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Rev. Gabriel Salguero
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The Rev. Gabriel Salguero—president of the National Latino Evangelical Coalition (NaLEC)—is a powerful voice on issues that affect multi-ethnci communities in the United States. Focusing on poverty, immigration, and education, Salguero’s leadership of the National Latino Evangelical Coalition (NaLEC) offers an important voice for growing diversity and changing demographics in our country. Salguero has been named as one of the most prominent Latino evangelical leaders by the Huffington Post, the Center for American Progress, El Diario, and Jorge Ramos’ Al Punto. In addition to his work with the Circle of Protection—a consortium of faith groups that seek to preserve social programs that help the poor—and his strong calls for immigration reform, Salguero, through his organization, founded Nuestro Futuro, a Latino youth-targeted voter-mobilization campaign in 2012. The National Latino Evangelical Coalition is also focused on the battle for a living wage and prison reform.

Entries by Rev. Gabriel Salguero

Hispanic Evangelicals: No to Nativism

(25) Comments | Posted August 28, 2015 | 12:15 PM

There are close to 8 million Hispanic evangelicals in the United States and we are listening closely to how presidential candidates of every political persuasion will address the issue of immigration. Moreover, not only are Hispanic evangelicals listening closely, our allies in the Anglo, Asian, and African-American communities are listening...

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Hispanic Evangelicals Call For Criminal Justice Reform

(0) Comments | Posted December 18, 2014 | 1:40 PM

Like millions of families across America, I have seen the effects of both crime and the criminal justice system up close. My father served time in the juvenile detention system. He was addicted to heroin as a young man, came from a highly dysfunctional family, and was one of 11...

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Hispanic Evangelicals to Congress: Your Turn on Immigration

(9) Comments | Posted November 25, 2014 | 4:34 PM

It is high time Congress passes immigration reform. For over a decade we have seen repeated bi-partisan efforts fail for inexplicable reasons. All of us can remember, the promise of compromise in McCain-Kennedy and Graham-Schumer that came to nothing. The case for reform has been made repeatedly. Major faith leaders...

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Hispanic Evangelicals to Congress: Your Turn On Immigration

(4) Comments | Posted November 25, 2014 | 9:59 AM

It is high time Congress passes immigration reform. For over a decade we have seen repeated bi-partisan efforts fail for inexplicable reasons. All of us can remember, the promise of compromise in McCain-Kennedy and Graham-Schumer that came to nothing. The case for reform has been made repeatedly. Major faith leaders...

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¿Cuánto Cuesta? Evangélicos and Climate Change Inaction

(0) Comments | Posted September 23, 2014 | 12:26 PM

As an evangelical, I believe that "I am my brother's and sister's keeper." That means that I have a moral responsibility to protect those closest to me, as well as my "neighbors" around the world. In my eyes, living this mission includes supporting climate change solutions that will help to...

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Hispanic Evangelicals: Climate Change, Family and Flock

(0) Comments | Posted June 2, 2014 | 3:14 PM

When you say climate change, the first thing that most people think of is polar bears. For me, a different image comes to mind -- my family and my flock.

I've not always realized the significance of climate change. It wasn't until the topic was part of a summit...

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Hispanic Evangelicals Call for Change in Capital Punishment

(0) Comments | Posted May 6, 2014 | 7:05 PM

In recent years there has been a resurging ground-swell around criminal justice reform. This resurgence has the broadest coalition of support I can remember. Signs abound that these are not just the usual suspects. Evangelical leaders are joining conversations with people like Conservatives Concerned About the Death Penalty and Equal...

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Son of God and Hispanic Evangelicals

(0) Comments | Posted March 4, 2014 | 12:35 PM

What does Hollywood have to do with Jesus and Hispanics? Not a question many expect to hear often on Hollywood Boulevard or in the corridors of the biggest movie studios in the country. But it's a new day in the country and Hollywood. After the overwhelming success of The Bible...

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Lament and Sadness Over Stalled Immigration Reform

(7) Comments | Posted February 19, 2014 | 4:45 PM

Our nation has no shortage of venues in which to witness the urgency for immigration reform. However, I would submit that the need is no more palpable than in the pews of Hispanic evangelical churches.

A fortnight ago, House Republican leaders issued standards for immigration reform that...

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'America's Most Effective Prophet': Tonal Lessons From Dr. King

(1) Comments | Posted January 20, 2014 | 5:05 PM

James Melvin Washington once wrote that Martin Luther King, Jr., was "America's most effective prophet." He was absolutely right. Among the most enduring legacies in all of American history is the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. It is no small accomplishment that a Baptist preacher stands among the pantheon...

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Hispanic Evangelicals Hopeful After Governor Christie Signs NJ Dream Act

(1) Comments | Posted January 7, 2014 | 11:00 PM

Hope does not die easily. After attending a meeting with Governor Chris Christie on the Dream Act I am encouraged that bi-partisan immigration reform is possible. After the meeting and ceremony, Rev. Joshua Rodriguez, vice-president of the National Latino Evangelical Coalition (NaLEC) affirmed the decision, "This step provides a real...

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El Sueño; Hispanic Evangelicals and Dr. King's Dream

(11) Comments | Posted August 28, 2013 | 11:07 AM

On Saturday, I had the privilege to pray on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial as part of the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. Almost 50 years after Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I Have A Dream" speech, we were in the same place...

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Why We Can't Wait: The Future of the US Democracy

(27) Comments | Posted July 18, 2013 | 7:39 PM

As Christian faith leaders, two of our deepest values are love and justice. Informed by our Christian heritage and legacy of our shared histories in pursuit of a more perfect union, we know our nation is deeply enriched by the inclusion of a great mosaic of people in our democracy....

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Latino Evangelicals Trending: A Closer Look and What's Next?

(77) Comments | Posted April 8, 2013 | 12:22 PM

By now many people have read Time magazine's, "Latino Reformation," a cover story on the growth of Latino Evangelicals in America. Elizabeth Dias chronicles the growth of Hispanic Evangelicals including both store-front congregations to Latino mega-churches. As a Hispanic Evangelical leader my question of course is, "Why are Latino evangelicals trending?" If PEW forum is right, the approximately 7.8 million Hispanic evangelicals are a force to be reckoned with both in local communities and national policy. Hispanic evangelicals, like featured mega-church pastor Rev. Wilfredo DeJesus, are making a difference in a myriad of ways. Moreover, hundreds of small churches impact their communities from establishing drug-rehab centers, to integrating immigrants, to advocating against human-trafficking and gun violence. Moreover, Latino Evangelicals have been at the forefront of much media attention particularly around immigration reform. To be clear, Catholicism is still the dominant group among Hispanics. Then, why are we trending? Simply put, because we're growing and we are increasingly politically active.

Let's just take a look at the last decade of coverage and interest. During the 2012 presidential elections, Latino evangelicals led prayers both at the DNC and RNC conventions. In addition, The Huffington Post featured a story of the seven most influential Latino faith leaders -- five of them were evangelical (this includes a married couple). This year my wife and I had the privilege to lead prayers at the Presidential inaugural and the Easter Prayer Service. Rev. Luis Cortés of Esperanza led a prayer at the Congressional Presidential Breakfast. The Rev. Samuel Rodriguez prayed at the RNC convention and the Rev. Noel Castellanos of CCDA served on the White House Faith Based Council. In addition, every sitting U.S. president has attended the National Hispanic Prayer Breakfast since its inception. The Evangelical Immigration Table has leadership from every one of the major Hispanic Evangelical organizations in the country. In short, these voices are in high demand. Besides immigration reform, however, I suspect that another reason stands behind this demand. Many believe that despite Latinos voting 71 percent for Obama that Latino Evangelicals are still the quintessential swing vote. This may be true. While President Obama won the Latino Evangelical vote both in 2008 and 2012 it was by a much slimmer majority than the overall Latino vote. The political measurement is that Hispanic evangelicals are social conservatives and politically progressive. So, the full-court press is on. With this in mind I'm sharing some possible future foci while the Hispanic evangelicals' national profile continues to rise.

First, our concern for those Jesus called the "least of these" should always be at the forefront of the policies and legislations we affirm. After immigration reform happens we should not forget the poor, the hungry, the child, the widow and the orphan. Latino evangelicals should always be vigilant for policies, at home and abroad, that disproportionately impact poor and hungry people. We should always remember that Matthew 25 teaches us that nations are judged by how they treat the most vulnerable. The temptation to be co-opted or commodified for political interests will be strong but our primary allegiance should always be to the Gospel. Our advocacy and education should always spring from a Gospel-commitment that engenders justice and mercy.

Second, we need to continue to broaden our leadership, particularly among women. While there are three major Latino evangelical organizations that get most of the attention -- Esperanza, NHCLC and the National Latino Evangelical Coalition (NaLEC) -- we need more leaders, not less. The 7.8 million Hispanic evangelicals cannot and should not have a single voice that speaks for us all. Our strength comes from having multiple strong voices that raise our interests. When possible we should work together but there's just too much work and too many issues for one leader, or even a handful, to address. This leadership ought to reflect the diversity of Latinidad and include voices from Central and South America as well as the Caribbean. Latinas and Latinos are ethnically diverse. We are, among other things, Afro-Caribbeans, Asian-Latinos, black, brown and white. This diversity is not a weakness but a strength. In addition, Latino evangelicals desperately need to highlight more national female leadership. In the main-line churches voices like Bishop Minerva Carcaño have been underscored and scores of Latina evangelicals can make equally strong contributions. Recently, more attention has been give to people like Dr. Elizabeth Conde-Frazier, Dr. Elizabeth Rios, and Rev. Jeanette Salguero. Still, more needs to be done.

Third, Latino evangelicals should not be pigeon-holed to certain "Hispanic" issues. After immigration reform we still have work to do. Immigration reform is not the only issue we are passionate about. We have much to say about environmentalism, human trafficking, issues of life, prison reform, educational equity, urban and rural development, arms trade, U.S. foreign aid and the list goes on. The media, government and NGOs would do well in not ghettoizing us to a one-issue constituency. We have so much more to offer.

The strength of Hispanic evangelical leadership is that it works both locally and nationally. We should never abandon our work in the local level with families, at-risk children, community-development programs, local missions, etc. Simultaneously, the rise of national and international advocacy organizations should continue. We need voices that advocate for the common good and better laws. It's not either/or but both/and. The Latino evangelical churches should continue doing both pastoral and prophetic work as we continue to grow....

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Despierta! Hispanic Evangelicals and Political Ping-Pong

(32) Comments | Posted November 5, 2012 | 9:32 AM

Recently, in an interview, I reiterated what I've been saying for years: Hispanic evangelicals are the quintessential swing voters. If Pew's research is correct, the approximate 7.5 million Latino evangelicals are an electorate that is not easily tied to any political party. Pew says that close to 50 percent of...

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