ADVERTISING
 
Thursday, July 19   Sign in or Register
 
Evangelical Focus
 
Flecha
 
ADVERTISING
 
 
FOLLOW US ON
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Google +
  • Instagram
  • Soundcloud
 

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

POLL
Migration
Do Christians in your country have a Bible-based understanding of how migrants should be treated?




SEE MORE POLLS
 

 
TOP 10 MOST VIEWED



Interview
 

“The movement to stop Evo Morales’ Penal Code was civic, not political”

Journalist Mireya Elizabeth Garrón speaks of the socio-political crisis in Bolivia and analyses the role of evangelical churches in the marches that helped revoke the new Penal Code.

AUTHOR Pedro Tarquis LA PAZ 02 FEBRUARY 2018 08:39 h GMT+1
The presidential palace of Bolivia. / Juan Alvaro (Flickr, CC0)

Bolivian journalist Mireya Elizabeth Garrón has followed the protests and calls to prayer against the new Penal Code that strongly restricted religious freedom in the country.



After much criticism from several sectors of society, President Evo Morales revoked the law and promised to include the views of more social groups in the new law.



Garrón, an evangelical Christian, analysed the new scenario in Bolivia in an interview with Spanish news website Protestante Digital.



Question. Not just Christians protested against the new Penal Code in Bolivia. How did it become such a threat to the people’s liberties?



Answer. The background is important. After twelve years of government, Evo Morales’ popularity has fallen strongly for the third year in a row. Despite winning the local elections in 2015 with a majority, there is a lack of confidence in him because he is seeking to be re-elected for another term, an aspiration that collides with our Constitution.



The alternation in power is very rooted and valued system in our country. The presidency and vice-presidency should not be in the hands of the same people for more than 10 consecutive years.



Morales tried to change the Constitution in 2016 but he did not succeed, and the approval of new Penal Code makes many think he could put an end to the citizen’s ability to dissent.



Furthermore, Evo Morales has only helped to broaden the differences, instead of working for the reconciliation of the nation. He has lately said that the “white” do not like the “natives”, and has called the latter to stand up to support him. This goes against our pluri-national reality. It has upset many.



Looking specifically at evangelical Christians, they have seriously feared for religious freedom.



 



Mireya Elizabeth Garrón.

Q. President Morales said the political opposition was behind the protests.



A. This has been a popular movement. The population does not like their initiative to be taken over by others. It was a genuine civic movement, in no way it is a manipulation of a certain political party against Morales.



Q. How many of evangelical Christians are there in Bolivia?



A. The last census in 2012 said there were 11 million Bolivians. The National Association of Evangelicals in Bolivia estimates that about 2 million of them are evangelicals.



The marches of evangelical Christians against the Penal Code have been massive and full of emotion. There were brass bands, music, prayer and mottos like “Bolivia, the church is with you”, “With Christ in the nation, Bolivia is blessed”. Many were on their knees crying out to God for the country. It is paradoxical that the media did not underline this evangelical presence.



Many churches, although not all, engaged with the marches. Among evangelicals, ther are different ways of seeing the participation in political affairs.



But I am sure all churches prayed, and some fasted. I believe God responded to the prayers, many could not explain why Evo Morales suddenly revoked the Penal Code.



Q We’ve heard that there are other conflicts in Bolivia between laws and Christian conscience, such as abortion and gender ideology. What is your perspective?



A. Gender ideology is very present, but what is strongest at the moment is a feminism that aims to liberalise abortion, linking this aim to the terrible violence against women, a reality that is very present in Bolivia. They mix a cause that is just (the end of violence against women), with the right to abort, a practice in which the innocent [the baby] suffers the death penalty as a criminal.



Q. Finally, how would you describe the general work of evangelical churches in Bolivia?



A. I would insist in prayer. Not everyone understands prayer and values it, but there it is, we Bolivian evangelicals pray for our country.



We also fight in environmental conflicts, as in the region of Tipnis, where an evangelical (Marcial Fabricano) led a movement that stopped the destruction of that natural region. The wanted to build motorways and plant of coca fields. Sadly, the project was relaunched later there in the Amazon, a source of water for the whole region, not only for Bolivia.



Another figure I would highlight is Fernando Villena, the former Bolivian Ombudsman, an evangelical as well. He had a very key role and is an example of how we should be present in our society.



Listen to the full audio interview with Mireya Elizabeth Garrón here.


 

 


0
COMMENTS

    If you want to comment, or

 



 
 
YOUR ARE AT: - - “The movement to stop Evo Morales’ Penal Code was civic, not political”
 
ADVERTISING
 
 
 
AUDIOS Audios
 
Ruth Valerio: A lifestyle that cares about creation Ruth Valerio: A lifestyle that cares about creation

Are Christians called to make a difference in environmental care? What has creation care to do with "loving our neighbours"? An interview with the Global Advocacy and Influencing Director of Tearfund.

 
Kathy Bryan: Online sex trafficking in the USA Kathy Bryan: Online sex trafficking in the USA

“Prostitution is nobody’s dream,  it’s a very traumatic lifestyle”, says Kathy Bryan, director of the Elevate Academy. She mentors former victims.

 
Christians in politics? Christians in politics?

What is the role of Christians serving in politics? An interview with Auke Minnema, the new General Director of the European Christian Political Movement (ECPM).

 
Michael Ramsden: Communicating the Gospel in today’s societies Michael Ramsden: Communicating the Gospel in today’s societies

RZIM International Director Michael Ramsden responds to questions about the secularisation of Europe, the role of Christians in public leadership and the new ‘culture of victimism’.

 
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. 

 
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. 

 
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".

 
PICTURES Pictures
 
Sharing Jesus with World Cup fans in Moscow Sharing Jesus with World Cup fans in Moscow

A team of Steiger mission is starting conversations about the gospel in the middst of the football celebration in Russia.

 
Analysing current issues in the light of the Bible Analysing current issues in the light of the Bible

At the 2018 Apologetics Forum in Comarruga (Spain), Michael Ramsden, Pablo Martinez, Ruth Valerio and José de Segovia analysed how society and the Bible approach the issues of personal identity, integrity, sexuality, pop culture, and environmental care.

 
European “Bridges to Inclusion” gathering 2018, in Riga European “Bridges to Inclusion” gathering 2018, in Riga

The network of Christian ministries working for the inclusion of people with disabilities, celebrated its tenth continental meeting in Latvia with the participation of 12 countries.

 

 
Coexistence in the church - a model for society Coexistence in the church - a model for society

“Gospel, identity and coexistence” were the themes of the General Assembly of the Spanish Evangelical Alliance. Two days in Palma de Mallorca to reflect about the role of evangelical churches in society.

 
'Ungi kulimi changana' 'Ungi kulimi changana'

Educator and journalist Jordi Torrents shares images of the Sekeleka social centre in Mozambique. About 50 children live there, many with some kind of disability. All photos were taken with permission.

 
The President in an evangelical church on Christmas Eve The President in an evangelical church on Christmas Eve

For the first time, the President of Portugal attended a worship service in an evangelical church. It was in Sintra, on Christmas Eve.

 
VIDEO Video
 
What are the essential characteristics of a godly leader? What are the essential characteristics of a godly leader?

Clinical Pastoral Counsellor Emoke Tapolyai reflect on three characteristics Christians who have been given leadership roles should develop.

 
Reaching non-Christian ‘Christians’ Reaching non-Christian ‘Christians’

How can we reach those who call themselves ‘Christians’ but have not experienced a conversion to Christ? Forty missiologists and mission practitioners came together for a Lausanne Movement global consultation in Rome.

 
Trailer: “The Peace Between” Trailer: “The Peace Between”

A film about the experience of refugees in Europe. Churches, small groups and individuals are encouraged to use it during Refugee Week: 17-24 June.

 
In Mission In Mission

A 360º lyric video about how all followers of Jesus Christ are called to serve God. Duo in Spanish (Alex Sampedro) and Portuguese (Marcos Martins).

 
Heart Heart

A short animation film by Swiss cartoonist Alain Auderset tells the message of the Bible in four minutes.

 
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.