Chris Hoke is the executive director of Underground Ministries and founder of One Parish One Prisoner, a two-year program equipping churches to “practice resurrection” through re-entry support and mutually-healing relationship with incarcerated men and women as they are released back into their local communities. A commissioned Presbyterian PC(USA) pastor, Chris is the author of Wanted and lives with his family in Washington State’s Skagit Valley. Learn more at

Posts By This Author

Kyle Rittenhouse Was Acquitted. My Friends Got Gang Enhancements

by Chris Hoke 11-19-2021

A woman, who only wanted to use her first name, Maria, from Kenosha, Wis., shows her support for Kyle Rittenhouse with a sign at the Kenosha County Courthouse during the trial of Kyle Rittenhouse in Kenosha on Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2021. Photo by Mike De Sisti / Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, via Reuters.

The United States, regrettably, is still struggling to right the longstanding racial bias in our courts and policing. But one area we have entirely failed to examine is who gets labeled as a “gang” and what gets labeled as “gang activity.”

The Immigrant Days of Christmas

by Chris Hoke 12-22-2011
The Holy Family by Margret Hofheinz-Döring via

The Holy Family by Margret Hofheinz-Döring via

I noticed this Christmas season, for the first time, that not only were Mary and Joseph forced to migrate under Rome’s census; not only was the Incarnate God born into a humiliating space — but, as they fled to Egypt, they never registered in Bethlehem with the census. A dream, an angel, told the migrant father to gather his family and run from the authorities. Unaccounted for in the empire, baby Jesus’ first movement in this world was a government-evading trek through the desert by night.

I think about this as, right now, my friend Estuardo is probably crouching in the dark somewhere in the desert along the Mexican border. At the same time my wife and I hang electric Christmas lights on our tree, get out our nativity sets, and read familiar illustrated books about the stars in the sky above the shepherds. Estuardo has told me, from previous voyages across the border by night, how clear the stars are when hiding from the border patrol lights.

Free Music Download!

by Chris Hoke 04-01-2009
from Chris Hoke

Tattoos and Bright Lights

by Chris Hoke 04-01-2009

Inside Guatemala's gang prisons.

Gangs, Nations: Same Thing

by Chris Hoke 03-31-2009
In Sojourners' April issue, Tierra Neuva gang chaplain Chris Hoke