ADVERTISING
 
Saturday, June 24   Sign in or Register
 
Evangelical Focus
 

 
ADVERTISING
 
 
FOLLOW US ON
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Google +
  • Instagram
  • Soundcloud
 

Newsletter
Newsletter, sign up to receive all our News by email.
 

POLL
Evangelicals' relationship to Roman Catholicism
Pope Francis and some evangelical pastors and theologians have expressed their aim of walking the "path towards unity". Do you agree?




SEE MORE POLLS
 

 
TOP 10 MOST VIEWED



#TopSummer
 

Why are churches burning in Chile?

Two ideologies drive the attacks against Christian communities: the Mapuche worlview, and the Socialist and Anarchist movements.

FEATURES AUTHOR Miriam A. Espinoza SANTIAGO DE CHILE 15 AUGUST 2016 12:00 h GMT+1
An evangelical church burnt on June 9, 2016.

One year ago I was horrified to see Islamic terrorist groups burning churches in Nigeria, Indian Christians beaten to death, or Christian families expelled form their houses in Chiapas, just because they were evangelicals.



In Chile, my country, this year some Mapuche communities started to spread terror to obtain their demands, burning Christian churches, both Catholic and evangelical.



For many years, Chileans have seen in the news the fights between the police and radical indigenous communities, the business properties destroyed by deliberated fires, and mend an women on hunger strikes.



Much of this happened because of the expropriation of millions of hectares of rich land by the state and the private sector. The radical groups believe their poverty and misery is a consequence of the abusive and oppressive powers which have aimed to exterminate, colonise, and expel them from their land in the last 400 years of history.



 



THE MAPUCHE IDENTITY 



But in the 21st century,  what has all this to do with the deliberated fires of Christian churches?



Although the groups that have recognised the burning of 17 churches do not say it, there are two ideologies that influence them: the Mapuche worldview, and the Socialist and Anarchist movements.



The first is based on legends and myths which explain the creation of the world by the great gods of nature. Nature is sacred for the Mapuches and it cannot be sold. However, they fall into a contradiction when one sees the amounts of land burnt through their actions. Their religion also includes a number of rituals and ceremonies that lead to superstitious and magical practices



The evangelistic efforts of Protestants and Pentecostals in the past have now transformed this region (known as 'The 9th region') into the most evangelical area of the country.



 



A Chilean evangelical church set on fire in June, 2016.



 



The majority of these Christian converts do not practice the Mapuche traditional ceremonies anymore, and are seen as “traitors” of the traditional faith. They are despised, mocked and punished by their own people. Now, it seems, even through the burning of their Christian temples.



 



SOCIALIST AND ANARCHIST MOVEMENTS



On the other hand, many young Mapuche people have become in touch with the Chilean Left in University. These students have found new arguments in the Socialist and Anarchist ideologies.



For them, like Marx said, 'religion is the opium of the Mapuche people', and by burning worship places they show a new type of resistance. Their aim, they say, is to burst a religious bubble where many people have been shut in. Christianity, they argue, has brought many to leave the defence of their social rights.



 



COURAGEOUS AND FAITHFUL



However, we Chilean evangelicals of other regions who follow this persecution through the media, are impressed by the courage, strength, and unity of our brothers in the faith, who gather in their destroyed church buildings to pray, to encourage each other and to rebuild their temples as soon as possible.



Many in the 9th region of our country are organising events and multi-denominational meetings on the streets to show others their rejection of church burnings and to stand agsint the threats heared in April: “All churches will burn.”



 



Members of the evangelical church in Padre Las Casas, after it was burnt.



 



PRAYER REQUEST



We ask you to pray for the abuses and injustices made by the powerful. Pray for the families who were deceived in the past and lost their lands and properties to cunning businessmen.



We ask you to pray for the indigenous communities that have survived over the years, mantaining their traditions and a courageous defence of their rights.



And finally, we ask you to pray for thousands of believers: Mapuche, mestizos, missionary brothers, leaders and families. They have found the meaning of life in Jesus, and have now seen their faith tried by fire.



Miriam A. Espinoza, journalist in Chile. 


 

 


0
COMMENTS

    If you want to comment, or

 



 
 
YOUR ARE AT: - - - Why are churches burning in Chile?
 
ADVERTISING
 
 
 
AUDIOS Audios
 
Michael Schluter: Relationships are the key to build Europe Michael Schluter: Relationships are the key to build Europe

The economist summarises the manifesto “Confederal Europe: Strong Nations, Strong Union” and explains why personal relationships should be at the centre of our economy, education and democracy. 

 
Gary Wilkerson: The Bible, the Holy Spirit and the Reformation Gary Wilkerson: The Bible, the Holy Spirit and the Reformation

Pastor Gary Wilkerson talks about what all evangelical Christians can learn from the Protestant Reformation and underlines the need for more churches with both a sound doctrine and obedience to the Holy Spirit.

 
Israel, the UN resolution and the long conflict Israel, the UN resolution and the long conflict

Shira Sorko-Ram, pastor and journalist in Israel, shares her views and a historical and biblical context on the latest events.

 
Lindsay Brown: Islam and the Gospel in Europe Lindsay Brown: Islam and the Gospel in Europe

Is the arrival of thousands of Muslims to Europe a threat to Christianity? What is the growth of evangelical churches in Eastern and Southern Europe? An interview with theologian and Lausanne Movement representative Lindsay Brown.

 
Giovanni Traettino: “Pope Francis is my brother in Christ” Giovanni Traettino: “Pope Francis is my brother in Christ”

Evangelical Focus asked the well-known Pentecostal pastor about his “open” approach to Roman Catholicism. Traettino defended his position about ecumenism during the Italian Evangelical Alliance 2016 assembly (8-9 April, Rome).

 
Efraim Tendero: Relationship with Roman Catholicism and other current issues Efraim Tendero: Relationship with Roman Catholicism and other current issues

The World Evangelical Alliance Secretary General participated in the Italian Evangelical Alliance assembly (Rome, 8-9 April). In this interview with Evangelical Focus, Bp Tendero talks about the need to listen to local churches and to face challenges like the refugee crisis and climate change. 

 
Thomas Bucher: Vision of the EEA Thomas Bucher: Vision of the EEA

Influence in society, evangelical identity and projects in Europe. An interview with Thomas Bucher, secretary general of the European Evangelical Alliance.

 
Evi Rodemann: Youth and mission Evi Rodemann: Youth and mission

“We want to see the youth not just being equipped, but also being multipliers”, Evi Rodemann director of Mission-Net. The European Congress took place in Germany from December 28 to January 2.

 
Greg Pritchard: European Leadership Forum Greg Pritchard: European Leadership Forum

Pritchard explains the vision of ELF, comments on the 2015 event in Poland and reflects on what it means to have an "evangelical identity".

 
Pablo Martinez comments on Evangelical Focus’ launch Pablo Martinez comments on Evangelical Focus’ launch

Author and international speaker Dr Pablo Martínez discusses the main challenges in Europe nowadays and hopes Evangelical Focus will be a useful tool to help build bridges between churches and society.

 
PICTURES Pictures
 
The abilities of Mefi-Boset The abilities of Mefi-Boset

Christian ministry Mefi-Boset has been working with people with intellectual disabilities in their leisure time, and supporting their families in Terrassa and Barcelona (Spain) for 20 years. 

 
Re-evangelise Europe and renew the biblical church Re-evangelise Europe and renew the biblical church

The 2017 European Leadership Forum gathered hundreds in Poland to celebrate the Reformation and connect to better share the gospel in diverse national contexts. See picture gallery.

 
Stamps to commemorate the Reformation Stamps to commemorate the Reformation

Poland, Lithuania, Namibia and Brazil are some of the countries that have issued special stamps on the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s 95 theses.

 
‘Reconciliation’ in the Basque Country ‘Reconciliation’ in the Basque Country

Bilbao hosted the Spanish Evangelical Alliance's annual meeting (assembly). Politicians, professors and evangelical representatives shared views on social reconciliation. The theme was also analysed from a theological perspective and in workshops. 

 
WPF17: A look at the world’s current issues WPF17: A look at the world’s current issues

A selection of pictures of World Press Photo 2017.

 
The Progress of Europe, deeply connected to Bible The Progress of Europe, deeply connected to Bible

Indian author Vishal Mangalwadi spoke about how the biblical worldview shaped the West. 300 professionals attended annual GBG meeting on faith and work in Cullera (Spain). Photos: J.P. Serrano, S. Vera.

 
Impressions of Lausanne's #ylg2016 Impressions of Lausanne's #ylg2016

Around 1,000 young Christian leaders from 150 countries are participating in the 2016 Lausanne Younger Leaders Gathering, to reflect on global mission.

 
“Spain, we pray for you” “Spain, we pray for you”

Hundreds of evangelical Christians from many denominations marched in Madrid (Spain) to pray for their city, the authorities and asking God to bring hope to its society. Many gathered in other cities on June, 11.

 
VIDEO Video
 
Individualism: from the Protestant Reformation to 21st century capitalism Individualism: from the Protestant Reformation to 21st century capitalism

Indian author Vishal Mangalwadi on how the Protestant Reformation underlined individualism as a means to please God, and how secular Europe corrupted it.

 
Mangalwadi: Education and the Reformation Mangalwadi: Education and the Reformation

Indian author Vishal Mangalwadi talks about how a renwed view of the Bible changed education systems in Europe.

 
What role does the Church have in Europe? What role does the Church have in Europe?

Evi Rodemann (Germany) talks about the unique contributions to society that only the Church can make. 

 
Students in Europe: “We are present” Students in Europe: “We are present”

A summary video of the IFES Europe conference which brought together 1,700 students from many countries in Aschaffenburg (Germany) to reflect on God's mission in society.

 
What does the story of Job teach us about suffering? What does the story of Job teach us about suffering?

By Jelena Sivulka, psychologist and Director of Hana's Hope.

 
You-To live-How? You-To live-How?

The Roldan Camacho are a Spanish couple with deafness. They tell us how the whole family experiences everyday life through sign language. A video report by Gabriela Pérez.

 
Philip Yancey interview Philip Yancey interview

An 8-minute interview with Philip Yancey on the role of Christians in a secularised society. Recorded in Madrid, September 2016.

 
An interview with Prof. John Lennox An interview with Prof. John Lennox

New atheism, the definition of "faith", Christianity in Europe, the role of the Bible in mission, and the need to listen more. An exclusive interview recorded at "Forum Apologética" (Tarragona, Spain) in May 2016.

 
 
Follow us on Soundcloud
Follow us on YouTube
 
 
WE RECOMMEND
 
PARTNERS
 

 
AEE
EVANGELICAL FOCUS belongs to Areópago Protestante, linked to the Spanish Evangelical Alliance (AEE). AEE is member of the European
Evangelical Alliance and World Evangelical Alliance.
 

Opinions expressed are those of their respective contributors and do not necessarily represent the views of Evangelical Focus.