Jews Court Hispanic Evangelicals

October 10, 2009

Author: Tony Castro

Source: Los Angeles Daily News

The idea of Francis Siciliano learning Hebrew, studying the Torah and observing Jewish services in a synagogue doesn't seem out of the ordinary on the Westside of Los Angeles.

Except that Siciliano is pastor of a Latino evangelical church in North Hollywood whose lively, born-again Christian services bear a sharp contrast to the ages-old traditions of Judaism.

"To the outsider, it may seem like a case of strange bedfellows," says Siciliano, pastor of Ministerios Fe y Esperanza Church. "Certainly we believe in Christ and what we share is that we believe in the same God they believe in, the maker of heaven and earth.

"That's what the Bible tells us, and we do not believe there is any border separating us and keeping us from being one with the other."

Those are golden words to the American Jewish Committee, the global organization that in recent years has been promoting ties to Hispanic evangelicals and for whom the growing presence and increasing political influence of Latino evangelicals is a treasure trove for securing the future of Israel.