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ALC Noticias November 28 2004 Peru Brazil Argentina Columbia
Worldwide Faith News <email@example.com>
Sun, 28 Nov 2004 14:09:08 -0800
ALC NEWS SERVICE
PERU: Forum on "Church and Public Impact"
BRAZIL: LUC Assembly promotes communication between two Lutheran Churches
ARGENTINA: Women scorned in media, says Dafne Sabanes Plou
COLOMBIA: Reformed Churches reject neoliberal model
CHILE: Kobia visits torture center and attends Pentecostal worship service
Forum on "Church and Public Impact"
LIMA, Nov 26 (ALC). During a forum on Church and Public Impact Nov. 25-27
representatives from non government organizations agreed on the importance
of having a vision of the country and reaching consensus in order to
achieve greater impact in development policies in Peru.
The forum, organized by the Regional Advice and Services Center (CREAS),
the Communication Studies Institute (IEC) and the Ecumenical Services
Coordinator (CESE) of Brazil, sought to exchange public advocacy
experiences from Churches in Peru, to contribute to the construction of a
strategy to strengthen citizen participation and to evaluate how sectors
linked to Evangelicals Churches have been contributing to the nation's
Federico Arnillas, executive secretary of the National Social Development
Conference (CONADES) spoke on the panel "Church, Civil Society and its
Public Impact." He was accompanied by Roxana Garcia Bedoya, executive
secretary of the Working Group to Combat Poverty and Rafael Goto, director
of the Christian Promotion and Services Center (CEPS) and secretary general
of the Evangelical Church of the Pilgrims.
Arnillas said that CONADES is an open meeting space for union and civil
society organizations that seek to find common ground and possible
synergies with other social actors such as the State, political parties and
multi-lateral agencies in order to have an impact based on proposals that
are possible to implement.
There is a need for a program and a purpose as it is not possible build on
a foundation of protests, he said. Protests should bring forward an issue
and force a State response, but a true impact strategy should be based on
proposal with a vision of the country, an ethical foundation, a scale of
values such as defense of life, promotion of justice and solidarity.
In Peru, he said, a general climate of mistrust has been created. The
relationship among social sectors is more influenced by suspicion and
confrontation than by building levels of trust. People mistrust everything.
The profound wounds of the 1980s and 1990s (terrorism, hyperinflation,
corruption) canceled the idea of a future for many. We are a society with
unresolved traumas, he affirmed.
Garcia Bedoya lauded the participation of Churches in the working groups to
combat poverty and said that 10 percent of the groups, at a provincial and
district level are official Church representatives. Other people who are in
charge of working groups also come from Churches, but do not formally
Churches, said Bedoya, have the challenge of significantly contributing to
the battle against poverty and must do so with an ecumenical attitude that
is tolerant and values plurality.
She warned, however, that society's trust in the Churches could lead them
to stop participating in the search for their problems. People may come to
believe that citizen participation is no longer necessary.
Rafael Goto emphasized that the Evangelical population has grown
considerably in Peru and this makes it more representative but also
increases its responsibility to influence society. We are no longer a
marginal Church and we Evangelicals are obligated to become social actors
and builders of citizenship, he said.
The ecumenical leader emphasized the participation of Evangelicals in
different spaces in the public sphere and said that the most important is
the place the National Evangelical Council has is in the National
LUC Assembly promotes communication between two Lutheran Churches
SAO PAULO, Nov 22 (alc)- During an assembly held November 20-21 in Sao
Paulo the Brazilian branch of Lutherans United in Communication (LUC)
agreed to promote communication between two Brazilian Lutheran Churches.
In Brazil there is the Evangelical Church of the Lutheran Confession of
Brazil (IECLB) and the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Brazil. The assembly
was attended by 22 communicators from two Churches, members of LUC. One
session was devoted to presenting work and activities in the communication
field developed by the two Churches.
LUC resolved to promote work carried out by communications in networks from
the two Lutheran Churches and to hold three regional events next year.
During the Assembly's inauguration, LUC- Brazil Coordinator Pastor Heitor
Meurer called on those present to raise high the flag of communication.
Meurer is a member of the Lutheran World Federation's Communication
Committee and an IECLB pastor.
Journalist and university professor Edelberto Behs offered a conference on
the architecture of the news, emphasizing that journalists are the
architects and must work to promote the Christian utopia of the Kingdom of
God and in the construction of hope for a world that is submerged in
IELB secretary general Rony Ricardo Marquardt announced that next year his
Church will set up a press office and in 2006 it will address the issue of
communication in its National Convention.
The president of the IECLB Nation Communication Council Armando Pedro
Maurmann said that in his Church 16 of 18 synods have newspapers and the
smallest has a print run of 3,000.
Caroline Strussmann, IECLB presidential advisor, emphasized the
manifestations of the Church in the country's political and social life.
The president of the Latin America and Caribbean Communication Agency (ALC)
Pastor Joao Artur M|ller da Silva invited Lutheran journalists to
participate in a competition that the agency will promote in 2005 in order
to celebrate the 10th anniversary since its founding.
On November 20, LUC assembly participants visited Christ for All the
Nations (CPTN) that supports the IELB in spreading the Word through radio
and evangelical literature. It also broadcasts the "Five Minutes with
Jesus" program that is retransmitted by 250 stations.
Women scorned in media, says Dafne Sabanes Plou
BUENOS AIRES, Nov 23 (alc)- The absence of women's voices in the mass media
is accompanied by the fact that women and their public actions garner 5 to
15 percent of all air time and print space on a daily basis.
This situation was emphasized by Dafne Sabanes Plou, Argentine Methodist
communicator, former president of the World Association for Christian
Communication (WACC) - Latin America region and the Latin America and
Caribbean Communication Agency (ALC) during a panel organized by the Women
and Gender Justice Pastoral Commission of the Latin American Council of
In her speech, entitled "Communication, media and the construction of
women's citizenship", Sabanes said that research also shows that women
appear in the media much more frequently as victims and if they are asked
for an opinion or comment, they tend to respond as "ordinary" women and not
Women's capacity to have an impact as social protagonists and to intervene
and influence in life and public questions is undermined by the information
that is published on a daily basis. The image of the world projected by the
media is one in which women barely exist, despite representing half the
world population, she said.
Given the major influence the media have in current day society, said
Sabanes, the new roles that women have assumed must be recognized so that
the active role they have in society is seen and heard and they begin to
integrate the daily life we perceive and hear.
Much has been said about the use of women's bodies as objects in
advertising and we also face a situation where the real problems confronted
by women are also used, such as on "talk shows" when painful and even
tragic situations are trivialized.
Moreover, the media discourse about masculine superiority in determined
areas, such as in the political space, tends to take on a manipulative tinge.
During debate in the Argentine Congress about the Quota Law in 1991, said
Sabanes, researcher Judy Chaneton proved that the media portrayed women as
invaders in the Chamber of deputies, where men had exercised an
unquestionable power for decades.
At no point did the media refer to the 29 interventions that legislators
made in this parliamentary debate, where they defended women's right to
full political participation, she added.
More recently when Elisa Carrio inaugurated the Hanna Arendt political
formation institute, journalists emphasized that the former presidential
candidate had changed her "look," by losing weight, dying her hair and
dressing more fashionably.
Soledad Alvear and Michella Bachelet, pre Presidential candidates in Chile
say that the first questions journalists ask them are how they are able to
be mothers and ministers, who does their house work, who is in charge of
their wardrobe and whether or not Chile could be governed by a women. Male
ministers are never asked these questions.
The Beijing Action Platform, nearly 10 years ago, lobbied the media to
present women's discourses and knowledge without prejudice or stereotypes,
because they have a right to participate in public conversation as subjects
of information and as actors in the political, economic, social and
In order for this to take place, women must enter the debate, both within
and outside of the official spheres. Women must also construct public
opinion, as took place during the debate on the Reproductive Health Law in
the city of Buenos Aires, where the population supported the progressive
proposals spearheaded by the women's movement, confronting fierce
opposition from conservative sectors, including the Catholic Church.
There is a need to construct an integral vision of the exercise of
citizenship on the part of women, women capable of generating ideas,
proposals and initiatives for common good, in order to sustain the struggle
for equal opportunities, social inclusion and respect for the principles of
equity and gender ! justice, concluded Sabanes.
The Gender and Power panel was coordinated by Pastor Judith Van Osdol, of
CLAI's Women and Gender Pastoral Commission, in order to inaugurate the
16-day World "On the Wings of a Dove" campaign, of the World Council of
Churches (WCC) to combat Violence Against Women.
Reformed Churches reject neoliberal model
CARTAGENA, November 22 (ALC). "To promote study, reflection and action in
our Churches and communities, to raise awareness and therefore to be able
to unmask this economic model (neoliberal) that seeks to take God's place
in the world and in our awareness," said representatives from the Reformed
and Presbyterian Churches in the Caribbean Region and in El Salvador at a
recent event in Cartagena.
The event, held in this city on the Caribbean coast from November 3-7 was
attended by member Churches of the Alliance of Presbyterian and Reformed
Churches of Latin America (AIPRAL) as well as representatives from member
Churches and those related to the Latin American Council of Churches (CLAI)
The Cartagena Declaration of the International Faith and Economics Event
added that Churches agreed to participate in joint actions with social and
grassroots movements that seek to construct alternatives to make an
alternative, fair economic model possible that cares for creation and
protects the weakest.
The document says that "illuminated by the Word of God and moved by the
Power of His Spirit," we have seen the threat and danger facing God's
creation and the suffering of millions of human beings.
This economic model, it adds, demands that all governments and cultures
fulfill the law to make real their promises of unlimited wealth and declare
war on all peoples who do not submit to the model.
In our region, the model is imposed through the implementation of the Free
Trade of the Americas Treaty and Free Trade Treaties, which further degrade
labor rights and labor conditions, it stated.
This model, it adds, accelerate the destruction of the environment, puts
the life and health of peoples are risk, validates and deepens the
privatization of social services, causes the breakdown of small and middle
sized companies and the de-industrialization of countries.
In the face of the aims of this model we affirm that God is the Lord of
Creation and the Lord of life, said the Declaration.
Event participants agreed to adopt the declaration of the World Reformed
Alliance, expressed in the Alliance for Economic Justice and Life on Earth
document, approved at the 24th Assembly in Accra, Ghana, last August.
In order to resist the model and keep alive the hope of abundant life that
Jesus promised and began, we also join the Ecumenical Alliance that is
promoting a Week of Global Action for Fair Trade, to be held April 10-16,
2005, said the document.
Meeting participants included the Presbyterian Church of Venezuela. The
Boriquen Presbyterian Synod of Puerto Rico, the Presbyterian Church of
Colombia and the Reformed Church of El Salvador.
The United Evangelical Church of the Dominican Republic, the Lutheran
Evangelical Church of Colombia, the Mesoamerican Christian Community, the
Methodist Church of Colombia, the Anglican Episcopal Church in Colombia and
the Colombian Ecumenical Network also participated in the meeting.
Kobia visits torture center and attends Pentecostal worship service
By Sara Ossa
SANTIAGO, Nov 22 (alc) During World Council of Churches (WCC) General
Secretary Samuel Kobia's visit to Chile, November 19-21, he visited a
detention and torture center used during the dictatorship and gave a sermon
at the Pentecostal Church of Curico.
In Villa Grimaldi, now called Park for Peace, Kobia was accompanied by the
Rev. Eduardo Cid, secretary of the Latin American Council of Churches for
the Andean Region (CLAI) and a committee of representatives from different
Cid said that the terrible story behind the walls of Villa Grimaldi, where
so many terrible atrocities took place, sparks strong feelings and "make us
even more anxious for peace among the children of the same people."
Kobia said he was "very impressed with the Chilean people's capacity for
resistance." He underscored how the country had been through difficult
times but is now recovered and is perhaps one of the strongest economies in
Latin America. The WCC general secretary also said he was impressed by its
memory of the past. "Our visit to this place has marked me deeply," he said.
On the other hand, on November 19, Kobia attended a worship service in the
Evangelical Pentecostal Church of Chile, in Curico, 193 kilometers south of
Santiago and preached a sermon about chapter 21 of the Book of the
This Church, lead by Bishop Ulises Muqoz, is the most numerous in the
region and has been affiliated to the WCC since 1961.
Kobia said that in contrast with this world, "so fragmented by violence,
injustice, poverty," the Holy City will be the "big house designed by God,
where everyone fits, where there is a place for all citizens, there is
Kobia said he felt very impressed by those who identified him as a
"Pentecostal son," because "his father in Kenya belonged to the Foursquare
Church," said Bishop Muqoz.
Muqoz voiced gratitude for the ecclesiastic policy developed by the WCC and
CLAI "which in recent years has made a significant approach to Pentecostal
In Villa Grimaldi, two former inmates Rodrigo del Villar and Hernan Plaza,
who survived the military regime, welcomed the Rev. Kobia and gave him a
Del Villar said that the place was nearly entirely destroyed by the
military. "The soldiers through that if they destroyed the buildings, they
would destroy the memory."
Kobia paid homage to the list of disappeared whose names are known. The
list is still not closed as some disappeared remain anonymous as there were
no witnesses to their stay in Villa Grimaldi.
Latin American and Caribbean News Agency
P.O. Box 14-225 Lima 14 Peru
Tel. (511) 462 0189 Telefax (511) 463 2496
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