Where the Spirit Leads – Latino Pentecostals

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Where the Spirit Leads, Sojourners Magazine/April 2008

Where the Spirit Leads

Pentecostals may be the least known and most unpredictable group on the landscape.
by Aaron McCarroll Gallegos

The enigma of Latino Pentecostals is found in their ability to resist labels and simple classifications. Or maybe it’s just that most people’s assumptions about them are all wrong? Either way, Latino Pentecostals have been ignored, misunderstood, and mislabeled for too long.

The Latino community has functioned almost undercover for many years, hidden for the most part from the eyes of mainstream society. In The Labyrinth of Solitude, writer Octavio Paz calls the “masks” that Mexicans and other Latinos wear in society “a wall that is no less impenetrable for being invisible.” The image of Latinos in mainstream U.S. society is as unfocused as our ability to agree on what we will call them—Latino or Hispanic, Chicano or Boricua. The name we choose for Latinos tells us more about ourselves us than it does about them.

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