, marriage and issues of faith,” said Land, describing political similarities between Hispanics and white Southern Baptists. “I’m concerned about being perceived as being unwelcoming to them.”   The last time Washington attempted immigration reform, under President George W. Bush in 2007, the project failed, largely because many conservatives and Republicans said the plan’s inclusion of a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants already in the U.S. was tantamount to amnesty.   Most major evangelical groups sat out the 2007 fight over immigration reform, but many, including the National Association of Evangelicals, which represents 30 million Americans, have since taken up the cause.   Trying to apply the political lessons of 2007, the evangelical leaders now pushing comprehensive immigration reform stress that the borders need to be secured as part of any reform package.   “I look at the Arizona law as a cry for help from a state that’s being inundated as a result of the federal government refusing to enforce its laws,” Land said.   But, he added, “I think the Arizona law is the wrong way to attack the problem.”   Passed last month, the Arizona law requires immigrants to carry their alien registration documents at all times and allows police to question someone about their immigration status if they are in the process of enforcing some other law or ordinance.   Critics of the law say it will lead to racial profiling, though supporters say a package of changes to the law signed by Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer addressed those concerns.   Many evangelical leaders promoting comprehensive immigration reform say the law’s passage gave new urgency to their campaign, which had been under way since last year.   Rodriguez says he declined to join other Latino groups in calling for a boycott of Arizona because he thought it would alienate white evangelicals at a time when he’s trying to win their support.   Still, Rodriguez and the handful of conservative evangelical leaders promoting comprehensive immigration reform have yet to persuade some of the country’s most powerful evangelical groups — including Focus on the Family and the Family Research Council — to come on board.   “We’ve been looking into this deeply but aren’t ready to discuss our position, assuming we’ll get to one,” Tom Minnery, vice president of public policy at Focus on the Family, said in an e-mail message last week.   Even if such groups join their campaign, evangelicals backing comprehensive immigration reform may face another challenge: Persuading the White House to move forward with the plan after the bruising fight over health care reform.

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Hispanic Evangelicals Launch National Voter Registration Campaign, Fuerza 2010

WASHINGTON, June 1, 2010 /Hispanic Christian Newswire/ — America’s largest Hispanic Christian Organization, The National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference (NHCLC), The Hispanic National Association of Evangelicals, launched this week a National voter registration campaign focusing on registering Hispanic faith voters via local evangelical churches. “Hispanic Christian voters will stand as the firewall against moral relativism, spiritual apathy and cultural decay. Without a doubt, Hispanic faith voters will reconcile a platform of righteousness and justice in the 2010 mid-term elections,” explained Rev. John Murillo, Campaign Director. In partnership with United in Purpose, a non-partisan, not-for-profit national coalition of Americans actively advancing the traditional values of our Founding Fathers, NHCLC will work with over 30,500 Hispanic evangelical congregations, 52 denominations and various state and local chapter networks in order to increase the number of registered Hispanic faith voters. “Approximately 10 million Hispanics voted in the 2008 Presidential election.  Our community embodies the values of our founding fathers. We desire to vote our Christian world view and frame the narrative of righteousness and renewal in the public square. At the end of the day, it’s not about the elephant or the donkey but rather the lamb’s agenda that counts,” explained NHCLC President, Rev. Samuel Rodriguez. The Campaign will target swing states with significant Hispanic populations by registering both on-line and in local churches. Hispanics can register to vote on-line via the votenhclc.com web site or by sending a text to 510-771-7974. READ NHCLC STATEMENT >>

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