Groups Mobilize Hispanic Churches Around National Adoption Effort

The nation's largest coalition of Hispanic churches has announced a three-year partnership with prayer leader Lou Engle's social justice organization TheCall to Conscience to promote a national adoption initiative among Latino Christians.

The National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference (NHCLC), a network of 25,000 congregations representing 16 million people, said it plans to provide resources and training for each member church to sponsor at least two adoptions in the next year in hopes of saving at least 50,000 babies.

"We will protect countless lives, ignite the youth of America in a righteousness and justice movement and mobilize the Hispanic community in prayer and fasting in an unprecedented manner," said the Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, a Pentecostal pastor and president of the NHCLC.

The partnership coincides with Engle's ongoing efforts to rally African-American and Hispanic Christians around pro-life causes. TheCall to Conscience, founded as an offshoot of Engle's TheCall prayer ministry, led a rally in Houston in January to protest the building of the nation's largest abortion facility, which is housed in a neighborhood made up largely of Hispanic and African-American residents.

At that time, Engle said Planned Parenthood's efforts were part of a racist attempt to target black and Hispanic women for abortions and urged African-American and Latino Christians to "begin to lead another justice movement."

"I believe if they'll take up this voice and this call, they could actually be influential in turning a nation back to righteousness," Engle told Charisma in January.

Engle noted then that adoption was a critical part of turning the tide of abortion.

"The church has got to become the answer by a massive adoption movement," he said. "We've got to turn our hearts to the children, and we need to emphasize pregnant mother's care, housing for pregnant mothers. We need to fund the crisis pregnancy centers because that's where we touch individuals in a painful crisis situation. We have to become the answer, and we don't have moral authority if we're not willing to be that answer."

The partnership, however, also has political implications. Engle noted that Hispanics are a significant voting bloc, and their influence is likely to grow.

"Hispanics will play a critical role in the upcoming midterm elections and beyond, and an overwhelming majority of them are pro-family and pro-life," Engle said. "We want to harness their energy in order to ensure that the life issue remains at the forefront."

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