Hispanic/Latino National Presbyterian Caucus releases statement on recent grand jury verdicts

December 12, 2014

The following is a statement from the Hispanic/Latino National Presbyterian Caucus:

For Christians, Advent is a season for hope. We know who is coming and why. Jesus was born to establish what he called “the Kingdom of God” on earth. This “kin-dom” reflects everything that the Creator God is all about: love, compassion, reconciliation, peace and, above all, justice.

For many of us these characteristics are elusive. Poverty, slavery, hunger, oppression, discrimination and other social evils still have free reign in our societies, even in those societies that claim to be “free” and “under the rule of law.”

Why? Because laws are not applied evenly and justly. Many times it depends on the color of your skin. The recent events in Ferguson, Missouri and Long Island, New York, are perfect examples of this dichotomy. Michael Brown raised his arms and he was shot dead several times. Eric Garner cried out “I can’t breathe!” and he died from an illegal choke hold and ruled a “homicide.” The “system” found their assailants not worthy of prosecution.

These are just two examples of a pattern of injustice and systemic or institutional racism found in our beloved US of A. With all the love we may have for this nation, for many of us our “adopted” country, the above statement cannot be denied. No space here to list all the history.

The Hispanic/Latino National Presbyterian Caucus stands in solidarity with our African-American sisters and brothers in light of the recent events. As people of color we too suffer injustice and marginalization. We have been there. We understand. We know that many of our white sisters and brothers also understand.

Above all, we know that God in Christ understands. Jesus also lifted his hands on the cross. He died of asphyxiation as well. But he came back to life to give us hope.

The Michael Browns and Eric Garners of this world have not died in vain. There is hope for a just society where “[God] will wipe every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more; mourning and crying and pain will be no more…” – on earth as it is in heaven…

Let us continue to be active in providing a foretaste of God's kingdom. As Christians we don't wait passively but stand with the oppressed and cry out for justice and peace.

Rev. Dr. Antonio (Tony) Aja, Moderator
Rev. Eliana Maxim, Vice-Moderator
Rev. Nelson Gutierrez-Pagán, Secretary
Elder Cecilia Casal, Treasurer

  1. My prayers to God for comfort to the families of NYC police officers Liu and Ramos who died protecting poor community. They paid the price of revenge asked for by New York protestors. Do Michael Brown or Eric Garner have their justice now? It's hard to stand with hate

    by Priscilla Smith

    December 22, 2014