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Latino Mennonites: Civil Rights, Faith, and Evangelical by Felipe Hinojosa

By Felipe Hinojosa

Felipe Hinojosa's mom and dad first encountered Mennonite households as migrant employees within the tomato fields of northwestern Ohio. What all started as mutual admiration quick advanced right into a dating that reinforced through the years and finally ended in his mom and dad founding a Mennonite Church in South Texas. all through his upbringing as a Mexican American evangélico, Hinojosa used to be confronted with questions not just approximately his personal faith but in addition approximately broader problems with Latino evangelicalism, id, and civil rights politics.

Latino Mennonites offers the 1st historic research of the altering courting among faith and ethnicity between Latino Mennonites. Drawing seriously on fundamental assets in Spanish, equivalent to newspapers and oral heritage interviews, Hinojosa strains the increase of the Latino presence in the Mennonite Church from the origins of Mennonite missions in Latino groups in Chicago, South Texas, Puerto Rico, and big apple urban, to the conflicted courting among the Mennonite Church and the California farmworker pursuits, and at last to the increase of Latino evangelical politics. He additionally analyzes how the politics of the Chicano, Puerto Rican, and black freedom struggles of the Sixties and Nineteen Seventies civil rights pursuits captured the mind's eye of Mennonite leaders who belonged to a church identified extra for rural and peaceable agrarian existence than for social protest.

Whether when it comes to spiritual religion and id, race, immigrant rights, or sexuality, the politics of belonging has traditionally provided either demanding situations and probabilities for Latino evangelicals within the spiritual landscapes of twentieth-century the USA. In Latino Mennonites, Hinojosa has interwoven church historical past with social historical past to discover dimensions of identification in Latino Mennonite groups and to create a brand new mind set in regards to the historical past of yank evangelicalism.

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33 Becoming Mennonite meant coming face to face with the theological currents and strong ethnic ties of Mennonites, but it also moved Latinos and Latinas to negotiate their religious identities as evangélicos and aspiring Mennonites, especially as the rumblings of the freedom movements loomed large in the 1960s. Mennonites: Reluctant Evangelicals Mennonites were relative latecomers to evangelical missions in the midtwentieth century. 34 But by the 1920s Mennonites had caught wind of the fundamentalist movement and began to criticize themselves for not being evangelical enough.

37 Many of the workers who arrived in Mathis came from northern Mexico and the Rio Grande valley. ”39 The economic opportunities and population growth caught the attention of Mennonite missionaries and traveling evangelists who came to Mathis to bring salvation to farm laborers. The local newspaper frequently promoted tent revivals in the area sponsored by various Protestant denominations, including Mennonites. 40 The days when missionaries like T. K. Hershey and William Detweiler worried about the evangelical pulse of the Mennonite Church seemed now like a distant memory.

71 The differences between the role of institutional Catholicism and Mennonite CPS workers seemed to be as stark as night and day for the local population. “They were gringos and affluent,” remembered Ortíz. “They had cameras, eye glasses, shoes, equipment, and in Puerto Rican society if you have money and gadgets you have status. ”72 This appearance of “status” and the sense that the institutional Catholic Church was irrelevant led Ortíz to “give his life to Christ” and join the Mennonite Church in 1952 at the age of thirteen.

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