Churches in El Salvador Advocate for Transition Into Restorative Peace and Justice
A group of representatives from different churches, parishes, grassroots communities, ecumenical Christian organizations met some weeks ago to consider the state and progress regarding the “Special Law of Transitional and Restorative Justice for National Reconciliation,” submitted before the Legislative Assembly for due approval. The road for the approval of that law has been tortuous. However, as churches and believers in Jesus Christ and His Gospel, they want to assume their responsibility to contribute for the reconciliation of the Salvadorian society. They decided to make a public stance in favor of the approval of the Law. Here is their statement:
“As Christians, we believe in the importance of Reconciliation in all the breadth of the concept, and we understand that we all need to reconcile with God, a reconciliation that also implies reconciliation with our fellow men.
- We consider that the Approval of this Law must be appreciated as a valuable opportunity, for a reunion and a true Reconciliation of our society, for the Ethical and Spiritual values that are at the basis of Reconciliation, and for the very purpose that the Law pursues. At the same time, the Law should not be limited to sanction the facts of violations of Human Rights occurred during the conflict, but the Law should favor the rescue of the Historical Memory in our Country, to promote truth, as it would flourish fully in the country.
- We know that this instrumentality of the State is a guarantor of law that favors our people, in this case, the victims, subjects of this Law, who is seeking to recognize and restore them, not just the atrocious events during the Civil War, but the impunity that has historically impeded justice in El Salvador. We, as part of El Salvador´s civil society, urge the government to engage into a real commitment on its part, to dictate a Law that make justice prevalent, for all compatriot victims, who expect to be recognized to the full access to truth, justice, repair and non-repetition, elements that will contribute and guarantee Reconciliation.
- We are very aware that the primary objective of this Law, is to provoke a process of Repair and Restoration, in favor of victims, a process that should lead to an INTEGRAL Repair and Restoration, so that set a precedent for delivering Justice, and the door to impunity is definitively closed, and at the same time, the constitutional principle is vindicated, which enshrines that “all citizens are equal before the Law.” We understand that what is at the center in the intention of this Law, are the principles of Truth, Restitution, and Restoration of Rights, Justice, and Reconciliation, all this above any interest of sectors and even political parties to which each deputy belong, making the good and the future of the entire nation prevail on this process.
- The Reconciliation Law to be approved has unprecedented historical value and significance, which will undoubtedly mark a before and after regarding Truth and Justice towards the Reconciliation of our society. If it causes us strangeness, that such essential law for our country, had to wait for more than 3 years, since July 2016, when the Constitutional Court resolved the unconstitutionality of The Law of Amnesty, and we still do not count on this long-awaited Law.
- As Churches and Christian sectors, we urge that this Law be attended as a National Priority, as it will contribute to the reunion of our society, to walk the path of an authentic Reconciliation, where El Salvador could be the house where all the sisters and brothers live together with dignity, in harmony, with fraternity, justice, and peace.
So we are ambassadors for Christ since God is making his appeal through us; we entreat you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. (2nd Letter of Paul to the Corinthians 5:20).”
Emmanuel Baptist Church, JPIC, The Congregation of Franciscan Brothers, Baptist Federation of El Salvador, Ecclesial Communities of Perkin Morazán, Arcatao, Chalatenango Parish, “Saint Oscar A. Romero” National Committee, Shekinah Baptist Church in Santa Ana, Montepeque, Alegría, and Suchitoto Baptist Congregations, FUNDHAMER, Baptist Congregations in Mercedes Umaña, Alegría, Usulután, Baptist Disciples of Christ Congregation, German Community Baptist Church in Soyapango, Saint Romero People´s Ecumenical Coordination, Shekinah Baptist Church, Ecumenical Coordination “Sentir con el Pueblo.”