Study: 92 Percent of US Latinos Biblically Illiterate

NHCLC President Samuel Rodriguez
NHCLC President Samuel Rodriguez (Facebook)

The National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference (NHCLC) and the American Bible Society (ABS) are kicking off a three-year campaign to promote biblical fluency and literacy in the U.S. Hispanic community with Mes de la Biblia (Month of the Bible). With biblical illiteracy affecting 92 percent of the U.S. Latino community, the two organizations are challenging Hispanic churches and Hispanic Christians to commit to reading Scripture daily throughout September.

“We are inviting pastors and leaders to take action in the fight against biblical illiteracy, which threatens to destroy the principles and values on which our great nation was founded,” says Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, president of NHCLC, representing more than 40,000 churches and 16 million Hispanic evangelicals.

To provide culturally specific materials, ABS and NHCLC have created online downloadable Bible literacy resources, available at no cost to churches participating in Mes de la Biblia. During the monthlong campaign, a pastor's packet, coordinator's manual, sermon outlines, seven-day leader's devotional, daily Bible reading planner, promotional posters and Bible bookmarks will be available in Spanish.

“Our hope is that not only will U.S. Hispanics start reading the Bible more, but that their engagement will be deeper too," says Rev. Dr. Emilio A. Reyes, executive director of multilanguage ministries at ABS. "The Bible brings wisdom and counsel on so many of the issues facing Hispanics today. This month is the perfect time to rediscover all that is waiting in the Bible’s pages.” 

"Hispanic America: Faith, Values and Priorities," a recent study published by Barna Hispanics, ABS, NHCLC and OneHope, notes that while 87 percent of Latinos own a Bible, only 8 percent read it regularly or allow it to inform their worldview. Yet the study further revealed a large percentage of this influential demographic is open to exploring the claims of the Bible in their lives. ABS and NHCLC hope to provide the necessary materials to Hispanic Americans so all have the ability to read the Bible and the motivation to pick up the world's best-selling book of all time.   

The nation’s largest minority group and one of the fastest-growing segments in America with a population exceeding 50 million, Latinos are impacting virtually all of American society, including many expressions of the Christian faith. Some 84 percent of Hispanics in the United States identify themselves as Christian.

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