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[345] The New Wave

According to Meghan Winter of The Atlantic, the new wave of Protestant evangelicals is Hispanic. One factor is demographic. It is projected that by 2060 there will be 110 million Hispanics in the US, up from 110 million now. More important are organized efforts to evangelize Hispanics. There is an attempt to plant churches. The National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference (NHCLC) claims to represent more than 40,000 churches and intends to plant 25,000 more by 2030.

Much of this church planting is bankrolled by megachurches, though there are other networks as well. With a median budget of $5.3MM in 2019, these mega-entities have the resources to finance expansion.

There is a widespread belief that Hispanic churches are attractive to newcomers because they attempt to be apolitical. “People want love, they want joy, and they don’t to go to a church that is CNN vs. Fox,” said Samuel Rodriguez, president of the NHCLC. This does not mean people like Rodriguez are not involved in issues of justice. He has served as an advisor to George W. Bush, Barack Obama, and Donald Trump and believes Hispanic believers can help heal the nation. “We really do believe that the Latino Church will reconcile Billy Graham’s message with Dr. King’s march.”

In this church-threatened era, Winter’s article not only reminds us that God works in mysterious ways, but also calls to mind Christ’s words in Matthew 16:18, “…I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” Moreover, for all those evangelical believers praying for a revival, we may have one coming, but from a source outside the traditional evangelical mainstream. DC

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