OAS General Assembly calls its members to protect religious freedom
The Organization of American States declares 27 October as International Day of Religious Freedom. Evangelicals participated in the sessions defending the life and the family.
Evangélico Digital · 23 OCTOBER 2020 · 17:00 CET
The 50th General Assembly of the Organization of American States (OAS) took place October 20-21. The sessions were held virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The crisis in Venezuela and Nicaragua, and the economic and social impact of the pandemic in the region were the most relevant issues discussed in the Assembly.
The OAS always organises a session the day before the official Assembly start, to have a dialogue with civil society organisations. This year, the evangelical Ibero-American Congress for Life and Family participated with 65 associations, divided into 5 coalitions and with the intervention of 5 speakers.
In addition to these representatives, the pro-life and family organisation had 10 permament observers at the OAS sessions.
Evangelicals defend life and family
During the meeting with civil society, Argentinian evangelical pastor and city councilwoman Nadia Márquez, representing the Ibero-American Evangelical Congress Coalition, pointed out that “the right of the parents to educate their children in religious and moral issus is fundamental”.
Márquez also condemned the recent burning of churches in Chile, saying that such act “deserves the repudiation of all the nations that make up the OAS. We are thousands of believers who are involved in public office to defend our rights”.
The ambassadors of the OAS member countries had time to answer and comment on the interventions of the civil society organisations. Brazilian Ambassador Osmar Vladimir Chohfi and Rita Claverie, Guatemalan Ambassador, were the ones who showed a clear pro-life and pro-family stance.
Throughout the transmission of the dialogue with civil society organisations, the chat on the OAS YouTube channel was filled with pro-life and pro-family comments. #OEAProVida (OASPro-life) and #OEAProFamilia (OASPro-family) were also some of the most repeated expressions during the webcast.
Aarón Lara, President of the Ibero-American Congress for Life and the Family said that they were “very satisfied with the representation of our speakers who made an extraordinary effort in defense of life and the family”.
“A new generation of defenders of life and the family is rising up with strength and conviction. I am happy to see the results of so many months of work and prayer", Hugo Márquez pastor and Vice-president of the same entity underlined.
OAS declares 27 October as International Day of Religious Freedom
The OAS ended its General Assembly formally requesting its member countries to protect “the right of everyone to have freedom of thought, conscience and religion or belief, the freedom to have or not to have, and to change a religion or belief”.
“We call upon States to protect all places of worship, so that individuals can practice their faith alone or in community in a peaceful and safe way, even now with the limitations imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, in accordance with the health measures”, it added.
The OAS also officially recognised “the right or freedom of parents to give their children a moral and religious education in accordance with their beliefs”.
Furthermore, the OAS Assembly decided to declare 27 October as International Day of Religious Freedom, and called for “a regional dialogue on the right to have freedom of conscience and religion or belief”.
According to Lara, “the most relevant resolution of the 50th OAS Assembly has been the declaration of October 27 as the International Day of Religious Freedom. We will organize it with the favor of God”.
The OAS member states approved the offer of Guatemala to host the 51st General Assembly of the organization in 2021.