Chapter

Public Lives in American Hispanic Churches: Expanding the Paradigm

Daniel Ramırez

in Latino Religions and Civic Activism in the United States

Published in print August 2005 | ISBN: 9780195162271
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199850365 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195162271.003.0012
Public Lives in American Hispanic Churches: Expanding the Paradigm

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Although most of the churches that took part in the Sanctuary movement were Mainline Protestant or Catholic, this chapter shows that Pentecostal churches not only provided succor to Central American immigrants seeking sanctuary in the 1980s but even welcomed them into their ministerial ranks. This challenges the traditional view of Pentecostal faith-based action and forces scholars to expand their understanding of Latino political, civic, and social engagement. It is argued that Pentecostal and Evangelical churches serve as “micro public squares and transnational spaces” where people are constantly engaging in transgressive political behavior. There is evidence to indicate that social action has been a part of Latino Pentecostal outreach ever since Susie Villa Valdez attended the Azusa Street Revival in Los Angeles around 1906 and sometime thereafter began work in the “slums” of Los Angeles and migrant labor camps throughout Southern California.

Keywords: Pentecostal churches; Sanctuary movements; Central American immigrants; social action; Latino Pentecostal outreach

Chapter.  8837 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Religious Studies

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