Memory, Truth, and Reconciliation
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and wickedness of those who by their wickedness suppress the truth. Romans 1:18.
The words “memory”, “truth” and “justice” are part of what today we recognize as a claim from the victims of State terrorism perpetrated from 1976 to 1983. They stress an unavoidable demand. These are words with a strong meaning for the Christian faith and are placed in the own heart of the Gospel of Jesus. It is the “dangerous memory” of His torture and killing what we remember on Holy Communion (“Do this in remembrance of me.””, Luke 22:19). It is the truth that set us free (“and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free” John 8:32). It it the beatitude to the ones with hunger and thirst for justice (Mathew 5:6) announced for the Kingdom (Mathew 6:33).
The affirmation of memory, truth and justice is, for us as Evangelicals, ethically and theologically unavoidable. They are so related between them that it is not possible to have one without the other ones. Memory is present before the horror of victimizing. The truth about what happened and the justice served form a unity that can´t be broken without losing the three of them. They have a positive meaning: memory nurtures the experience of growth, truth liberates for a new hope, and justice sustains life.
As a matter of fact, the words “forgiveness” and “reconciliation” are also part of the Gospel that we proclaim. Forgiveness can´t be imposed from other people: it can only be born from the victim. True forgiveness comes from repent and reparation from the victimizer: if not, it will transform on impunity, the denial of justice. Christian reconciliation is an act of love; never the fruit of negotiation; where there is hate, concealment and pride, no reconciliation can be possible.
That is why the Argentinian Evangelical Churches Federation stands for the ethical need of the continuance of the trials about violations to Human Rights, beyond political or other circumstances whatever government is conducting our nation. We also pray for, once we have justice, there is reconciliation, if the crime perpetrators express a sincere repentance, are willing to accept the sentence of the courts, through the clarification of the truth, the pain and the suffering. It will be good to our Nation and it will be part of our path to security for the people that all the guilty people be judged and condemned for their crimes, as well as any other harm to human dignity. So it will be demonstrated that violence, aggression, hate and prejudice do not guide us to peace and wellbeing of society.
We pray that the Spirit of God guide us to reach for necessary ways so that justice in the broad sense of the word can be manifest on love and mutual respect, what make dignity and good neighboring among peoples.