A report shows that 65% of Latino Christians say they support Biden.
One of the main reasons President Donald Trump has had the support of Christians is his anti-abortion agenda. However, more Catholic and evangelical Christian leaders say the 2020 presidential election isn’t a one-issue election. On Sept. 21, Joe Biden and his running mate Kamala Harris got the support from more than 50 Latino faith leaders in the country.
The Biden supporters represent a diverse, multi-faith coalition of denominations, community development organizations, social services, and advocacy groups, and many of them are evangelical Christians and Catholics.
One of those leaders supporting Biden is Rev. Elieser Valentín, pastor of the Iglesia Evangélica Bautista in the Lower East Side of Manhattan. On Aug. 10, by saying he was backing Biden, Valentín broke his decades-long approach of not publicly supporting any presidential candidate.
In a Medium post, he explained what made him change his mind and publicly support Biden:
“Yesterday, a 51-year-old Latino died while in ICE custody in Miami. With this man’s death, the number of individuals that have died while in ICE custody has doubled since last year. The American electorate must soundly reject the moral bankruptcy of any administration that allows this to happen. That is why I am endorsing Joe Biden for the presidency.”
This group of evangelical Christians that have come out to support Biden is a big win for the Democratic candidate. As Juhem Navarro-Rivera, a political Latino researcher, told FiveThirtyEight this week, “Latino evangelicals are more conservative, but they’re not heavily Republican—really, they’re a kind of swing group.”
A Pew Research report shows that most white evangelical Christians continue to support President Donald Trump (though there has been a slight drop). However, 74% of Latino Catholics do not support Trump. Furthermore, 65% of Latino Catholics surveyed said they support Biden, with 23% of those saying that they “strongly” support the Biden campaign. The majority of religious Latinos are Christian (77%) and nearly half are Catholic (48%).
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“I am a Hispanic Evangelical woman of faith,” Tatianna Torres, part of Biden’s Faith 2020 campaign, wrote. “This is all deeply important to me. When the rights of others are deliberately violated and my faith is used to promulgate an agenda and actions that are not aligned with my values and scripture, we cannot be silent.”
As an immigrant in the US for 34 years, Torres has seen the Trump administration violate “countless human rights issues,” including educational opportunities, food security, prison reform, and racial equity.
“We must not make this a one-issue election,” Torres said. “We cannot stand on the sidelines and watch. We are asked to pray for our elected leaders but we are also asked to keep our public servants accountable.”
Some of the leaders who support Biden and Harris include Noel Castallanos, Lydia Pena, Rev. Eli Valentín, Rev. Walter Contreras, Rev. Dr. Ray Rivera, Rev. Dr. Elizabeth D. Ríos, Pastor Arturo Vargas, Rev. José Luis Casal, Jordan Morales, Vince Gonzáles, Rev. F. Salvador Orellana, María-Manuela Diez, Lorenzo Pedro, Marco Grimaldo, Rev. Salvador Orellana, Aline Silva, Yenny Delgado, Michael Vásquez, and Andres Chong-Qui Torres.