After accusing the president of “stabbing them in the back”, the pastors expressed their willingness to continue building bridges of dialogue with the national government.
The President of Paraguay, Santiago Peña, recently met with evangelical leaders of the Association of Evangelical Churches of Paraguay (ASIEP) to discuss an agreement the country has signed with the European Union.
During the election campaign, Peña appealed to conservative voters by making the repeal of the agreement one of his main election promises. He leads the Paraguayan government since 15 August.
The bottom line is that this agreement implies the promotion of gender ideology in Paraguayan society. Peña's opposition is thought to have led a large group of Christians, including evangelicals, to vote for him.
However, after becoming President, Peña changed his position when the Senate, with the support of part of his party and that of former President Horacio Cartes, rejected the draft law to repeal the agreement with the European Union.
The chair of ASIEP, Osvaldo Centurión, accused the government of betraying its voters. “We are starting this government with a very clear message: they promised to repeal the agreement, but they stabbed us in the back”.
Evangelical Pastor Jorge Márquez told Latin American news website Evangelico Digital that “the current politicians are more interested in winning votes with politically correct statements than in defending the truth, there is a lot of deception and their values are very volatile”.
For all these reasons, Peña met with the evangelical leadership, along with the head of the presidential cabinet, Lea Giménez, the Minister of Education, Luís Ramírez, and the Minister of Children and Adolescents, Walter Gutiérrez. They assured that the government would respect Paraguay's values.
“I had a meeting with pastors from different churches. We talked about the importance of protecting the family and defending the values that characterise us as a nation”, the head of government wrote on X (formerly Twitter).
Peña pointed out that he also spoke to the evangelical representatives about other challenges Paraguay faces.
Regarding the agreement with the EU that finally came into force, “we reported on the government's efforts to sign an amendment to respect the National Constitution, the values of Paraguay, the defence of life and the family, and to recognise the importance of the family and marriage as the central pillar of society”, he said.
Pastor Carlos De la Sobera, a member of the ASIEP explained that they “told the President that there are evangelicals disillusioned by what happened and by what are perceived as government actions that left much to be desired in terms of the defence of the values and principles that we so much hope will be clearly defended in Paraguay”.
However, the evangelical body also underlined the willingness to dialogue and the determination to work together. “We will continue to build the society we all long for in Paraguay”, he said.