Rev. Salguero is the founder of the National Latino Evangelical Coalition (NaLEC) and a pastor in Orlando, FL
Ed: Recently, a PBS prime-time special (The New Deciders) and the NY Times Opinion page (The Evangelicalism of Old White Men Is Dead) highlighted the National Latino Evangelical Coalition (NaLEC) as a new kind of Evangelical electorate. What do you think they mean by this?
Gabriel: First, many are recognizing that the close to six million Hispanic Evangelicals are a growing constituency that has both similarities and differences with their Anglo Evangelical counterparts.
In many ways, it is a gift to U.S. evangelicalism that elected officials and news outlets are taking note that Evangelicals are not a monolith. The diversity of evangelicalism is part of its richness. Latinos, African-Americans, Africans, and Asians are somewhat reflective of global evangelicalism. That being said, I think there is a real need for a multicultural and multiracial Evangelical conversation on a holistic gospel-centered public policy agenda. If there have been any learnings from the last two Presidential election cycles, it is that U.S. evangelicalism is increasingly diversifying and broadening.
Ed: Given this growing diversity and the recent elections, where would you place Hispanic Evangelicals in the national political conversation?
Gabriel: I’d begin by saying that the term ‘Evangelical’ cannot be reduced to a political definition. Evangelicalism is first and foremost tied together by three strong convictions: A strong belief in salvation through Jesus Christ alone, a high view of the authority of scripture in faith and Christian practice, and a commitment to sharing our faith and discipling people.
Nevertheless, convictions have implications for the public sphere. While Hispanic Evangelicals are not a monolith, and no one speaks …
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