December 30, 2008

Latino Ministers Gather In Washington for Comprehensive Immigration Reform

PRESS RELEASE
Contact: Rev. Ephraim Rivera
(202) 615-7444

WASHINGTON, DC- The National Coalition of Latino Clergy and Christian Leaders (CONLAMIC) the main Latino evangelical, christian and pentecostal pastor's advocacy organization in the Country, is calling for an URGENT DAY OF PRAYER FOR IMMIGRATION REFORM at Capitol Hill in Washington DC.

Hundreds of church members of the Maryland, Virginia and DC Latino evangelical churches, will gather at 10:30am, on January 7, 2009, at the steps of the Cannon Capitol Complex Building (corner of Independence and New Jersey Ave SW) for a prayer rally and a joint Press Conference, with Congressman Luis Gutierrez(D) from Illinois and other members of Congress.

In a letter dated November 6, 2008, CONLAMIC has called upon President-Elect Barack Obama and members of the 111th Congress to provide strong leadership that will effectively address Comprehensive Immigration Reform during first 100 days of the Obama Administration.

"As a matter of high moral and traditional family values approach, we ask that the Obama Administration stop the raids, incarceration, and deportation of fathers, mothers and sons who are victims of a broken immigration system that has resulted in dividing families and increasing anti-immigrant sentiment, thus polarizing our communities and increasing the number of hate crimes against Latino immigrants," said Rev. Miguel Rivera, President of CONLAMIC.

Members of the President-Elect Barack Obama's Christian advisory team, including Rev. Antonio Bolainez from McAllen, TX and Rev. Herman Perez from Chicago, IL will also be present to address the Press at this event.

Well known national Evangelical leaders, including Rev. Walter Coleman from Chicago, Rev. Jorge Rascke from Puerto Rico, Rev. Luis Cortes from Philadelphia, New York State Senator, Rev. Ruben Diaz and Rev. Bishop Kittim Silva from New York have been invited to attend.

"We commend the efforts of Congressman Gutierrez and Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez who are both committed to this issue and with a bipartisan support, at the Senate and the House of Representatives, this legislation can be accomplished. America needs social and spiritual healing, due to so much racial intolerance and the first step forward to seek such healing process is by, all Members of Congress and President-elect Obama, to come forward and do what is right on behalf of civil and human rights'" said Rev. Rivera.

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December 28, 2008

Latino Ministers: Israel Has a Right to Exist and Defend Itself

Washington, DC – Today, the President of the National Coalition of Latino Clergy & Christian Leaders (CONLAMIC) voiced strong support for Israel as it fights for its right to exist and defends itself from heightened rocket and mortar attacks from Gaza into Israel by the terrorist group, Hamas, as Iran’s political and religious leaders appeal once again, to the Muslim world to condemn Israel’s actions. Influential Latino Evangelical Leaders join together in support of the United States and most of Europe’s position to support Israel.

“We oppose any religion, faith, group or government that does not recognize Israel’s right as a nation to exist,” said Rev. Rivera, President of CONLAMIC.

Israel’s military action is likely to deepen the divide in the Middle East, as its neighbors react to Israel's retaliation in Gaza, but not to the attacks on Israel. It is clear that some of its neighboring countries want Israel to disappear.

“This goes all the way back to the biblical times of Abraham; God said there would be a constant conflict between the Arab world and Israel; God gave them that country; what God chooses, that is what will happen,” said Rev. Miguel Rivera.

CONLAMIC and other Christian faith leaders in the United States will support Israel’s leadership in steps taken to protect the nation and its people as it will American and European efforts to broker peace talks.

December 17, 2008

CONLAMIC Praises Selection of Arne Duncan as Education Secretary

WASHINGTON, DC- the National Coalition of Latino Clergy and Christian Leaders praises President-Elect Barack Obama's selection of the reform-minded nominee Arne Duncan for Secretary of Education.

"President-Elect Obama, true to his reform-minded approach, has made a wise choice in Duncan, an education leader who’s demonstrated that he’s not afraid of tough decisions when it comes to the best interest of children. We’re very pleased that he seeks innovation and improvement by supporting educational options such as charter schools,” said Rev. Miguel Rivera, Chairman of the National Coalition of Latino Clergy & Christian Leaders (CONLAMIC).

CONLAMIC has been a strong advocate of the No Child Left Behind Act as the law brings accountability, transparency and options for parents to make choices regarding their child’s education. Latino ministers from cities throughout the nation see a great need for school reform, particularly in urban low-income districts, where minority kids are most affected.

“Duncan’s support for NCLB, in addition to his track record as head of the Chicago Public Schools brings us hope for the future of America’s children and our education system,” said Dr. John Muniz, CONLAMIC Education Policy Director.

In 2008, CONLAMIC has called its membership of over 16,000 Latino Evangelical affiliated churches to embrace its Education Ministry Initiative, an effort that will establish over 100 Charter and Private Christian Schools to serve the low income minority students in the barrios or Latino neighborhoods where many Latino Christian and Pentecostal Churches are located.

"Arne Duncan has called for increased parental involvement and the development and empowerment of great teachers; this is core to our Education Reform Policy agenda,” said the Rev. Rivera.

December 14, 2008

CONLAMIC Pushes Housing Recovery Plan

WASHINGTON, DC – The National Coalition of Latino Clergy & Christian Leaders (CONLAMIC) supports the efforts of Fix Housing First, a coalition formed to push for a housing recovery plan that will revive the economy. Latino Ministers recognize that by stimulating the housing industry, new jobs can be created and home buying will become more accessible for families.

"The current economy is affecting all Americans, including the millions of Latino’s who are members of our churches. We believe, that in addition to pushing a strong focus on foreclosure prevention measures, we must urge Congress to support a housing recovery plan," said Rev. Miguel Rivera, CONLAMIC Chairman.

Fix Housing First, which consists of more than 600 organizations, home building companies and manufacturers and continues to add new members on a daily basis, is pressing for a major stimulus package to stem the decline in home values, stabilize financial markets and reignite consumer demand. To get the economy moving again, the coalition is urging Congress to support enhancements to the home buyer tax credit and provide below-market 30-year fixed-rate mortgages for home purchases.

A similar plan worked in 1975, when the nation was also in the midst of a recession. Congress then passed a short-term $2,000 tax credit for all new homes ($12,000 adjusted for today's median home prices) along with subsidized mortgage rates. The stimulus jump started the depressed economy and the effects continued long after the measure expired.

The second component of the stimulus plan would provide qualified home buyers with 30-year fixed-rate mortgages at 2.99 percent on contracts closed until June 30, 2009 and 3.99 percent on closings between June 30 and Dec. 31, 2009. The coalition has also announced its support for continuing foreclosure prevention measures to keep people in their homes.

“The collapse of the housing market has created a credit freeze that has made it impossible for most families to buy a new home. We urge Congress to boost the housing market so that we may see consumer confidence restored, creation of new jobs, sound and safe practices in home buying, an increase in home values, and the prevention of future foreclosures,” said Rev. Rivera.

To learn more about Fix Housing First, go to http://www.fixhousingfirst.com/.

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December 07, 2008

Latino Pastors work with Cong. Luis Gutierrez to Revive Comprehensive Immigration Reform

Chicago, IL- The National Coalition of Latino Clergy and Christian Leaders (CONLAMIC) the largest advocacy Latino evangelical pastors organization in the Country, signed yesterday a letter addressed to President-Elect Barack Obama regarding the urgent need for Comprehensive Immigration Reform, Stop the Raids and Deportations, an initiative sponsored by Congressman Luis Gutierrez.

Reverend Wilfredo DeJesus a well known Chicago Pastor, called and organized hundreds of Latino evangelical church members, who gathered at the Iglesia El Rebano, to hear testimony from family members that are torn apart, victims of a broken immigration system that punishes family values, separating marriages and creating immediate orphans, out of American citizen born children from undocumented parents.

"CONLAMIC has developed years of experience with Congressman Gutierrez on the issue of Comprehensive ImmigrationReform, since 2001. Today we renew our commitment to help organize church members forums and prayer rallies around the Country, calling President Elect Barack Obama and Members of Congress to give the highest level of priority to such legislative effort" affirms the Reverend Miguel Rivera, Chairman of the National Coalition of Latino Clergy and Christian Leaders (CONLAMIC) based in Washington DC.

Present were the Reverend Walter Coleman, Elvira Arellano's Pastor from Adalberto United Methodist Church, the Reverend Efrain Navas, Bishop of the Church of God in Chicago and the Reverend Freddy Santiago, Pastor of the Fellowship Flock Church (Rebano).

December 02, 2008

Latino Evangelical Leaders of Suffolk County See Increase in Hate Crimes

National Coalition of Latino Clergy & Christian Leaders of New York
CONLAMIC-New York

Contact: Rev. Fernando Rodriguez
(718) 607-6607

Patchogue NY- The National Coalition of Latino Clergy and Christian Leaders (New York Chapter) is calling for every Latino (undocumented or legal resident) to come forward if they have experienced any form of racial harassment or discriminatory actions against them and report it directly to local authorities and the Federal Bureau of Investigations for further investigation.

The Latino Evangelical Pastors who residents of the Suffolk County, have seen and increase of hate crimes and racial tensions as a result of vigilante actions and gang or hate related crimes.

For many ministers and members of the Hispanic Church, these incidents are directly related to the political opportunism and strong polarizing language used by local politicians in their pursuit of political advancement.

The lack of legislative action by members of Congress in Washington DC have left local governments in a position to try to resolve this complex issue themselves, and these actions have often resulted in greater frustration and animosity that arouses during the advocacy process.

Church leaders are educating members about how to document and file formal complaints with authorities with regards to harrassment and hate crimes in efforts to curve this behavior against Suffolk County residents. Members who step forward with complaints will be fully supported by CONLAMIC leaders.

CONLAMIC-New York Latino Evangelical Pastors have increased efforts to advocate on behalf of racial tolerance and a greater understanding among neighbors. We ask that prudence and respect for human rights be observed as we celebrate this Holiday Season.

CONLAMIC New York Executive Committee
Rev. Miguel Rivera
Rev. Kittim Silva
Rev. Fernando Rodriguez
Rev. Andy Torres
Rev. Miguel Amadis
Rev. Domingo Vazquez
Rev. Jose L. Rodriguez

National Coalition of Latino Clergy& Christian Leaders
(CONLAMIC)Washington, D.C.
www.conlamic.org
www.conlamic.net
(202) 615-7444