Spanish evangelicals raise voice against “religious fundamentalism” stigma
The Spanish Evangelical Alliance sends a letter to the Human Rights Secretary of Uruguay after the latter said that “the new phenomenon of evangelical fundamentalism” is a threat to “democratic foundations”.
Protestante Digital · 04 SEPTEMBER 2019 · 12:17 CET
The Secretary General of the Spanish Evangelical Alliance, Xesús Manuel Suárez, has sent a letter to the Human Rights Secretary of the Uruguayan government, Nelson Villareal, after the latter heavily criticised the evangelical churches in a published interview.
In an interview with magazine Búsqueda, Villareal had said he feared that “the new phenomenon of evangelical fundamentalism that emerges strongly” could be a threat to democratic coexistence in Uruguay.
The words of Villareal come in the context of the opposition expressed by a number of evangelical entities and churches to the new Uruguayan Transsexuality Law. Earlier this year, Christian groups promoted a national referendum to stop the legislation. The turnout was of 10.1% of the population, which automatically invalidated the vote, as the needed 25% of participation was not reached. The participation, nevertheless, surprised many, as Villareal himself admitted.
The Uruguayan government Human Rights Secretary said: “The advance of evangelical fundamentalism is worrying because, it is not just that a religious tradition is adding to the social coexistence, but they are disrupting the normal exercise of politics, trying to determine the ways of living of the people, and their private life”.
REACTION OF SPANISH EVANGELICAL ALLIANCE
The statements of Villareal, said Xesús Manuel Suárez in a letter, “put evangelicals on the bull’s eye, they are put under suspicion for the only reason of having expressed their views on issues around which a mature democracy needs to admit freedom of opinion, such as the issue of legislation that gives privileges to gender ideology lobbies”.
In the letter, Suárez reminds the Uruguayan government that “evangelicals have suffered all kinds of persecution and discrimination and therefore we do condemn all kinds of discrimination against human beings, no matter for what reason. We have never demanded privileges just because we have been discriminated, and we have never claimed to impose our beliefs via indoctrination in all educational sectors – something that in contrast is happening with gender ideology both in Spain and in your own country [Uruguay]”.
This way of stigmatising those who think differently, writes Suárez, is an evidence that “the dogmas of the past have changed (…) but the heretics seem to be the same”.
“You have committed a serious blunder discrediting us evangelicals for no reason, with a partiality that is not adequate for the position you represent, as a representative of the rights of everyone, not of the dogmas of a part of the political spectrum”, adds the leader of the Spanish Evangelical Alliance.
“I invite you to get to know us better, to renounce to your prejudices, and to discover that you can find in us the best allies in the fight against discrimination and in the defense of civic rights”.
The full letter of the Secretary General of the Spanish Alliance to the Human Rights Secretary of the government of Uruguay (in Spanish) can be read and downloaded here (PDF).