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OFFICIALS FROM SIX PENTECOSTAL DENOMINATIONS URGE CONGREGATIONAL PRAYER ON SUNDAY FOR SUFFERING CHRISTIANS.

Thirty-five leaders from six U.S. Pentecostal denominations met in Southern California this week for a historical three-day summit designed to bring unity to the body of Christ.

All six executive leadership team members of the U.S. General Council of the Assemblies of God attended the Monday through Wednesday gathering in Marina del Rey: General Superintendent George O. Wood, Assistant General Superintendent Alton Garrison, General Secretary James T. Bradford, General Treasurer Doug Clay, AG World Missions Executive Director Greg Mundis, and AG U.S. Missions Executive Director Zollie Smith. Richard Hammar, general counsel for the Fellowship, also attended.

Among the top officials of other Pentecostal denominations represented were International Pentecostal Holiness Church Presiding Bishop Doug Beacham; International Church of the Foursquare Gospel President Glenn C. Burris Jr.; Church of God in Christ Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake Sr.;Open Bible Churches President Randall A. Bach; and Church of GodGeneral Overseer Mark Williams.

Through times of prayer, worship, devotional study, and discussion, the agenda included hot-button issues affecting all groups, including same-sex marriage, the church’s role in racial harmony, the impact of terrorism, social media and technology, biblical training and higher education, cooperative efforts in evangelism and missions, and future ongoing relationships.

“Whatever steps we take are important for us, for our country, and for revival,” Beacham said.

The group also focused on the mass executions of Egyptian Coptic Christians in Libya last week by ISIS militants. The Pentecostal leaders agreed to jointly ask those who attend their representative churches to pray for the persecuted church.

Wood urges Christians to lift up in urgent prayer those who face suffering to the point of death.

“The recent beheading of 21 Egyptian Christians is a reminder to the body of Christ that even in the 21st century Christians are being martyred,” Wood says. “Please set aside time this Sunday and/or subsequent Sundays to pray for believers all over the world who are facing persecution, discrimination, marginalization, and even death.”

In a separate statement, Samuel Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, called upon all Christians on Sunday to allocate a minute of silence followed by a reflective prayer for the murdered Christians and their families.

“Recognizing that today’s complacency is tomorrow’s captivity, as followers of Christ we recognize that silence is not an option,” says Rodriguez, leader of the largest Christian Hispanic organization in the U.S. and an ordained AG minister.

Despite the troubling times, both Wood and Rodriguez encourage followers of Christ to remain hopeful and courageous.

“May we not fail to remember our eternal hope in Christ, which no one can take away,” Wood says. “Those who risk greatly for the cause of Christ never lose, even when it appears they may.”

“Terror and intolerance cannot, and will not, extinguish the light of God’s grace, truth, and love,” Rodriguez says.

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Christians shaken by slaying of 21 Egyptians by ISIS

Father Mikhael Ibrahim of the Saint Mary Coptic Orhodoch Church in Victorville is from Egypt. Many local Egyptians are saddened and shaken by recent events in the Middle East. (James Quigg, Daily Press)

By RENE RAY DE LA CRUZ
STAFF WRITER 

Posted Feb. 24, 2015 at 3:49 PM

VICTORVILLE — Jimmy Mettias said nothing has ever shaken him like when he heard the news that a group of militants claiming affiliation with ISIS had beheaded 21 Egyptian Christians in Libya.

Mettias, an attorney based out of Victorville, said as a “follower of Christ first, American citizen second and (with) Egyptian blood running through his veins third,” he cannot idly sit by as his fellow brothers and sisters in Christ suffer.

“This atrocity harkens back to the First Century when Christians were put to death in mass for their faith,” Mettias told the Daily Press. “I was born in the United States, but anyone of the 21 could have been me or anyone of my friends. We are blessed to be here in the U.S. where we are protected.”

Led by the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, religious leaders from across the nation were asked to use Saturday and Sunday to lead congregations and individuals in a minute of silence, and a time of prayer and reflection for the grieving families of the 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians killed in North Africa.

According to the Associated Press, many of the Egyptians killed on Feb. 15 in Libya were poor fishermen who had traveled there in hopes of earning money.

Sam Malek, 42, who attends St. Mary Coptic Orthodox Church in Victorville, said the congregation has been praying for the families of the slain and all those persecuted in the Middle East and all over the world.

“Coptic communities had a big missive and we have all been praying,” Malek said. “The Los Angeles Diocese also organized a large event to help the families of those killed. We will continue to lift the families in prayer.”

Mettias, who attends an Arabic Church in Rancho Cucamonga, said he wants to lay out a plan of action for anyone who has a burden to stand up and defend those that are oppressed.

His plan includes fervent and urgent prayer by the body of Christ in the U.S., specific days of fasting and prayer for Arab Christians of all ages in the U.S. and a relentless pursuit of action by the U.S. government against ISIS and other oppressive groups.

“We need to make our voices heard here in the U.S. so that our leaders act to protect the believers in Iraq, Syria and Libya that have no one advocating on their behalf,” Mettias said. “We must also do fundraising aimed at providing aid and resources to the persecuted churches in the Middle East in a relevant and practical manner.”

Mettias said Christians must also follow Christ’s lead by praying for ISIS “just as our Lord commanded us.” Mettias said he plans on setting up a task force to implement his action plan.

Hesperia resident Bob Chandler said that even though he’s a non-Egyptian, the 21 slain were his “brothers in Christ,” and that his support and prayers are with their families.

“The Bible clearly states that we, who are in Christ, are to love one another,” Chandler said. “Despite where each one of us lives, whatever color skin that we’re shackled with or what language we speak, we still remain as brothers and sisters in Christ. And we are called upon by God to love one another.”

Joseph Saleh, a businessman from Hesperia who works in Orange Country, said his family in Egypt has been on edge ever since his “fellow countrymen were butchered.”

“With every passing year, oppression against Christians has deepened in Egypt,” said Saleh, who attends several Coptic churches including Archangel Michael Coptic Orthodox Church in Santa Ana. “We are family by the Lord and not just by birth. We must pray for all our brothers and sisters who are facing oppression and even martyrdom.”

Mettias said he recently met with the founder of AlKarma TV in Orange County to brainstorm some programming ideas to reach the Muslim population.

“We have an idea of encouraging believers under persecution and reaching the Muslim population with vital information,” Mettias said. “Many of them don’t know what people are doing in the name of their own religion.”

AKTV has two different channels broadcasting 24 hours and reaching Muslim and Christian Arabic speakers around the world, according to the station’s website.

Mettias said the mainstream media’s deliberate omission of the word “Christian,” in reference to the 21 who were killed, “streams down from White House, which doesn’t want to make this a radical Islam agenda, but to focus purely on politics.”

“Some people say that if we gave these people jobs, they would not commit these acts of violence,” Mettias said. “The reality is that the average American doesn’t understand what they are facing. Killing the 21 was a clear message from ISIS to the people of the cross.”

Saleh echoed Mettias’ message, saying that Christianity is ISIS’s biggest obstacle as it attempts to expand its influence.

Mettias said the message of ISIS is that Christianity must be defeated in order for the Caliphate (successor) to take power as the political leader of the Islamic community. Once the Caliphate is in place, ISIS would attempt to establish itself as the leader of a worldwide Muslim movement.

“With Christians out of the picture, as well as other opponents of ISIS, the group can take control of more land,” Mettias said.

Mettias said Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi is responding appropriately to the deaths of the 21, but said the White House needs to admit that a “terrorist organization is the root of the problem.”

“We’re still waiting for our government to respond in that manner,” Mettias said. “Until then, we must intercede for those being persecuted.”

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    Britain’s Coptic Bishop Says He’s Forgiven ISIS for Beheading 21 Egyptian Copts; Says He Doesn’t Forgive the Act but the Killers

    Jordanian Christians attend mass at the Coptic Orthodox Patriarchate in Amman, in memory of the Egyptians beheaded in Libya, February 18, 2015. Christians in Amman held the prayer service, which was attended by representatives of the churches in Jordan, for the Egyptian Christians beheaded by Islamic State in Libya last week.

    Bishop Angaelos, leader of the Coptic Orthodox Church in the United Kingdom, said he has forgiven the Islamic State terror group, which is responsible for the recent brutal beheading of 21 Egyptian Copts in Libya, explaining that “anger and hatred” only lead to “a spiral of violence.”

     

    Bishop Angaelos, who was in Washington last week, spoke to CNN and admitted that the killings were indeed shocking, maintaining that the act still needed to be forgiven.

    “It may seem unbelievable to some of your readers, but as a Christian and a Christian minister I have a responsibility to myself and to others to guide them down this path of forgiveness,” he said. “We don’t forgive the act because the act is heinous. But we do forgive the killers from the depths of our hearts.”

    After ISIS released the video showing militants in Libya executing 21 Copts, Bishop Angaelos tweeted, using the hashtag #FatherForgive.

    The video showed the Copts whispering the name of Jesus as their heads were being hacked off their bodies.

    The bishop said without forgiveness “we would become consumed by anger and hatred. It becomes a spiral of violence that has no place in this world.”

    Angaelos added that the beheading was not just a crime against Coptic Christians. “It is a crime against humanity, and if there’s anything we should stand for as human beings, first and foremost it’s the sanctity of all human life.”

    Asked why the Copts were killed if he and other prayed for their safety, the bishop replied he also prayed they would have the peace and strength to be able to go through that extremely difficult situation. “It doesn’t change my view of God that these 21 men died in this way. They were sacrificed, but so much has come out of it.”

    Bishop Angaelos said he’s concerned about persecution of people from all faiths, and not just Christians.

    “Of course, the vast majority of persecution falls squarely right now on Christians in the Middle East and that needs to be addressed,” he said. “But, as a Christian, I will never be comfortable just safeguarding the rights of Christians. We need to help everyone.”

    ISIS is an al-Qaeda offshoot which is spreading terror to form an Islamic emirate in the Levant region.

    The Sunni group has released videos showing the beheading of five Western hostages – British hostages David Haines and Alan Henning, and U.S. citizens James Foley, Steven Sotloff and Abdul-Rahman Kassig – as well as two Japanese hostages Kenji Goto and Haruna Yukawa.

    ISIS has gained control over large territories in Iraq and Syria.

    Many Christians in the United States prayed for the Copts Sunday, after award-winning television producers Mark Burnett and Roma Downey; Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, president of The National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference; Russell Moore, president of The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission; Gabe Lyons, founder of Q Ideas; and other religious leaders urged Christians to observe a minute of silence.

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    ‘McFarland USA’ Is the Prophetic Voice the Immigration Reform Debate Needs

    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.

    With discretion so as to not reveal the ending of this true story, the film confirmed for me a simple truth: that in spite of recent actions and inaction by our elected officials, the issues surrounding our nation’s immigration policies will not go away. Immigration reform is, at the risk of sounding overly optimistic, inevitable. A powerful and transformative assurance of this inevitability exists, what I call the “prophetic imperative.”

    This biblically based impetus has solidified in the hearts of the emerging Christ-following generation as the following truths: that silence is not an option, truth must never be sacrificed on the altar of expediency and today’s complacency is tomorrow’s captivity.

    In other words, how can we be so certain that immigration reform will take place? Simply stated, as long as God’s word lives, Matthew 25 stands preached, and God’s Spirit moves convicting us to do justice, love mercy and walk humbly before him. Immigration reform will take place because the Bible-believing evangelical community understands that the future of American Christianity lies in how to serve the fastest growing segment of our churches: the immigrant community.

    How can I come to such conclusions on the heels of an attempt by Congress to defund the President’s executive action expanding deferment to approximately 5 million additional undocumented, hard working individuals created in God’s image? Simply stated, from a practical standpoint, immigration reform will inevitably take place because — by all accounts, including acquiescence by the most animated opponents of reform — mass deportation will not and can never happen.

    Furthermore, America’s political landscape assures us that immigration reform will take place because without it, Republicans will never acquire the necessary 32 to 35 percent of the Latino vote necessary to retake Pennsylvania Avenue. In essence, the party of Lincoln and Reagan must cross the Jordan of immigration reform in order to enter the promise land of America’s Hispanic American electorate.

    At the end of the day the immigrant community, so beautifully depicted in “McFarland U.S.A.,” reveal to us all the certainty that these hard-working, God loving, family-embracing individuals stand poised to enrich the collective American experience.

    As the film came to an end, my wife nudged me and pointed to an elderly Mexican American man in front of us who was quietly weeping while on the screen the immigrant teens sang the national anthem. For his sake, and for Americans, I still believe that one day the challenges our current immigration policies pose will be reformed, and the following biblical truth will be affirmed: what we sow in tears we will reap with joy.

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    2015 International Pastors & Leadership Conference!

     

    As a charismatic leader, visionary, provocative thinker, entrepreneur and best-selling author, Bishop T.D. Jakes brings a bold, honest, heartfelt and personal perspective to real-world issues through powerful conferences and a plethora of candid sermons while training the next wave of leaders to assume their roles in the Kingdom. There is no place better to be initiated into the next move of God and obtain awesome instruction than at the 2015 International Pastors & Leadership Conference, happening April 30—May 2 in Orlando, Florida!

    The challenging task God has assigned you requires you to have vision beyond the familiar boundaries of your life. Therefore, this year’s P&L Conference has been aptly themed Build Locally, Think Globally! Innovators, Trailblazers, Pastors and Entrepreneurs, the world is ripe for the taking for Kingdom-Children! Receive encouragement as you are armed with the necessary tools and techniques to take your organization or church to a global level at the 2015 International Pastors & Leadership Conference!

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    General Session Speakers Announced for Empowered21 Global Congress in Jerusalem

    Contact: Jeremy Burton, Oral Roberts University, 918-495-6649

    TULSA, Okla., March 11, 2015 /Christian Newswire/ — The Empowered21 Global Congress is shaping up to be one of the largest gatherings of Spirit-empowered leaders in Jerusalem. Most recently, E.A. Adeboye and Jack Hayford were named among the more than 130 confirmed speakers. The general session speakers will include Adeboye, Reinhard Bonnke, Christine Caine, Claudio Freidzon, Jentezen Franklin, Hayford, Wayne Hilsden, Daniel Kolenda, Niko Njotorahardjo, Samuel Rodriguez, Tim Ross, Dr. William M. Wilson and Dr. George Wood. These teachers and leaders from the global Spirit-empowered movement will share practical spiritual insights with attendees. Attendees can register at www.jerusalem2015.com.

    “We are humbled that these men and women of God are joining the global Spirit-empowered community in Jerusalem as we learn, worship and seek the Lord together,” said Wilson, Empowered21 president and global co-chair. “We are urging all Christians who believe in the importance of being empowered by the Holy Spirit to join us in the Holy Land. This event has the potential to create waves of change around the planet for the Kingdom of God.”

    The Jerusalem 2015 Global Congress is a call to all believers from around the world to celebrate Pentecost in the land of Pentecost. The event will attract Spirit-empowered Christians from every continent to Jerusalem during the week of Pentecost to unite in faith for a fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit.

    Adeboye is the General Overseer of The Redeemed Christian Church of God. In 1998, he held a Holy Ghost Festival in Lekki, Lagos, Nigeria and more than 7 million people were in attendance as confirmed by the CNN aerial satellite. This event transformed into the Holy Ghost Congress and has grown in the number of attendees each year. Newsweek named him one of the Fifty Most Influential People In The World in 2009.

    Bonnke is the founder of Christ for All Nations, which currently has offices in the United States, Canada, Germany, United Kingdom, Nigeria, South Africa, Singapore, Australia and Hong Kong. The ministry has recorded 55 million documented decisions for Jesus Christ since 2000. Bonnke has spent the past several years developing the “Full Flame Film Series,” a series of eight inspirational films aimed at inspiring and challenging the church to Holy Spirit evangelism.

    Caine travels the globe preaching, teaching and advocating for justice. She has authored five books, including Undaunted and her most recent release, UNSTOPPABLE: Running the Race You Were Born to Win. Caine and her husband, Nick, have also founded The A21 Campaign, an anti-human trafficking organization that fights slavery around the globe.

    Freidzon’s ministry is well-known for powerful manifestations of the Holy Spirit through signs and wonders. Through crusades and conferences, Freidzon has ministered to more than 2.5 million people on five continents. He is the author of the book Holy Spirit, I Hunger for You, which has been translated into nine languages; From Glory to Glory, daily reflections; Treasure in Jars of Clay, and Rendido totalmente (Totally Surrendered).

    Franklin is the Senior Pastor of Free Chapel, a multi-campus church with a global reach. His messages impact multiple generations through various outreaches and his televised broadcast, “Kingdom Connection.” Franklin is also a New York Times best-selling author and he speaks at conferences worldwide.

    Hayford serves as Chancellor of The Kings University (formerly The King’s College and Seminary) in Los Angeles and Dallas, which he founded in 1997. From 2004 to 2009, he also served as President of The International Church of the Foursquare Gospel. He is probably best known, however, as “Pastor Jack,” founding pastor of The Church On The Way in Van Nuys, California, where he served as senior pastor for more than three decades. A prolific and best-selling writer, Hayford is the author (or co-author) of more than 50 books and has composed 500 hymns and choruses, including the internationally-known and widely-recorded “Majesty.”

    Hilsden has served as lead pastor of King of Kings Community in Jerusalem, Israel since 1983. King of Kings Community has launched several ministries in Israel, including Israel College of the Bible, The Jerusalem Prayer Tower, King’s School of Media and Jerusalem Pavilion Worship and Conference Center. Before moving to Israel, he and his wife, Ann, served as pastors, taught at a bible college and worked in TV and music ministry.

    Kolenda is the president and CEO of Christ for All Nations and a modern missionary evangelist who has led more than 10 million people to Christ through massive open-air evangelistic campaigns in some of the most remote locations on earth. He has spent many years of ministry side-by-side his mentor and spiritual father evangelist, Bonnke. Together, they have circled the globe preaching the Gospel and continue to do so as a single-minded team with great effectiveness.

    Njotorahardjo is the Senior Pastor of GBI Jl Gatot Subroto and has a passion to see the Holy Spirit overtake the region of Asia. He is the founder and president of Healing Movement Ministries in Asia. Njotorahardjo is Co-Chair for Empowered21 Asia and on the cutting edge of the Spirit-empowered movement.

    Rodriguez is the Senior Pastor of New Season Christian Worship Center in Sacramento, California. He provides oversight and leadership to over 34,200 churches in all 50 states and Puerto Rico. Rodriguez is also the President of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, America’s largest Hispanic Christian and Evangelical organization. He is the author of The Lamb’s Agenda and Path of Miracles.

    Ross is an Executive Pastor at Gateway Church, a multi-campus, evangelistic, Spirit-empowered church in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex. Ross speaks both nationally and internationally, strengthening believers with the Good News of Jesus Christ. His dynamic teaching style and uncanny ability to make people understand the gospel message is the reason why he has been such an asset to ministries across cultural and denominational lines.

    Wilson is the fourth president of Oral Roberts University, the President and Global Co-Chair of Empowered21 and host of “Voice of Salvation Ministries Presents World Impact with Dr. Billy Wilson.” His TV program has inspired and empowered viewers from a biblical worldview in 170 nations and in five languages. Additionally, Wilson is a renowned speaker and author, writing several books including Father Cry, Foundations of Faith and Fasting Forward.

    Wood serves as the Chief Executive Officer of the Assemblies of God. As general superintendent of the Assemblies of God, USA, he is a member of the denomination’s Executive Leadership Team and Executive Presbytery. The church has over 12,700 congregations in the United States with over three million members and adherents. The U.S. Assemblies of God is part of a larger World Assemblies of God fellowship with a membership of over 66 million. Wood also serves as chairman of the World Assemblies of God Fellowship, as well as the global co-chair for Empowered21.

    You can find the full list of speakers at www.jerusalem2015.com.

    The Jerusalem 2015 Global Congress will be a pivotal event that will begin with a grand opening celebration in the Pais Arena on Wednesday, May 20, 2015. The next day will feature general sessions and focused tracks including: “Next Gen Trending, Values and Ministry,” “How to Pray and Intercede Effectively,” “Prophecy and the End Times,” “Scholars Gathering and Paper Presentation,” “Signs, Wonders and Healing,” “The Effective Evangelist,” “Spirit-empowered Discipleship,” “Exploring the land of Pentecost,” “Business Leadership God’s Way,” “The 21st Century Church: Leading, Planting and Prospering,” “Happening Now: The Book of Acts,” “True Religion: Compassion,” “Leading Effective Praise and Worship,” “How Shall We Talk Between Cultures?,” “The Word of the Hour,” “Israel and the Church Today,” “Your Sons and Daughters,” “Communicating the Word: Publishing, Media and the Arts,” “Media: Creating and Producing Effective Television Media.”

    On Friday, May 22, an outdoor worship event will be held in Manger Square in Bethlehem. Bonnke and Kolenda will be the feature speakers. This will be a time of praise, prayer and preaching focused on the coming of Jesus in Bethlehem.

    There will be a special service on Saturday, May 23, at the Jordan River at the spot where it is believed that Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist. This part of the river also narrowly divides the nations of Israel and Jordan. Christians will gather on both sides of the river to pray and worship God together in unity.

    Also, on this day and other points in the week, Empowered21 and Convoy of Hope are partnering together for “Hope in the Holy Land.” “Hope in the Holy Land” is an outreach created to show love and appreciation for those who reside in the region.

    Sunday, May 24, attendees will spend the entire day in continuous worship and prayer at several points around the city of Jerusalem including the King of Kings Community.

    The Global Congress will end Sunday night in a grand Pentecost celebration at the Jerusalem Arena. This will be a special impartation service for the next generation and everyone seeking the power of the Holy Spirit to reach the world for Jesus Christ.

    Individuals can register for the Global Congress online atwww.jerusalem2015.com or by phone at 855-890-0676. Individuals can get $100 off by using the code EMPOWER1 through the end of March. Groups will get an 11th person free for every 10 people registered. Church groups of 25 or more can get special rates by emailing E21@sareltours.com.

    Jerusalem 2015 Global Congress Partners include Charisma Media, My Healthy Church, Trinity Broadcasting Network, Museum of the Bible, Integrity Music, the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem (ICEJ), Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN) and the700 Club, David C Cook, 100 Huntley Street, the Bible App for Kids, Bridges for Peace, Oral Roberts University, Gateway Church, GEB America, Christ for the Nations, The Hayford Institute, Convoy of Hope and Sar-El Tours.

    About Empowered21
    Empowered21 aims to help shape the future of the global Spirit-empowered movement throughout the world by focusing on crucial issues facing the movement and connecting generations for intergenerational blessing and impartation. Their vision is that every person on Earth would have an authentic encounter with Jesus Christ through the power and presence of the Holy Spirit by Pentecost 2033. Get more information at www.empowered21.com. Registration is open for the Empowered21 Global Congress to be held May 20-25, 2015 in Jerusalem. Empowered21 is a Kingdom initiative served by Oral Roberts University, 
    www.oru.edu.

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    Plurality Nation: The Possibility of No Racial or Ethnic Majority

    Plurality Nation: The Possibility of No Racial or Ethnic Majority

    Heather Sells

    The U.S. Census Bureau is projecting a very diverse population in the years ahead. In its latest analysis, it forecasts that by 2044 the U.S. will become a plurality nation.

    The bureau explains “while the non-Hispanic White alone population will still be the largest, no race or ethnic group is projected to have greater than a 50 percent share of the nation’s total.”

    The changes are coming even sooner for children. The bureau says that by 2020, more than half (50.2 percent) of those under 18 will be nonwhite.

    Newsroom Talk spoke with Dr. Carlos Campo, who is the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference’s Chair of the Alliance for Hispanic Education, about the projected changes and how they could impact the church, education, and politics.

    Here are some of our thoughts on this shift in the cultural fabric of our nation:

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    NHCLC/CONEL President Urges Pastors to Discuss Biblical Perspective on Immigration Reform

    NHCLC/CONEL President Urges Pastors to Discuss Biblical Perspective on Immigration Reform Dr. Rodriguez Available to Discuss New Study Showing Evangelical Christians are Ready for a Solution SACRAMENTO, Calif., March 16, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — What: Evangelicals support a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants living in the United States according to a new LifeWay Research study, but they do not associate their opinions with their faith. To help evangelicals better understand the Biblical perspective, Dr. Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference/CONEL (NHCLC/CONEL), is encouraging pastors to preach on the issue of a biblical response to immigration. “God cares more about people than immigration reform. First and foremost, immigrants are created in the image of God, and we have a responsibility to love and care for them,” said Rodriguez. “Immigration reform is necessary to heal our communities and usher in peace and promote righteousness and justice.” In its recent study, LifeWay Researchers asked evangelicals to list which factor has most influenced their beliefs about immigration. Approximately 12 percent chose the Bible, and only 2 percent named their church. Two-thirds of evangelicals say their church has never encouraged them to reach out to immigrants. The study did find that evangelicals are interested in what their faith says on immigration reform. Two-thirds (68 percent) say they would value hearing a sermon about the Bible’s views on immigration. “It is important for Christians to associate their faith with their political beliefs. I encourage pastors to take on subjects like immigration reform, offering biblical truths on hot-button issues,” said Rodriguez. Who: Dr. Samuel Rodriguez is the president of the NHCLC/CONEL, the largest Hispanic Christian organization serving as a representative voice for the more than 100 million Hispanic Evangelicals assembled in over 40,000 U.S. churches and another 500,000 congregations spread throughout the Spanish-speaking community. Where: In studio, by Skype or by phone. Details: NHCLC/CONEL Seeks to reconcile evangelist Billy Graham’s message of salvation with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s march of prophetic activism, the NHCLC/CONEL emphasizes “7 Directives” of Life, Family, Compassionate Evangelism, Stewardship, Justice, Education and Youth. For additional information, visit http://www.nhclc.org. Logo – http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20120912/CL72800LOGO To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/nhclcconel-president-urges-pastors-to-discuss-biblical-perspective-on-immigration

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    El presidente de la NHCLC/CONEL urge a los pastores a discutir la perspectiva bíblica sobre la reforma inmigratoria

    SACRAMENTO, California, 16 de marzo de 2015 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ — Qué: Los evangélicos apoyan un camino a la ciudadanía para los inmigrantes ilegales que viven en los Estados Unidos, según un nuevo estudio de LifeWay Research, pero no asocian sus opiniones con su fe. Para ayudar a los evangélicos a entender mejor la perspectiva bíblica, el Dr. Samuel Rodriguez, presidente de la Conferencia Nacional de Liderazgo Cristiano Hispano/CONEL (NHCLC/CONEL), alienta a los pastores a predicar sobre el tema de una respuesta bíblica a la inmigración. Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20120912/CL72800LOGO “A Dios le importa más la gente que la reforma inmigratoria. Primero y principal, los inmigrantes fueron creados a imagen y semejanza de Dios y tenemos la responsabilidad de amarlos y cuidarlos”, señaló Rodriguez. “La reforma inmigratoria es necesaria para sanar a nuestras comunidades, traer paz y promover la rectitud y la justicia”. En su estudio reciente, los investigadores de LifeWay Research le pidieron a los evangélicos que enumeren qué factores han influenciado más sus creencias sobre la inmigración. Aproximadamente el 12 por ciento eligió la Biblia y solo el 2 por ciento señaló a su iglesia. Dos tercios de los evangélicos dicen que la iglesia nunca los ha alentado a acercarse a los inmigrantes. El estudio sí encontró que los evangélicos están interesados en qué dice su fe sobre la reforma inmigratoria. Dos tercios (68 por ciento) dijeron que valorarían escuchar un sermón sobre las perspectivas de la Biblia sobre la inmigración. “Es importante para los cristianos asociar su fe con sus opiniones políticas. Aliento a los pastores a abordar temas como la reforma inmigratoria, ofreciendo verdades bíblicas sobre asuntos polémicos”, afirmó Rodriguez. Quién: El Dr. Samuel Rodriguez es el presidente de la NHCLC/CONEL, la mayor organización cristiana hispana que es una voz representativa para los más de 100 millones de evangélicos hispanos reunidos en más de 40,000 iglesias en los EE. UU. y otras 500,000 congregaciones distribuidas por toda la comunidad hispanohablante. Dónde: En el estudio, por Skype o por teléfono. Detalles: La NHCLC/CONEL busca reconciliar el mensaje de salvación del evangelista Billy Graham con la marcha de activismo profético del Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. La NHCLC/CONEL enfatiza las “7 Directivas” de Vida, Familia, Evangelismo Compasivo, Mayordomía, Justicia, Educación y Juventud. Para obtener más información, visite http://www.nhclc.org. FUENTE National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference/CONEL SOURCE National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference/CONEL

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    Faith Leaders Seek to Bridge Education, Minority Gap

    Faith leaders are meeting in Atlanta this week to discuss church strategies to promote education among minority youth.

    Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference (NHCLC), and Elder Bernice King, CEO of the King Center and daughter of the late Martin Luther King, led the sessions on behalf of the NHCLC’s Faith and Education Coalition.

    The two spoke to CBN’s Heather Sells about how churches can encourage educational opportunity and equity in urban and minority communities.

    http://www.cbn.com/cbnnews/us/2015/March/Faith-Leaders-Seek-to-Bridge-Education-Minority-Gap/

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