Five speakers at the dialogue with civil society were able to present the views of Latin American evangelicals on education, respect of life and religious freedom.
Spokespeople representing pro-life and pro-family values in the dialogue with civil society organisations at this year’s OAS (Organization of American States) assembly said they were strongly encouraged by the outcome of the event.
Pro-life and pro-family representatives outnumbered LGBT groups at the 53rd assembly, held in Washington D.C. (United States). The OAS annual gathering brings together the governments of all countries in America to discuss and agree relevant socio-political initiatives.
Over 60 representatives of 5 coalitions formed by civil society groups with Christian values were able to attend most of the first part of the Assembly, although some were not allowed into the sessions the first day, despite having registered.
In practice, five spokespeople coordinated by the Ibero-American Congress for Family and Life, had the right to speak at the civil society sessions, which the movement's chair, Aarón Lara, called “a great success”.
María Luisa Obiols Ordoñez of the organization Sí a la Vida (Yes To Life) called the member states to guarantee “the defence of life from the moment of conception”. Harim Nabi Aquino of the organisation Calacoaya Centro Cultural denounced the attempt to implement public policies in Latin America’s schools to influence children with certain values, promoting the loss of parental authority if they do not conform to such ideas.
Omayra Álvarez of Juventud con una misión (Youth With A Mission) asserted that every conceived person has the right to live, and not allowing them to do so is discriminating and taking away the rights of the weakest. Diana Carolina Rodríguez of the Congreso Evangélico Latinoamericano (Latin American Evangelical Congress) called for freedom of conscience, expression and faith, demanded respect for the Christian worldview and expressed her repudiation of the persecution carried out in Nicaragua, Colombia and Mexico, against Christians who disagree with local governments.
Finally, Milu Gómez de Ledezma, called to respect biology and put an end to the promotion of “gender ideology” and the so-called “trans infancies”. Minors should not be pushed to make tragic decisions about their body without the consent of their parents, in an age in which they “are not psychologically, not emotionally and not physically mature to make them”.
The dialogue sessions with civil society actors were at time tense, with protests of pro-LGBT groups, which waved flags and chanted “freedom, freedom” after Gómez de Ledezma’s intervention.
In their responses, the representatives of the governments of Guatemala and El Salvador, expressed their commitment to protect life from conception to natural death as the basis of human rights.
The Secretary General of the OAS, Luis Almagro, did not attend these dialogues with the civil society organisations, which the Christian spokespeople lamented.
Another group of Christian groups participating at the Assembly was led by the Latin Evangelical Alliance (AEL).
Christians also participated in side-events of the OAS assembly, such as a prayer march, meetings between Christian parliamentarians of a range of countries, and a pro-life rally at the Jefferson Memorial.
[title]General Secretary met religious leaders
Earlier, the head of the OAS, met with several religious leaders. Among them was Eduardo Gómez, chancellor of the Alianza Evangélica Latina (Latin Evangelical Alliance).
“I must point out that guaranteeing Freedom of Religion and Belief remains a fundamental responsibility of the countries”, Almagro told the diverse group of faith representatives.
Almagro and Pastor Gómez said evangelical Christians in Latin America see as a priority the protection of fundamental rights, freedom of religion and expression, and the protection of fundamental values such as life and family.