Renewing Our Mission For Justice In South America
Gathered on December 4 and 5, 2023 in Lima, Peru, in the context of the 2nd Evangelicals and Human Rights Forum, as citizens and leaders linked to churches and organizations of the evangelical community from various countries of Latin America to commemorate 75 years of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. We express the following:
We note that our countries face an acute crisis of governance marked by political instability, growing authoritarianism and the undermining of democratic institutions, which leads to the undermining of human rights, especially for the most vulnerable and excluded sectors of society.
Most governments in the region, regardless of their political leanings, have shown ineptitude and lack of ethical solvency to face crises, as evidenced by corruption scandals and the prevailing impunity and misgovernment, causing a generalized distrust of the public towards democracy.
Even when we witness advances in the recognition of people’s rights, these are not effectively guaranteed, especially in the case of Indigenous peoples, Afro-descendants, people with disabilities, migrants, children, adolescents, women and the elderly. Machismo, racism, xenophobia and homophobia are normalized in various areas of society, including faith communities. Particularly outrageous and unacceptable is the passivity and inactivity of governments and influential sectors of the churches in the face of hate crimes, including the murders of environmental defenders, with whose families and communities we stand in solidarity.
Fulfilling the mandate of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, we assume our duty as brothers and sisters, denouncing injustices and violations of rights, defending the dignity of all people and accompanying the victims of abuses and violations (Art.1 HR).
As believers, we commit ourselves to remain faithful to the biblical mandate to incarnational love of our neighbors as ourselves (Matthew 22:39).
Lima December 5, 2023
The International Fellowship of Paz y Esperanza (Peace and Hope) is composed of national leaders from each of the Peace and Hope organizations in Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador, Chile, Colombia, Brazil, El Salvador, the United Kingdom, United States, and France.