Chapter

Latino Clergy and Churches in Faith-Based Political and Social Action in the United States

Gastón Espinosa

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/9780195162271.003.0018
Latino Clergy and Churches in Faith-Based Political and Social Action in the United States

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Conventional wisdom holds that except on rare occasions, Latino religious leaders, churches, and religious organizations have not been proactive in political and social action and in some cases have tacitly approved of the oppressive conditions under which Latinos have had to live and work. However, this chapter challenges that wisdom. There has been a de facto tradition of Latino political and social action over the past 150 years, especially in the Southwestern United States. Drawing on the findings from the Hispanic Churches in American Public Life national and leadership surveys in 2000 and 2001, it shows that Latino religious leaders, churches, and religious organizations are much more active in political, civic, and social action than hitherto believed. This is one reason for such widespread support from the general Latino population and civic leaders. Not only do four out of ten Latino congregations help in voter registration, but 62% of Latinos nationwide and over 70% of Latino civic leaders indicated that they want religious leaders to become more involved in educational, social, and political issues.

Keywords: Hispanic Churches; Latino religious leaders; Latino churches; religious organizations; social action

Chapter.  13044 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Religious Studies

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