A new Union of Christian Politicians met and debated as part of the Ibero-American Congress for Life and Family in Cordoba (Argentina).
On the morning of Wednesday 19 April, after a welcome from the host church’s pastor, Carlos Belart, José González gave a devotional in which he spoke about the patience of waiting for God and the need for vision.
This was followed by the traditional parade of flags of the Ibero-American countries.
In the inaugural message, Aarón Lara (executive secretary of the CIPVF) emphasised the need to be a light in a confused world without reference points in order to heal the soul of America.
Immediately afterwards, Nadia Márquez addressed the identity and purpose of the Ibero-American Union of Christian Parliamentarians (UIPC). Nadia is the Secretary General of the UIPC. In her speech she emphasised that the work of Christian politicians should not only include the defence of life and the natural family; there are other equally important aspects to be tackled, such as defending health, education, and a long etcetera that also have to do with life and the family.
In the debate that followed, it was concluded that the UIPC will promote a data bank, and to create and promote a common political agenda in which support for life and the family will be comprehensively addressed. “We have determined not to be accomplices with our silences”, she said.
Hugo Márquez (president of the CIPVF) added at some point: “Weo are here to evangelise politics, not to politicise the Church”.
Later, Tomás Zambrano, parliamentarian in Honduras, was elected as vice-president of the UIPC.
The first plenary was given by the Peruvian congresswoman Milagros Aguayo. She spoke of her personal experience in which the love of God has a place in politics and breaks down all barriers. She told of an encounter with a member of the Communist radical group ‘Sendero luminoso’ in the parliament of Lima. She was alone with intense pain in a room. Milagros Aguayo saw her, held her hand, prayed for her, and hugged her and asked God for his blessing as she recovered. “Today the place of mission is in parliaments”, Aguayo added.
She also addressed a theme that was repeated throughout the Congress: the need to build a shared bench with legislative initiatives by evangelical parliamentarians in all countries: “We have to build a single agenda for the continent”.
Se stressed that “we cannot enter into political life with aggression, but by loving people: God first loved us in order to save us. Humanise public life, whether you are on the left or the right, but bring the message of Jesus into politics in a practical way”.
She also touched on the accountability of Christian politicians. In her case, she has a support chat of 3,000 pastors to whom she is accountable and who support her.
Milagros presented the list of laws passed by her initiative ranging from the protection of the unborn, providing outlets for children in orphanages, to public health issues and support for disadvantaged or abandoned indigenous communities.
The next activity was the presentation of the Continental Political Platform by Xesús Manuel Suárez (member of the CIPVF Board of Directors and Secretary General of the Spanish Evangelical Alliance).
The Continental Political Platform is a document of reflection for evangelical politicians that helps to bring together proposals on all issues of public interest. This first document includes four themes: “The Defence of Life and the Family; The Shielding of Our Freedoms; The Building of Political Organisations; and the Worldview of Our Political Position”.
“It is built from biblical principles without submitting unconditionally to any political ideology because none fully responds to our model”.
Suárez also presented Panorama, a study of all the countries of Ibero-America in their legislative treatment of life and the family, carried out in each country by an expert resident in that country.
In the afternoon, Mile and Guille Ledezma (responsible for the Youth area of the CIPVF) discussed in a plenary session the urgent need for a youth mobilisation in America and the Ibero-American Pro-Life Youth Charter that the CIPVF is going to elaborate. “This is a battle that we have to face both generations, yours and ours, and we are going to win it together”.
She went on to report on the Fellows Programme, which was currently being implemented in Mexico and which was to be extended to other countries. Diana Topete explained that the aim was to train young people interested in politics and to provide them with internships accompanied or advised by people with political responsibilities. Several of the young people trained in the programme in Mexico are now in positions of public responsibility.
Jorge Márquez (CIPVF Board of Directors) explained the different online and face-to-face courses that are offered, encouraging people to train through them.
To conclude the day, Joe Owen gave a masterful talk in which he demonstrated scientific tools that ratify the credibility of the biblical account. He also discussed the Protestant contribution to Public Education, and the dilemma of having Christian schools or homeschooling.