"Protestant Reformation for Hispanics"? Print
Written by Sherry   
Saturday, 28 July 2007 05:50
Some challenging stats regarding the growth of Hispanic Protestantism in the US via the Wichita Eagle:

Nationwide, there are now about 10 million Hispanic Protestants, according to the recent Hispanic Churches in American Public Life research project.

That number has doubled during the past 10 years, according to the Rev. Samuel Rodriguez Jr., founder and president of the Sacramento, Calif.-based National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference. The conference represents Hispanic evangelicals in the United States and Puerto Rico.

"This is the Protestant Reformation for Hispanics," Rodriguez said.

Nationwide, the U.S. Hispanic population grew from 22.4 million in 1990 to an estimated 42.7 million in 2005, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Among all U.S. Hispanics, nearly 70 percent are Catholics.

But a report on Hispanics and religion released earlier this year showed that half of Hispanic evangelicals came to the faith from other backgrounds and more than 80 percent of them are former Catholics.

That report -- conducted by the Washington, D.C.-based research groups Pew Hispanic Center and the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life -- said that more than 80 percent of all Hispanic Christian converts cited a "desire for a more direct, personal experience with God" as a reason for their conversion. Few Hispanics -- only 7 percent -- said they left Catholicism because they were dissatisfied with the church's position on certain issues, the report said.

"They are saying, 'We like our Catholic faith. However, these evangelicals, they really have this going on with this personal relationship component,' " Rodriguez said. "'It has more animated services, it's more lively, it's more Hispanic.' "

Sherry's note:

Let's see: one half of the 10 million Hispanic Protestants converted from other faiths and more than 80% of those approximately 5 million Hispanics were Catholic. So that would make about 4 million Hispanic Catholics who have become Protestant in recent years.

Of that number, only about 7% or 280,000 left because they did not agree with Catholic teaching.

3,720,000 left because of a "desire for a more direct, personal experience with God"

So "I like my Catholic faith.: But it doesn't seem to include this personal relationship component. That I discovered elsewhere. And evangelicalism is "more Hispanic" than the Catholicism that has shaped them for many generation.