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AMERICA/BRAZIL - Week for Christian Unity: respectful, not only tolerant, towards migrants

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Posted on: 05/10/16
Sao Paulo - In Brazil, as in many other Latin American countries, the week before Pentecost is dedicated to prayer for Christian unity.
"Called to proclaim the great works of the Lord" is the theme chosen for the week this year in Brazil, from 8 to 15 May, inspired by the Bible verse 1 Peter 2,9 recalling the reality of migration. According to information sent to Fides, the proposal of the theme is of the ecumenical movement in Latvia, adapted in Brazil by the Curitiba ecumenical movement .
The letter of the representatives of several Brazilian Christian communities spread for the circumstance, emphasized that "the year 2015 was characterized by waves of immigration. Also since the beginning of the year earlier we have seen desperate migrants and refugees seeking new living conditions in Europe. Their countries were destroyed by wars and environmental disasters. Some countries have chosen to close its borders to prevent the entry of migrants. Others are thinking about this possibility".
Therefore they point out that "the situation in Brazil is not as dramatic as it is in Europe. But here the number of migrants and refugees has also increased... Unfortunately, in 2015, some migrants were beaten and were object of preconceptions. Racist attitudes and prejudices are not coherent with the great works of God". The text recalls that in the past a significant number of ethnic groups arrived in Brazil for reasons related to hunger and war.
"Baptism calls us to have respect for migrants. More than tolerant, we have to be respectful - urges the letter -. Tolerance should lead to the recognition of the right to dignity that is inherent in every human being. We are called to proclaim the great works of the Lord! This proclamation is translated into attitudes of dialogue, acceptance and respect for those people who come to our country in search of new opportunities in life".


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