I'm a national reporter for Religion News Service where I cover Latinos and religion. My work has appeared in the AP, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Press-Enterprise and Orange County Register.
In his field work, Jonathan Calvillo asked his subjects whether they identified as Mexican, Mexican American, Latino, Hispanic or American and what labels — Catholic, Christian, Baptist, Pentecostal — best described their faith.
“What do you think is more important, that people identify you because of your faith, or that people identify you because of your ethnicity?” Calvillo asked.
A large bulk of nonreligious Latinos were raised Catholic (57%) or Protestant (22%), while 14% grew up in nonreligious families, the Latinx Humanist Alliance found.
The life and death of the Rev. Francisco Valdovinos — who belonged to the Missionary Servants of the Most Holy Trinity — also highlights the important role faith leaders and churches fill as trusted messengers in their communities. Their roles are especially important during a pandemic that has disproportionately affected communities of color.
The Apache believe Oak Flat is a 'blessed place' where Ga’an — guardians or messengers between the people and Usen, Creator God — dwell. The site is at risk of being turned over to an Australian mining company.
What used to be an Irish parish, St. Brigid in South Central Los Angeles is now a predominantly Black and Latino congregation where, the Rev. Kenneth Keke said, parishioners take pride in their community and often “push me to do something … to fight more.”
“We need to liberate our people more,” Keke said they tell him. “It’s like everybody here is a freedom fighter.”
Poet Amanda Gorman sang in the youth choir, did her sacraments and recited her poetry at an Afrocentric Catholic church in South Central Los Angeles.
In Oregon, churches and anti-fascists unite to provide mutual aid to fire evacuees and others in need
That some of them might be members of antifa doesn’t dissuade the Rev. Adam Ericksen. In fact, he said, he hopes to reveal a different side of antifa, a side that he believes hasn’t gotten appropriate attention.
“The important thing for me was to show that members of antifa are helping all people,” he said.
“Religion is the largest demographic divider among Hispanic Americans,” according to a new analysis from the Public Religion Research Institute, which found that Latino Protestants are more conservative, Republican and supportive of Trump than Latinos who are Catholic or religiously unaffiliated.
Black nonbelievers have for years been working to redefine what it means to be atheist, a word too often linked to white spaces mostly concerned with creationism and the separation of church and state. Many Black nonbelievers identify as humanists and challenge Christianity for being linked to racism, capitalism and sexism.
As Californians once again reckon with their statues of Serra, the founder of what would become 21 missions along the California coast, Native people and Indigenous scholars say it’s time for their voices to be heard and their existence to be recognized.
"Part of our calling as people who do this work for Black lives is to lift our people up, both in their living, but also in their death,” said Patrisse Cullors, co-founder of Black Lives Matter. "The need to lift our folks up feels so incredibly spirit-driven for me."
Four people of different faiths moved into an L.A. house to learn from one another. Then COVID-19 happened. In a time of social distancing, they've had to learn to live together and how to keep each other "safe from potential death and illness."
Instead of having her body buried or cremated, Sarah Chavez would opt to have her remains turned into soil.
“For centuries, women have and still have to fight for control over their bodies in life and in death," Chavez said. “My body and the right to make decisions about it, I feel strongly should belong to me.”
Among some reasons Latinx are leaving the Catholic faith: church mandates against women priests and pre-marital sex, lack of LGBTQ inclusivity and rhetoric over abortion.
From Illinois to Puerto Rico, Latino Muslims navigate faith and quarantine among their non-Muslim families
While COVID-19 has disrupted in-person worship services for all people of faith, it has further impacted Latino Muslim converts whose religious community is outside their homes.
For some, it’s an opportunity for family to learn about their Islamic faith.