Churches Propose to Create a Culture of Peace in El Salvador

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Christian organizations, ecclesial communities, and churches of the country, proposed this last Saturday the creation of a National Institute for a Culture of Peace and a National Reconciliation Commission with the purpose of reconciling the country and applying restorative justice 25 years after the signing of the Peace Agreements.

"An institute should help raise community initiatives in art, coexistence, sport, vehicular traffic, etc. It is urgent to have an institute that will make a proposal for a social coexistence based on respect, solidarity and other values," said Miguel Tomas Castro, General Pastor of the Emmanuel Baptist Church, a Global Ministries’ Partner in El Salvador.

The religious affirms that the culture of peace has to base the work from the educational system and that has to do with the social coexistence and with the treatment between Salvadorans daily.

The churches also offer pastoral accompaniment, Christian solidarity, and support to the victims of violence as a gesture of the Gospel and of mercy.

They also recognized what they call their "ethical, moral, and spiritual debt" by not following in a pastoral and prophetic way the reconstruction of the country and the Reconciliation of society after the signing of the Peace Accords.

For Reverend Castro, the fact that a recent survey by the University Institute of Public Opinion of the UCA (IDUOP) revealed that the Evangelical and Catholic churches are the institutions with the greatest confidence in the population, can serve to faithfully promote a culture of peace and reconciliation of the country.

"How kind is the public opinion with us, because churches still owe society.  We have a moral debt of not accompanying reconciliation," Castro said.

The religious denominations also called on different social sectors to depose the attitudes and actions that seek the benefit of their sectors and groups to the detriment of the national interest.

"We are a very fragmented and divided society. Each sector is looking after its own benefit at every level. Can Salvadorans consider a vision of the whole and of the country? That is our concern," says Castro.

The proposal has been accompanied by Baptist, Anglican, and Lutheran denominations, as well as religious organizations such as the Romero National Committee, Basic Ecclesial Communities Association (CEBES) Perkín, and Morazán among other organizations.


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