September 24, 2008

CONLAMIC Leaders Gather to Consider Support of Issues & Candidates

WASHINGTON, DC- National Coalition of Latino Clergy and Christian Leaders (CONLAMIC) Board Members and Delegates at the Latino Evangelical Leadership Conference, representing over 16,000 christian Hispanic Latino churches around the Country, will decide which Presidential Candidate deserves their support.

"Our congregations are the first respondent to the Latino victims of assault and hate crimes, which are happening even in small towns like Shenandoah, PA. We have the right to support those politicians that will commit themselves to the needs of our Hispanic community, on issues such as civil rights and immigration reform" says the Rev. Maria Velez, President of the Shenandoah Latino Residents Association and a CONLAMIC Board Member, who is leading the efforts to stop racial intimidation after the assassination of Luis Ramirez, a Mexican father and undocumented immigrant, killed by four local teenagers.

"We are the true conscience of our Latino communities and when we travel to Washington DC, our main task is to remind Members of Congress, about the struggles and discriminatory actions that we endure, such as racial profiling and other human rights abuses", says the Rev. Victor Orta, CONLAMIC Oklahoma State Coordinator, who fought in the anti-immigrant law known as HB-1804 in Federal Court.

"Thousands of our church members are waiting for us to see who we will support, before they will make their own minds about which of the two candidates should be our next President of the Unites States.

I will let them know after our meeting here in Washington DC , how Latino evangelical pastors from many States are thinking and after making my own decision, it is my intention to let them know for whom I will vote. It is up to them if they will follow my example or do something else. But at this difficult times, where our churches are suffering due to the intimidation and anti-immigrant laws that polarized our communities, is time for us (Latino evangelical pastors) to get out the vote and encourage the members of our congregations to do the same and vote for such candidates that will help us feel welcome and provide resources to help faith based communities to educate our people on cultural assimilation and learn English", says the Rev. Dr. Antonio Mansogo, CONLAMIC Georgia State Coordinator.

"South Texas Pastors are most of them conservative democrats and they are expecting that the CONLAMIC Board of Directors and National Delegates, will do the right thing", says the Dr. Antonio Bolainez, CONLAMIC Regional Vice-President who oversees over 3,000 churches in the States of Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and Louisiana.

"The time has come for us the Latino evangelical church, to stop and think twice what our Anglo-evangelicals brethren are doing when the stay neutral and even supportive of an anti-immigrant agenda, which has become a source of political capital for many elected officials. We urge the National Association of Evangelicals, to unite with us and come forward with a strong message condemning such political opportunism that polarized our communities", says the Rev. Eliseo Nogueras, CONLAMIC Regional Vice-President for the New England States and President of the Rhode Island Hispanic Pastor's Association.

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