January 18, 2012

AS SOON AS THE NOMINATION IS WRAPPED UP, MITT CAN GO BEG THEIR FORGIVENESS:

As number of Latino evangelicals grows, it's not politics as usual (Rafael Romo, 1/13/12, CNN)

When Jobe launched New Life Community Church 25 years ago, the Midway neighborhood where his main campus is located was primarily populated by descendants of Polish, Lithuanian and Italian immigrants. Now, the neighborhood is primarily Hispanic.

Jobe estimates that as much as 70% of New Life's 6,000 members are Hispanic.

"They don't typically undermine [the church] where they came from," Jobe said.
"They value the tradition, but what they often tell me is that they were not learning as much about the Bible and how it relates to their life today."

The shift at New Life Community Church in Chicago is a reflection of a national trend, according to Luis Lugo, director of the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life.

"While three-quarters of first-generation Hispanics [in the United States] are Catholic, the percentage for second- and third-generation Latinos goes down to less than 60%," Lugo said. "Generation makes a huge difference. Later generations are much more likely to be converts."

Why does it matter? According to the Pew Forum, there are key political differences among Latinos based on their religious preference.


Hispanic Catholics tend to vote Democrat by a two-to-one margin while Evangelicals and Pentecostals are evenly split between the two parties. In 2004, then President George W. Bush won 60% of the Latino evangelicals, a percentage that political parties are likely to pay attention to as they develop their strategy for the 2012 presidential election.

Hispanic evangelicals and Pentecostals tend to be more politically active than Catholics, have higher rates of citizenship and exercise their right to vote.

Posted by at January 18, 2012 8:53 PM
  

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