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Latin American Migrations to the U.S. HeartlandChanging Social Landscapes in Middle America$
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Linda Allegro and Andrew Grant Wood

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780252037665

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252037665.001.0001

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Latinos and the Churches in Idaho, 1950–2000

Latinos and the Churches in Idaho, 1950–2000

(p.67) Chapter 3 Latinos and the Churches in Idaho, 1950–2000
Latin American Migrations to the U.S. Heartland

Errol D. Jones

University of Illinois Press

This chapter examines the relationship between people of Mexican/Latin American descent and Idaho's established churches from the 1950s. A politically conservative state with an economy dominated by agriculture, mining, and forestry into the 1980s, Idaho attracted large numbers of Latino migrants who worked mainly in agriculture. Beginning in the 1950s, a progressive movement developed within the mainstream Protestant churches and the Catholic Diocese of Boise to reach out to migrants in an effort to mitigate their harsh conditions and welcome them into their churches. Supported by the National Council of Churches and the American Conference of Catholic Bishops, Idaho's religious leaders became catalysts of reform in the agricultural industry in the state and become brokers for the needs of migrants and those who sought to abandon migrant life and settle permanently in Idaho. With the growth of the mostly Catholic Latino population, the Boise diocese, despite some resistance, was compelled to change to accommodate their culture and to champion the need for social and economic reform.

Keywords:   Idaho, Protestant churches, Catholic churches, Mexican Americans, Latin Americans, Latino migrants

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