WASHINGTON, April 28, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Evangelical leader Rev. Tony Suarez, executive vice president of The National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference (NHCLC)/CONEL, the world's largest Hispanic Christian organization, participated in a meeting yesterday with key House leadership including Speaker Paul Ryan to discuss the political and spiritual direction of the Republican Party.
During the meeting, Rev. Suarez addressed the importance of the Hispanic electorate in the upcoming election and the spiritual implications surrounding the immigration issue.
"The members of Congress, specifically those that profess Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, must prayerfully consider the spiritual implications of mass deportation, as well as the current strategies espoused by both Republican candidates," said Suarez. "If a mass deportation of the 11 million undocumented immigrants in our country were to take place, it would virtually close most Hispanic churches in our country."
In addition to Speaker Ryan, Rep. Jody Hice, Rep. Randy Hultgren, Rep. Reid Ribble, Rep. Tim Walberg, Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers and Rep. Mark Walker attended the meeting that included key prominent religious leaders and influencers, includingRussell Moore, president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, and Jim Garlow, senior pastor of Skyline Church in San Diego, California.
"It was an honor to join other leaders and Speaker Ryan for lunch," said Suarez. "Their willingness to meet with faith leaders, and hear our concerns, gives me hope for what we might be able to accomplish in the future."
Topics of conversation also focused heavily on religious liberty and the policies and tone espoused by the two front-running Republican presidential candidates.
"The 2016 election at the end of the day will determine whether or not we as Americans will continue to have religious liberty," said Rev. Rodriguez, President of the NHCLC. "Yesterday's meeting speaks to the sense of urgency where Christian leaders must coalesce around a prophetic and political strategy that will secure that very freedom for generations to come."
NHCLC/CONEL is the world's largest Hispanic Christian organization. It serves as a representative voice for the more than 100 million Hispanic Evangelicals assembled in over 40,000 U.S. churches and another hundreds of thousands of congregations spread throughout the Spanish-speaking diaspora.
The organization emphasizes "7 Directives" of Life, Family, Compassionate Evangelism, Stewardship, Justice, Education and Youth and seeks to reconcile Evangelist Billy Graham's message of salvation through Christ with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'smarch of prophetic activism. For additional information, visit http://www.nhclc.org.