“Here we are again broken-hearted by evil and – this time – in a sanctuary for the Prince of Peace. We pray, we cry and we plead with God for mercy on our land. We thank Him for the first responders and we trust Him to comfort those whose pain is unbearable. May our nation pray.” -Reverend Samuel Rodriguez #PrayforSutherlandSprings
Washington – The National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference got a sneak peak of the Museum of the Bible during their trip to the nation’s capital this week.
“We are celebrating the Bible coming to life,” said Tony Suarez, NHCLC Executive Vice President. “We’ve preached about it and we’ve talked about.”
The new Museum of the Bible is a 430,000 square foot facility just three blocks from Capitol Hill. It’s on track to open mid-November. Christians leaders from across the country walked the halls of biblical history to meet, pray and strengthen their faith.
“I hope this stirs up a passion for the word of God where we get back into the book, back to studying the book and having a love for the Bible and having a love for the word of God,” said Suarez.
“This is going to be a base for faith in the Bible,” said Luis Avila, Pentecostal Holiness Church in Oklahoma City.
CBN’s Ben Kennedy asked Avila if prayer is needed now more than ever.
“Absolutely, I believe so,” said Avila.
The NHCLC plans to visit Capitol Hill on Tuesday to meet with lawmakers about Israel, Puerto Rico and Dreamers — young people whose parents brought them here illegally.
“Asking them again to pass some sort of permanent legislation to help Dreamers and they do it before Christmas,” said Suarez. “That would be the best Christmas gift.”
via CBN News
Our president recently tweeted that the federal forces helping Puerto Rico “can’t stay forever.” Given how early we are in this tragedy, the scale of the devastation, and the continued suffering of our fellow Americans, this is no time for equivocation.
We at the College Board have been operating in Puerto Rico for more than 50 years, and today we take a simple pledge: We Are Not Leaving: #NoNosVamos.
As a nonprofit that has 76 employees in Puerto Rico, we declare today that the College Board will stand with our Puerto Rican colleagues and member colleges and schools throughout the rebuilding process and into the future. We will invest more, not less, in Puerto Rico in the years to come to support students and ensure a hurricane cannot block their future, for which they have worked so hard. The College Board has played a central role in Puerto Rico and Latin America’s educational life for more than 50 years, and those deep roots remain unshaken and unshakeable. We are here for the long haul.
And we must all speak out against false statements that the Puerto Ricans are not working hard enough to help themselves. Not so. Days after the storm, our colleagues in Puerto Rico assembled themselves to rebuild our offices. They neglected their homes to make a space to work. Our colleagues in Puerto Rico were driven to make sure they didn’t leave students throughout Latin America in the lurch. We made sure everyone knew they would have paid leave to take care of themselves and their families, and our colleagues chose to work.
The leader of our Puerto Rico office, José “Pepe” Carreras, named the force driving his colleagues to action: “They realize that education post-Hurricane Maria will be one of the building blocks we will need to focus on right away to give students purpose and begin building for the future.”
All of us at the College Board stand in awe and witness to the courage and resourcefulness of our team in Puerto Rico. Moved by the force of their spirit, we call on other nonprofits and businesses to share our pledge to stand by Puerto Rico throughout the rebuilding process. For those of you with staff in Puerto Rico, please share your stories of colleagues working hard to reclaim their future.
Please join us in our pledge: We Are Not Leaving: #NoNosVamos.
Carta Abierta a las Organizaciones con Presencia en Puerto Rico: #NoNosVamos
Hace poco, nuestro presidente tuiteó un mensaje indicando que las fuerzas federales que se encuentran ayudando a Puerto Rico “no podrán quedarse para siempre”. Teniendo en cuenta el poco tiempo que ha pasado desde que tuvo lugar esta tragedia, la magnitud de la devastación y el sufrimiento incesante de nuestros compatriotas, este no es el momento para equivocaciones.
Nosotros, en el College Board, hemos estado operando en Puerto Rico por más de 50 años y hoy asumimos este simple compromiso: #NoNosVamos.
Como una organización sin fines de lucro con 76 miembros de su personal en Puerto Rico, declaramos hoy que el College Board se mantendrá firme junto a nuestros colegas al igual que los colegios y universidades miembros de Puerto Rico a lo largo del periodo de reconstrucción y en el futuro. Invertiremos más, no menos, en Puerto Rico los próximos años para apoyar a los estudiantes y asegurarnos de que un huracán no pueda bloquear el futuro por el cual han trabajado tan duro para conseguir. Por más de 50 años, el College Board ha desempeñado una función fundamental en la vida educativa de Puerto Rico y América Latina y esas raíces profundas permanecen intactas e inquebrantables. Estamos comprometidos a esta labor a largo plazo.
Y debemos denunciar las declaraciones falsas de que los puertorriqueños no están trabajando lo suficiente para ayudarse a sí mismos. Sabemos que este no es el caso. Días después de la tormenta, nuestros colegas en Puerto Rico se juntaron para reconstruir nuestras oficinas. Pusieron los deberes de sus hogares hacia al lado para facilitar un espacio de trabajo. Nuestros colegas en Puerto Rico actuaron de su propia voluntad para asegurarse de que ningún estudiante en toda América Latina se quede plantado. Estuvimos seguros de que todos nuestros colegas supieran que tendrían tiempo libre pagado disponible para ocuparse de sí mismos y de sus familias, aun así decidieron volver a trabajar.
El líder de nuestra oficina en Puerto Rico, José “Pepe” Carreras, describió la fuerza que impulso a sus colegas a actuar de esta manera: “Ellos comprenden que el sistema de educación posterior al huracán María será una pieza fundamental que requerirá atención inmediata para poder darle a nuestros estudiantes un sentido de propósito y comenzar a construir un mejor futuro”.
Todos nosotros en el College Board estamos maravillados y somos testigos de la valentía y asombrosa recursividad de nuestro equipo en Puerto Rico. Conmovidos por la fuerza de su espíritu, hacemos un llamado a otras organizaciones sin fines de lucro y empresariales a que compartan nuestro compromiso por Puerto Rico durante a lo largo del periodo de reconstrucción. Para aquellos que tienen personal en Puerto Rico, les pido que compartan las historias de sus colegas que están trabajando intensamente para levantar su isla.
Les invito a que se unan a nuestro compromiso: #NoNosVamos
A group of prominent evangelical Christians is calling on President Donald Trump to take further steps to condemn white supremacists — specifically those in the alt-right — following the August white nationalist demonstration in Charlottesville, Virginia, that left one woman dead.
I love the diverse people, food and languages across the Lone Star State, especially our “south of the border” sounds and flavors. Latino culture is part of my heritage, and I am proud to serve the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference as Executive Director of the Faith & Education Coalition. I love working with parents, pastors and leaders across the nation who care deeply about students and high-quality education.
In many Hispanic communities across Texas, pastors and church members provide vital education connections for families. From immigrants and Spanish-speaking parents to first-generation college students, these “learning heroes” help local families bridge the language and cultural divides related to education. They invest in students because they believe every child is created in God’s image and deserves the chance to meet his or her potential.
One way these church leaders help families chart a course for school success is by encouraging them to build a strong parent-teacher partnership. This can be intimidating for adults who never completed their own education, those who were educated in other countries, or those who are not fluent in English. But we can encourage all parents to make the most of this “back to school” season with a few simple tips.
Parents can be “learning heroes” for their children by starting the school year with these five tips:
1. Start strong.
Find out how prepared your child is for his or her new grade. Be sure to review the annual state test results from last year. Consider using the TAG approach (Teacher feedback + Assessments + Grades) to determine how your student is progressing and what areas may need additional support. If you haven’t received your child’s STAAR test results yet, visit www.TexasAssessment.com to view your child’s assessment results from last school year – as well as many other parent resources. Much of this information is also available in Spanish.
2. Partner up.
At your first teacher meeting, bring your child’s state test results and ask what they mean for this year. Find out what’s expected of your child and what you can do at home to help. You can prepare for the first teacher meeting with tips at BeALearningHero.org
3. Make it fun!
You are the expert on your child and can help make learning cool! Read together on topics that interest your child. Find math in everyday life – turn it into a game. Small learning moments add up!
4. Celebrate hard work.
Focus on the effort and what your child is learning. Celebrating hard work and progress, rather than perfection, will help your child feel less nervous about new tasks or subjects.
5. Encourage life skills along the way.
Strengths such as being able to communicate, problem-solve and demonstrate patience will help your child in school and life. Talk openly with your child about how he or she is feeling and reacting to situations at school, on the playground and at home.
Parents and teachers and church leaders can partner to help students reach high standards, expecting and bringing out the best in each child. Good tests help us gauge if students are on track for the next grade level and, eventually, for the rigor of college or career. And accessing test results and other progress data, in both English and Spanish, empowers parents to become full partners in their child’s education. We can honor our cultural diversity as we unite parents behind a common goal – excellent education opportunities for all our Texas students.
via Baptist Standard
Churches are an essential part of the recovery process for Puerto Rico and Mexico, say representatives from the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference and Convoy of Hope regarding reconstruction efforts in the two countries following this month’s earthquakes and Hurricane Maria.
On a teleconference held Wednesday afternoon, NHCLC President, the Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, spoke about the launch of a charity effort called “Puerto Rico and Mexico Rise Up,” which seeks to equip churches to help communities in Mexico and Puerto Rico recover from the recent natural disasters.
“This is our campaign on behalf of our churches, on behalf of our chapters and our networks, both here in the States and outside of the States for that matter,” Rodriguez said.
In an interview with The Christian Post, Rodriguez explained that the newly launched campaign was working through churches because they are an important channel for relief.
“If we can equip the churches, then these churches can restore the communities. These churches know the communities more than we know the communities,” said Rodriguez.
“We believe these are the institutions ordained by God to bring Good News to the poor and to quench the thirsty and feed the hungry.”
Convoy of Hope spokesperson Jeff Nene, who was also on the call to describe some of his group’s experiences on the ground in Puerto Rico, agreed about the essential value of local congregations in helping relief efforts.
“We have found that the local church is the best source for volunteers. They can marshal a team together on a moment’s notice,” said Nene to CP.
“And what that allows us to do is come in with a very small team from Convoy of Hope, like in Puerto Rico right now we have four people, and in Mexico we have two that are arriving today, and they’re there to give guidance and direction and organization. But the local church does the work.”
Rodriguez’s and Nene’s comments came as part of a teleconference call in which they provided updates on the relief efforts in Mexico City and Puerto Rico.
On Sept. 19, Mexico City experienced a severe earthquake that has thus far resulted in hundreds of deaths and caused dozens of buildings to collapse.
“Nearly 4,000 buildings were damaged by the quake, and residents of high-rises wonder if their buildings may fall before they can make their way downstairs,” The New York Times reported on Monday.
“And over the weekend, the trauma of last Tuesday was brought to the surface again as light tremors from an earthquake in southern Mexico on Saturday lightly rocked the capital, sending residents fleeing into the streets barefoot and in sleepwear.”
Around the same time as the Mexico earthquake, Hurricane Maria struck the island of Puerto Rico, resulting in widespread destruction and power outages.
“About 97 percent of the island’s 3.4 million residents are still in the dark Wednesday,” CNN reported on Wednesday. “About half of the residents do not have running water.”
Nene told those on the call about the things that Convoy of Hope was doing in Puerto Rico, having just returned from the island, where a team arrived on Monday.
“They already started on pulling together warehousing. They’ve already purchased 20,000 pounds of rice, have another 20,000 pounds coming. Tomorrow we have a C-130 full of supplies that’s going to be landing and also another private plane with supplies and people,” explained Nene.
“And then on top of that, three containers that will be leaving via ship this week to head down there will be there in just a couple of weeks. So we’ve got a great head start in Puerto Rico already.”
In addition to Rodriguez and Nene, other participants on the call included New York City Councilman Fernando Cabrera, Latin contemporary Christian music artist and author Christine D’Clario, NHCLC Executive Vice President of Governmental Affairs the Rev. Tony Suarez, and Bishop Angel Marcial of Church of God for Southeast Region U.S.
When asked by CP about any cooperation with the Trump administration, Rodriguez responded that he had gotten “very significant reports” from the White House about the number of federal first responders and FEMA workers on the ground.
“I’m grateful for the Trump administration as it pertains to helping the island recover. They have had some logistical issues. That’s how horrific this has been — that our federal government has had issues even in distribution and other areas,” Rodriguez added.
“I have received very good cooperation from this administration in addressing the concerns and needs. And they likewise stand committed to working with the faith community in Puerto Rico for rebuilding Puerto Rico.”
Hurricane Maria damaged or destroyed approximately 3,000 churches in Puerto Rico and earthquakes did the same for another 1,000 in Mexico. That’s the latest from the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference (NHCLC) which oversees 40,000 affiliate churches in the U.S. and connects with other Latino churches around the world.
Rev. Tony Suarez, NHCLC executive vice president, says it’s a huge loss for thousands of congregations, amidst all the struggles on the U.S. island right now.
“I think about those pastors who have given their all to lift up and plant a church and now buildings are gone,” Suarez told CBN News on Facebook Live.
Still, Suarez said churches in Puerto Rico and Mexico are serving as focal points for their communities in the midst of devastation.
Most people on Puerto Rico have no electricity and the majority of them are struggling to find clean drinking water and food.
“The church is that beacon of light,” said Suarez. “Puerto Rican people are coming to their pastors and coming to their churches once they can find each other and asking ‘how can we come together?'”
The NHCLC is asking churches on the U.S. mainland to consider adopting a church in Puerto Rico in Hurricane Maria’s aftermath, or in Mexico as it rebuilds after two earthquakes in September. It’s part of a strategic plan to move aspirations from simple survival mode to a more visionary goal.
NHCLC President Samuel Rodriguez calls it Puerto Rico 2.0.
“This disaster should and could actually catalyze the rebirth of Puerto Rico in the long run,” he wrote in a recent op-ed piece.
Rodriguez is calling for a Marshall Plan mentality, similar to how the U.S. approached Europe after the destruction of World War II.
He’s suggesting that wind, solar and other green energy technologies replace Puerto Rico’s broken power grid. Rebuilding on the island can improve employment prospects and Puerto Rico could seek to unite politically after a decade of division on the statehood question says Rodriguez.
The Puerto Rican church, supported by U.S. mainland churches, could take a leadership role in rebuilding the country. Suarez said the island’s 3.4 million people have encouraged the growth of thousands of churches in recent years including Assemblies of God, Iglesias de Dios and Baptist churches.
Suarez visited Puerto Rico right before Hurricane Irma struck earlier in September. He described the church as strong and vital to life on the island.
“It’s a place full of a lot of faith, a lot of energy spiritually-speaking,” he said. “So the church is the hope.”
via CBN News
Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, President of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, Issues Statement Praising Release of Los Angeles’ Pastor Noe Carias
“And yet, while we are grateful, we should never have gone through such a heart wrenching process in the first place. We should be deporting pushers, not pastors. Noe’s story is a powerful reminder of just how desperate our nation is for comprehensive immigration reform.”—Rev. Samuel RodriguezSACRAMENTO, Calif. — Rev. Dr. Samuel Rodriguez, President of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, issues the following statement praising the release from detention of Noe Carias, a Los Angeles area Assemblies of God Pastor who had been detained for deportation in July of this year:“I am overjoyed by the news of Pastor Noe Carias’ release, after over two months of detention by immigration authorities. Most importantly, I am grateful that this man of God will be reunited with his loving wife, Victoria and his two young children.“From the beginning, the NHCLC stated we would not rest until Pastor Carias was released. Working behind the scenes with the White House, local and state officials as well as both Republican and Democratic members of Congress, we saw a powerful effect of the growing influence of our Hispanic community in action. Through our incredible member churches, friends, partners, co-laborers and prayer warriors, we were privileged to help mobilize a large coalition of Hispanic leaders, calling out, in a unified voice on Noe’s behalf. We are all giving thanks that these efforts were not in vain and that our request was heard loud and clear. We did all of this with the firm belief that access leads to conversations, which leads to conviction, which leads to compassion.”
“And yet, while we are grateful, we should never have gone through such a heart wrenching process in the first place. We should be deporting pushers, not pastors. Noe’s story is a powerful reminder of just how desperate our nation is for comprehensive immigration reform.”###Rev. Samuel Rodriguez is president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference. He has been named by CNN and Fox News as “the leader of the Hispanic Evangelical movement” and TIME Magazine nominated him among the 100 most influential leaders in America.The National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference is recognized and identified by Time Magazine, New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Christianity Today, Charisma Magazine, NBC, Telemundo, Univision, Fox News, CNN, and a number of additional media outlets, publications, and periodicals as America’s largest and most influential Hispanic/Latino Christian organization with 40,118 certified member churches in the United States and chapters in Latin America.
National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference Appoints Juan Rivera As New Executive Director of Hispanic Israel Leadership Coalition
Hispanic Israel Leadership Coalition (HILC) also names Bishop Robert Stearns as ChairmanSACRAMENTO, Calif. — The National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference (NHCLC) is pleased to announce the appointment of Rev. Juan Rivera, a well-known pastor from Youngstown OH, as the executive director of the Hispanic Israel Leadership Coalition (HILC). HILC is the pro-Israel arm of the NHCLC, The Hispanic Evangelical Association and CONELA.“Rev. Rivera’s commitment to Israel is extraordinary. He is well respected within the Christian and Jewish communities both throughout Ohio and nationally,” said Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, President of the NHCLC. “Israel is not a side-issue for the NHCLC. It is foundational. We believe that Rev. Rivera is the perfect leader for this pivotal role in this moment of our growth and expansion.”“I offer my sincere congratulations to Rev. Rivera on his appointment”, said Bonnie Deutsch Burdman, director of community relations and government affairs for the Youngstown Area Jewish Federation. “We in the Jewish community throughout Ohio have great trust in Rev. Rivera’s leadership capacity.”Previously, Rev. Rivera served as the Ohio Chapter Director of NHCLC and as an Advisory Board Member HILC.“I’m incredibly excited and grateful to Rev. Samuel Rodriguez and the NHCLC for entrusting me with this important position,” says Rev. Rivera. “My goal, and that of the entire NHCLC, is to continue growing HILC into the largest Hispanic pro-Israel organization in the U.S. and Latin America. Our focus will be on educating our people about Israel through conferences, workshops and trips to Israel. We will also be actively forging new, and strengthening existing partnerships with Jewish people and Jewish organizations locally, nationally and internationally. Finally, we will work to expand our role as advocates for strong US-Israel relations as well as influencing Latin American governments to adopt strong pro-Israel policies and relations.”Additionally, Bishop Robert Stearns, Founder and President of Eagles’ Wings and senior leader at the historic Tabernacle Church in Buffalo, NY, has been appointed as Chairman of HILC.“Though Bishop Stearns is not Hispanic, he has traveled extensively in ministry throughout Latin America for the past 20 years, has led worship in Spanish, and 5 of his books have been translated into Spanish and distributed widely through the Latino evangelical community,” added Rev. Rodriguez. “He understands Latino Evangelical culture, and he understands Israel. We believe his experience and wisdom will be of great resource to us as we endeavor to grow HILC as the pro-Israel arm and voice of the more than 100 million Hispanic Evangelicals assembled in over 40,118 U.S. churches and over 450,000 churches spread throughout the Spanish-speaking diaspora.”“Every generation has to confront anti-semitism in whatever shape it presents itself to that generation. We will build a fire-wall against all forms of anti-semitism to ensure that ‘Never Again’ truly means never again,” added Rev. Rivera.###Rev. Samuel Rodriguez is president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference. He has been named by CNN and Fox News as “the leader of the Hispanic Evangelical movement” and TIME Magazine nominated him among the 100 most influential leaders in America.Rev. Juan Rivera is lead pastor of New Life Church a growing, multi-generational, multi-ethnic, vibrant church located in Poland Ohio a suburb of Youngstown. In addition to his position as Executive Director of HILC, Pastor Rivera serves in an advisory capacity to the Governor of the State of Ohio by serving on the Ohio Commission of Hispanic/Latino Affairs.The National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference is recognized and identified by Time Magazine, New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Christianity Today, Charisma Magazine, NBC, Telemundo, Univision, Fox News, CNN, and a number of additional media outlets, publications, and periodicals as America’s largest and most influential Hispanic/Latino Christian organization with 40,118 certified member churches in the United States and chapters in Latin America.
When Tony Suarez lost his wife to cancer last year, the Passover song he learned at his first Seder meal only months before became his anthem.
Just as the Jewish people sing dayenu—“it would have been enough”—about God saving them from the plagues and leading them out of Israel, the Virginia pastor proclaimed that God’s faithfulness was enough, even without the miracle he had prayed for.
“That song meant everything,” said Suarez, vice president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference (NHCLC). “And we wouldn’t have known it if we hadn’t been in a synagogue.”
Suarez is helping to lead a movement among Latino evangelicals that aspires to change the face of Christian Zionism in America.
For the past few years, the NHCLC’s Hispanic Israel Leadership Coalition (HILC) has brought Latino churches—some with blue-and-white Israeli flags in their sanctuaries and Hebrew songs in their worship sets—together with pro-Israel and Jewish groups.
The coalition has organized seminars, trips to the Holy Land, and sit-downs with Israeli politicians in order to make Hispanics “the most pro-Israel, pro-Jewish demographic.” With arms extended and flags waving, its members pray with their congregations for the peace of Jerusalem and the well-being of Israel.
In addition to events in places like New York, Florida, and Washington, DC, HILC leaders have also advocated across Latin America against anti-Semitism and for the Jewish state. For example, Orlando pastor Carlos Ortiz has joined advocates for Israel in Venezuela, Cuba, and Nicaragua. Nicaragua reestablished a diplomatic relationship with the Jewish state earlier this year after a seven-year break.
But the HILC still has work to do. In a recent LifeWay Research study sponsored by the NHCLC and the Philos Project, 45 percent of Hispanic American Christians said they view Israel positively while 26 percent view it negatively and 28 percent are not sure how they feel.
“It was not surprising that the [plurality] had a positive perception of Israel. But we weren’t aware how much they didn’t know,” said Jesse Rojo, Hispanic affairs director for Philos, a nonprofit that encourages Christian engagement in the Middle East.
In the survey, about a third of Hispanic Americans responded that they were unsure about their own positions on the state of Israel, its theological significance, and levels of US aid to the country. This ambivalence and uncertainty proved to organizers the need for further education and engagement among Latinos.
“We realized we’re at a pivotal point,” said Rojo, who has enlisted pastors, Latino singers, and Spanish-speaking theologians to partner on the issue.
While Hispanic Christians are more likely than the average American to support the state of Israel, their views don’t typically shape their politics. More than half told LifeWay that a politician’s stance on Israel doesn’t impact their vote.
HILC leaders have focused on changing that perspective, reminding Latino evangelicals—who may come from countries where they had to keep faith and politics separate—that they have a political voice here in the United States, said Suarez, who serves on President Donald Trump’s evangelical advisory board along with NHCLC president (and CT board member) Sam Rodriguez.
Hispanic evangelicals are more comfortable with policy activism than the rest of the Hispanic population, including Catholics and mainline Protestants. In a 2014 Pew Research Center survey, 61 percent said they believe churches should express their views on political issues.
“We don’t detach history from Scripture and the greater story of God’s redemption,” Rojo said. “We don’t see what happens at the policy level as completely separate from what happens in Scripture.”
For decades, Hispanic immigrants and converts have been a boon to the US evangelical church. And as the largest ethnic minority within evangelicalism, their increasingly vocal stance on Israel is starting to have an impact.
“American Zionists have tended to be white because evangelicalism here has been dominated by whites,” said Gerald McDermott, editor of The New Christian Zionism. “But now as American evangelicals are changing colors, so is Zionism.”
McDermott, a Beeson Divinity School professor, points out that global Zionism has always contained racial diversity, from Ethiopian Jews to the Nigerian Christians who number among Israel’s tourists each year.
“The Jewish story of liberation from slavery in Egypt has always resonated with the black church,” he said. “It is no surprise that blacks are often numerous in messianic Jewish congregations.”
Conservative black churches have been among those resisting the Black Lives Matter movement’s pro-Palestinian position. “This has been a polarizing moment not only for black churches but also for predominantly white and multiracial religious institutions,” said Roger Baumann, a sociologist at Yale University.
While white evangelicals have historically been the most pro-Israel Christian group in America, black Protestants have been the least. Baumann’s research, published last year in the journal Sociology of Religion, found that black pastors who promote Israel rely on prosperity gospel themes and promises of blessing (such as the “I will bless those who bless you” of Gen. 12:3) rather than the liberationist narratives often affiliated with their tradition.
“African American Christian Zionists tend to come from more theologically and politically conservative black churches, where there is a theological narrative about the State of Israel that overlaps with the kind of Christian Zionism prominent among white evangelicals,” Baumann said. “That is, in order to secure God’s blessing, one has to first be a blessing to Israel, which means supporting Israel as a Jewish state today.”
Among Asian Americans, a strain of Korean evangelicals is also committed to championing Israel and repenting for anti-Semitism among Christians. An organization called Korean Christians for Shalom Jerusalem held its annual cultural festival in Israel in May, in honor of the 50th anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem after the Six-Day War.
Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, founder of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (IFCJ), said he sees support for Christian Zionism surging along with the growth of Pentecostal traditions around the globe. In recent years, his organization has launched affiliates in South Korea and Brazil.
As the Hispanic community in America has become “more evangelical Protestant and less Catholic, the possibilities of a Christian Zionist approach became much more real,” Eckstein said. “But nobody has yet been able to really harness or channel that innate support for Israel. They’re just not organized well enough to do so.”
But the potential is there, according to Rojo. “When you give them the right information and invest in them, they will give of their best efforts to become advocates,” he said. “Seeing the way they respond gives me a lot of hope.”
This post originally appeared