Global Ministries Stands with Puerto Rican Partners in their Struggle for Justice
Honorable Luis Fortuño:
Governor of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico
San Juan, Puerto Rico
Dear Governor Luis Fortuño:
On behalf of Global Ministries of the United Church of Christ and the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada, we want to express our dismay at your decision to terminate an alarmingly large number of government employees during the last six months, including even more than one member from the same nuclear family.
We support with earnest prayers and admiration the leadership of our partner churches in Puerto Rico, their initiatives and their entreaty to the government to stop the privatization of public services, preserve public institutions that provide essential social services (such as health care and education) to the community and the reversal of Law # 7. In covenant with our partner churches, — “La Iglesia Cristiana (Discípulos de Cristo) en Puerto Rico,” “La Iglesia Evangélica Unida de Puerto Rico” and “El Concilio de Iglesia de Puerto Rico”— we affirm with thanksgiving to God their responses to the government’s termination of over 20,000 government workers and the resulting escalation of unemployment rate which latest reports have estimated at 15%. We celebrate with gratitude their presence and active participation in the All Puerto Rico for Puerto Rico Coalition and the organization of camps for human dignity in front of the Capitol building in San Juan to share the people’s outrage about these recent government’s policies.
We understand that the governor’s secretary has labeled as “terrorists” those church leaders organizing and participating in demonstrations against your administration’s decisions, including members of our partners churches, and that he has threatened to apply the Patriot Act. We assure you that these are not terrorists but committed Christians who are being led by God’s law and the Spirit of Christ who calls them to respond to the violation of human dignity with demands for reconciliation, peace, and justice.
As committed advocates for justice and dignity for all of God’s people, we join the “Iglesia Evangélica Unida de Puerto Rico”, the “Iglesia Cristiana (Discípulos de Cristo) en Puerto Rico” and the “Concilio de Iglesias de Puerto Rico” as they ask you to use your executive leverage to help derogate Law # 7, and to find a more just and peaceful solution to this crisis.
Rev. David Vargas and Rev. Cally Rogers-Witte
Co-Executives of Global Ministries
Rev. Felix Ortiz
Executive of Latin America and Caribbean
Rev. Angel Luis Rivera, Secretario Ejecutivo La Concilio de Iglesia de Puerto Rico
Rev. Edward Rivera, General Pastor La Iglesia Evangélica Unida de Puerto Rico
Rev. Esteban Gonzalez, General Pastor La Iglesia Cristiana Discípulos de Cristo en Puerto Rico,
Rev. Dr. Sharon Watkin, General Minister Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canda
Rev. Geoffrey Black, General Minister and President United Church of Christ
Mr. Barack H. Obama, President United States of America