Cristianismo Hoy: Christianity Today to Publish in Spanish

One of America's most prominent Christian publications is planning to launch a Spanish language edition to take advantage of the booming Latino evangelical population.

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Tina Fineberg / AP

Maria Antonetty, foreground right, of New York, joining others in a Spanish Easter service at the Primitive Christian Church in New York on April 12th, 2009.

Christianity Today, America’s flagship evangelical magazine, has preliminary plans to publish a Spanish-language edition titled Cristianismo Hoy as soon as next year. The decision marks a significant step to engage the United States’ exploding Latino  church community—nearly 15% of Latinos in America are now evangelical, according to the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, and that number continues to rise. “Cristianismo Hoy aims to provide a credible, balanced, and unifying evangelical voice for Spanish speaking church leaders in the United States and around the world,” reads the new edition’s working purpose statement.

(Cover Story: Why Latinos Will Decide the 2012 Election)

Cristianismo Hoy is “very much in the planning stages at this point,” says Keith Stonehocker, Christianity Today’s Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer. The plan currently calls for a bi-monthly digital magazine to be published out of the company’s Carol Stream, Ill., headquarters and led by a new bi-lingual Latino editor. Some 60% of the content would be new and original, while the other 40% would likely be translated from the English edition. The organization is still considering whether or not to include bilingual content or to translate the new Spanish content for English readers.

With 130,000 subscribers, Christianity Today is the one of the largest circulation religious magazines in the U.S. Founded by preacher Billy Graham in 1956, it features articles on the global church, Christian ministry, and evangelical theology, and has become a common venue for evangelical leaders to publish both opinion and news stories.

(PHOTOS: Unpublished Images from Billy Graham’s Early Years)

Formal discussion of the new publication started in January, when Christianity Today launched a task force with members of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, America’s largest Hispanic Christian organization. Initial conversations about a potential Spanish edition however began a year earlier. Several key elements are still in negotiation—a publication date has yet to be set, a funding plan still needs to be finalized, and, significantly, Christianity Today’s board has yet to give the green light. Finding a Spanish-language publishing partner in the United States has proved challenging, says Stonehocker, but the publishing strategy is for content to be free to church pastors and leaders. “There’s a lot of enthusiasm for it,” he says. “The biggest questions we’ve been wrestling with are publishing dynamics not editorial ones.”

Christianity Today started a Portuguese edition out of Rio de Janiero in 2007, and a Korean edition from Seoul the following year. Unlike plans for Cristianismo Hoy, both other editions are licensed.

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