Magazine article The Christian Century

Latino Evangelicals Call for End to Death Penalty in Groundbreaking Vote

Magazine article The Christian Century

Latino Evangelicals Call for End to Death Penalty in Groundbreaking Vote

Article excerpt

A leading group of Latino evangelicals has called for an end to state-sanctioned capital punishment, the first national association of evangelicals to do so.

In a unanimous vote March 27, the National Latino Evangelical Coalition urged its 3,000 member congregations to work to end capital punishment across the country.

"As Christ followers, we are called to work toward justice for all," coalition president Gabriel Salguero said. "And as Latinos, we know too well that justice is not always even-handed."

Salguero said the decision came after a years-long discernment process that included prayer as well as dialogue with antideath penalty groups such as Equal Justice USA.

"EJUSA has found that evangelicals are eager to take another look at this issue, reflecting what we're seeing in the country as a whole," said Shari Silberstein, EJUSA's executive director.

American support for the death penalty has hit the lowest level in 40 years, and a 2014 poll by Barna Group showed that Christian support for the practice is also waning, especially among young adults. According to Barna, only 5 percent of Americans think Jesus would support the government's ability to execute criminals. …

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