Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Se habla Adventist

Great article in The New York Times (albeit way too short) on the impact of Hispanics on the American Catholic Church. Among the findings:
  • One-third of American Catholics are now Hispanic.
  • Hispanic Catholics are more apt to be "charismatic," i.e. they're more apt to practice and believe in miraculous healings, prophecies and visions, as well as speaking in tongues.
  • And if they don't like what they see in the Catholic Church, then Hispanics are more apt than ever before to switch churches.
This last finding should come as no surprise to Adventists . . . though I was surprised by the find that Hispanics born and raised in the USA are more likely to convert to a Protestant church than first-generation immigrants. The Hispanic Adventist pastors to whom I've spoken have told me that first-generation immigrants are their best source of converts, while second- and third-generation Hispanics are just as difficult to reach as their Anglo counterparts. Any thoughts out there on this subject?

Then too, I'd be interested in knowing of any studies done on the impact of Hispanic immigration on Adventist churches in the USA. What does this mean in terms of theology and practices? Is there a charismatic flavor to Hispanic Adventism? And when the day comes that a third of all American Adventists are Hispanic, then what will this mean for our schools, our publishing houses, and our church leadership?

Click on the title of this post for the article.

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