United States (MNN) – Did you know there’s an entire people group in the United States who are relatively unengaged?
“Only 10 percent of the Latino population in the U.S. are born-again Christians. And after reading the data, perhaps by 2050, this country could be a *majority Latino country,” shares **Esteban Fernandez, Biblica’s Area Executive Director of Latin America.
Latino Growth in the U.S.
Fernandez first discovered this data while working for Vida Publishers, the Spanish division of Zondervan, prior to joining Biblica. And since then, only 11 percent of Christians are Latinos according to the Pew Research Center’s 2014 U.S. Religious Landscape Study.
But, Fernandez also says with the growing Latino population in the U.S. coupled with the low percentage of born-again believers, this could mean not so great things for the country in terms of morality. Not because Latinos are immoral, but because it’s another group of people living without Christ.
“So we have a big job in front of Biblica and all the churches that care for Latinos in the U.S. They’re 90 percent of a missionary field that needs to be reached,” Fernandez explains.
And the time to reach them with the Gospel is now. But, how and where does this work start? With Biblica helping direct the way.
The Church’s Role
Biblica is encouraging churches to step out from behind church walls and to go into their communities and reach the people, their Latino neighbors, in their time of both physical and spiritual need.
“Especially now that they are facing so many difficulties, go outside, and serve them, and show the Gospel in a practical manner. But to show, you also need to have a tool that can speak to their language,” Fernandez says.
This tool is the Nueva Versión Internacional (NVI), also known as the New International Version (NIV) Bible in the modern Spanish language.
The NVI was translated from original manuscripts in Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek. And this translation wasn’t translated into the Spanish of Spain, but the Spanish language of Latin America.
“We the Latinos, have another great opportunity that is once you get one family, you have the whole family,” Fernandez explains. “Once you get the father or the mother or one son, you get the whole family because we are very family oriented.”
Be Prayerful, Be Active
So please, pray for the 56.5 million Latinos in the U.S. Pray for churches in the U.S. to be filled with a desire to reach these communities with the Gospel.
And pray that through the word of God, that there would be a healing between cultural divides. Ask for the provision of Bibles and appropriate materials for not just all Latinos in general, but for the various age groups as well.
*The Pew Research Center’s more recent projections show the Latino/Hispanic population growth lower than earlier projections. It is the earlier projections Fernandez references.
**Fernandez is originally from Argentina and spent 5 years in Mexico City.
***Earlier version said “numbers have risen only slightly”. It was changed to more accurately reflect “only 11 percent of Christians are Latinos according”.