Friday, January 13, 2023

Recommended Reading: Methodists Respond to Political Violence in Brazil

As many readers will be aware, last weekend, on January 8, supporters of former Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro stormed federal government offices in Brasilia, Brazil. Rioters attacked the offices of the president, congress, and supreme court. Government forces were able to regain control of the buildings by the end of the day.

The attacks in Brazil were widely condemned within and beyond the country. Many drew parallels with the January 6, 2021, attacks on the U.S. Capitol. Even Bolsonaro himself denounced the violence.

Among those condemning the attacks and affirming the value of democracy were Methodist bodies, both in Brazil and abroad. The Methodist Church in Brazil issued a statement entitled, "Nota de Repúdio a atos de violência e vandalismo." According to a Google translation of the statement into English, the church said, "We recognize that opposition manifestations are part of democracy, but we do not accept the totalitarian practices that we saw in these acts that deny the values ​​of the Gospel of Jesus and the construction of peace in Brazilian society." The statement denounced violence, called for peacemaking, and affirmed that Methodists are in favor of the democratic process.

Methodists in neighboring Uruguay also released a statement entitled, "Declaración por la civilidad y el respeto a la democracia." This statement affirmed that of the Brazilian church, expressed solidarity with Brazilian brothers and sisters, denounced violence, and affirmed the importance of democratic institutions.

In neighboring Argentina, the Evangelical Methodist Church Argentina called attention to a statement from el Consejo Latinoamericano de Iglesias (CLAI; Latin America Council of Churches) that condemned violence, affirmed democracy, and called for peace and prayer.

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