Christian counselors and deliverance ministers can minister more effectively to Hispanics when they understand their unique ethnic roots. While we may communicate in a common language; the identity of Hispanics vary. We Hispanics mainly connect and identify through our language.
Why is this important? Knowing these variations will help us on how to relate, identify and minister with these cultures. I want to share my perspective built upon forty years of ministry by sharing the reasons for this diversity and how to start the restoration process in your own life.
Different traditional factors give identity to any culture: Their cuisine, literature, art, religion, and dialect to list only a few. Along with all these are the spiritual differences. For example, when you visit Disney’s Epcot Center in Orlando, it’s easy to see that every culture is different in its beliefs. Every country displays a religious foundation by a ‘god’ or faith they are founded upon.
Religious Foundations on a “god” or Faith
I was raised in Mexico with a Catholic background mixed with beliefs from Spain and Mexico. In working with other Hispanic Ethnic groups, I have found what spiritually affects their lives.
Let’s look at some other ways of various spiritual influences that affect Hispanics:
- The African Culture was imported during the Trans-Atlantic slave trade. The practice of witchcraft, voodoo, and Santeria is often practiced in these regions, as well as a few different expressions of Catholicism.
- South America and Indian Cultures influenced the Central America countries. Celebrating the dead, human sacrificing, superstitious emphasis, and the dependency on the authority of the Catholic Church.
- The Indigenous South American culture, which introduced the mystic beliefs on astrology and other sacrificial beliefs, has influenced some of the countries in both South and Central America.
- In the past century, the Arabian influence has been embraced in South America and has been imported into Central America, bringing with it the impact of the Muslim faith.
- The European culture (mostly influenced by Spain, Portugal, and France) have given some Hispanics a sense of higher status. They see profession, education, and prestige as most valuable.
- The immigration from Spain, Italy, and Eastern Europe has brought in more of the Catholic-based religion which has mixed in with the voodoo and Santeria through countries like Cuba, Puerto Rico, Brazil, Dominican Republic, Chile, Argentina and in the northern region of Mexico.
- The mixed influence of the Chinese, Indian and Japanese into the Caribbean islands such as Cuba and other South American countries have blended in the impacts of Hinduism, Yoga, and different polytheistic beliefs.
I first experienced this blending of cultures in 1976 when people from different Hispanic countries first visited our church.
Wives Take the Spiritual Lead
Each had a different view on the world and on how to relate to God. In most of these cultures, the wife taught the children religion. This is because the mindset of the men is that they are there to provide and protect and the culture sees women by their nature to be more sensitive and willing to receive God’s truth since security motivates them. Therefore, the church, as well as the occult in most Hispanic Cultures, appeal to the women.
I found out later, as the ministry grew that the reason that also brings conflict in the homes comes from the belief that the head of the house (the man) oversees providing and disciplining. They feel that the church is in competition to their objectives in their home. Therefore they do not attend. The men in this culture felt as if the church was in competition their authority in the house. Though the family is a strong suit in Hispanic culture, you can clearly see how the spiritual bondage breaks down the home structure in these cultures.
Based on the above given historical information and personal experience, we can look at how this has merged into our American society and has affected homes.
Spiritual Health or Sickness Takes Root in the Home
The symptoms of generational curses that have brought childhood abuse by both men and women affect their adult lives. In despair, families are turning to witchcraft, Santeria, medical assistance for disciplinary behaviors, exorcism by Catholic methods and other forms of divination.
These open doors bring ungodly soul ties and bondage. The result of these sins and curses is throwing these individuals and families into despair, confusion, fear, perversion, depression, and a growing rater of homicide and suicide.
In the man’s quest to be the provider, some of these men without a father’s figure believe that they must prove that they can provide. The frustration due to their financial struggle is carried home and expressed in one of two ways: a dominating way or just the opposite, running away from their responsibilities in the home since the women try to take over.
In Hispanic countries as well as the US, men have been raised up without foundation in God’s purpose for their lives. They are taught to follow their fleshly passions freely and to believe that manhood is how a man performs sexually or independently. This translates into much sexual bondage.
I have found that many enter marriage with so much guilt because of this. There is automatic lack of trust, and forgiveness does not come quickly due to this type of immoral behavior.
Many Hispanic men leave their families due to unforgiveness, shame and the lack of respect the wife has for their husband. Since the women have full care of the home, the men often do not feel needed, appreciate, or affirmed. Other men leave their families due to the bondage of their belief of what a man is supposed to be.
The effect on the wives is devastating since they believe that they are being submissive and that they as well should be appreciated and feel secure. Instead, they end up taking the responsibility of the home, but without a provider. Many of the men and women in these cultures are under the strongholds of fear, rejection, and shame, to know how to trust God, or for that matter, anyone else.
The remedy is in the finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the promise of His work in us. We are called to help those who are from this culture and any other ethnic group to be confident in who God our Father is, and the work that He does in and through us. Once the Holy Spirit gives them the desire to be released from the roots and strongholds of generational curses, and they are willing to expel those causing torment, they can be set free.
Please notice that I did not say that all Hispanics are under these strongholds, but that the tendencies of their heritage are there. As the Hispanic Culture influences other ethnic groups, we need to know how this will affect not only our generation but also future generations as they blend in.
Only the Holy Spirit can bring restoration to every individual. If we try to do it in our own efforts, we begin to fall into the trap of Satan to bring glory to our beliefs and our own efforts.