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President of Chile attends Evangelical ‘Te Deum’

In the traditional ceremony, evangelicals pastors called for unity, reconciliation and justice. Freedom of worship should be enshrined in the Constitution, they said.

AUTOR 5/Evangelical_Focus SANTIAGO DE CHILE 20 DE SEPTIEMBRE DE 2023 08:31 h
Gabriel Boric in the so-called Te Deum Evangélico. / Photo via Evangélico Digital.

The president of Chile, Gabriel Boric, recently participated in the known as Evangelical Te Deum, one of the traditional ceremonies held in the context of national holidays.

The event took place for the second time in the Methodist cathedral in Puente Alto (Santiago de Chile). The ceremony was previously held in the evangelical cathedral of Chile, but in 2018 it changed location, following the controversy over the high patrimony of former bishop and head of the Pentecostal Methodist Church, Eduardo Durán.

In addition to the head of state, the ministers of Interior, Defence and Health, were also present in the ceremony, as well as other government members and parliamentarians of the opposition parties.


Unity, peace and reconciliation

President Boric, along with other high authorities of the country, listened to the words of several bishops of the Pentecostal Methodist Church of Chile.

The ceremony was led by the head of the church, Edmundo Zenteno, who gave a message calling for the “unity of the country” as well as for “truth and justice”.

“We gather to pray to the Lord for peace and real reconciliation among Chileans, that they take steps with sincerity to build a harmonious social life, which can only be achieved with divine help”, Zenteno added.

Furthermore, bishop Jorge Méndez asked to enshrine the fundamental right of freedom of worship in the text of the new Constitution, which is currently under discussion by the Constitutional Council.


Freedom of worship

At the end of the ceremony, the President of the government left the building without making any declarations.

For the Minister of the Interior, Carolina Tohá, “it was a beautiful ceremony. These days we have many opportunities to meet and we must take advantage of them, we also need to celebrate our country”.

“Not so long ago there was no religious equality in Chile. Although the evangelical world had great presence in our society, it had no space in the commemorations, in the institutional, and we have been changing that as a society step by step in an act of justice”, she added.

The Minister of the Presidency, Álvaro Elizalde, said that “the main wealth that Chile has is diversity, and in order to preserve it, it is key to have freedom of worship. We have made progress through a legislation that enshrines it properly and I believe that it is fundamental to preserve these principles in the context of the constituent process”.

Elizalde went on to say that this progress “requires the recognition of different points of view, all of which are equally legitimate in the context of democracy. For this process to be successful, we believe it is essential that it takes place within a context of respect, so that we have a Constitution that represents all of Chilean society and not just one sector".

According to sources in Chile, most evangelical Christians in the country are not supportive of President Gabriel Boric and the policies of his government, considering them to be too progressive.




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