A letter from Central American bishops to American Christians

The position of solidarity of the diocesan bishops of the Anglican Episcopal Church in Central America and Mexico confronting a new Exodus

October 28, 2018

Terror and dread fell upon them; by the might of your arm, they became still as a stone until your people, O LORD, passed by, until the people whom you acquired passed by.. 20 Then the prophet Miriam, Aaron’s sister, took a tambourine in her hand; and all the women went out after her with tambourines and with dancing. 21 And Miriam sang to them: “Sing to the LORD, for he has triumphed gloriously; horse and rider he has thrown into the sea
Exodus 15:16; 20-21 (Song of Moses)

The bishops of the Anglican Episcopal churches in Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador, Southwest and North Mexico express in the name of God his voice and call for solidarity to the authorities of Central America, Mexico, the United States, the United Nations, and religious and civil leadership groups, with the caravan of migrants from the North Triangle of Central America who are heading to the United States to look for worthy jobs; caravans have occurred in the last days of the month of October of this year. We understand emigration by our own faith as a new Exodus; they are a village of poverty, enslaved in their country’s life by injustice and the violation of human rights. They are people who have in faith in God, who has promised to “keep you wherever you go.” (Genesis 28:15).

Because God always hears the cries of his people, the churches do the same, and we cry for the most vulnerable and weak. For example, in this new Exodus, many boys and girls, children, women, and men are victims of death threats, victims of unemployment, victims of the government’s irresponsible response to the needs of its inhabitants. We call on consciences to understand that this people’s movement has always been a permanent, historical characteristic of our central American countries. It has been a living force that has been nourished with jobs in our brother country, the United States. These displacements of entire families in “Caravans” reveals the migrant problem and that of their own country of origin, and acquires a new international political relevance in the new culture of the Trump administration and the application of a “zero tolerance” policy to migrants.

We remember in this context the forum on migration that was held in San Salvador, where it is stated that people who have good principles have often been victims of death threats, being under harsh economic and social vulnerability, others have been victims of gang violence by agents of their states. Its thousands of people have only the gift of life, and of hope and faith in God. For them, in the name of Christ and of San Romero [Bishop Oscar Romero], we request solidarity with the authorities of the transit countries as well as destination countries in the following ways:

– Respect and recognition of their dignity and rights such as freedom

– warmly attending to them as if they were our brothers and sisters

– humanitarian aid and facilities

– a reasonable opportunity to identify legal transit options in destination countries like the United States, Mexico, and Canada

– creation of migration programs for people seeking asylum and refuge, specifically from ACNUR (Agency of United Nations for the Refugees) and OIM (the United Nations Organization for Migration) able to offer international assistance

– guarantee of special protection for children and adolescents in a family unit

– the provision of necessities such as food, good health, shelter and security.

We call on the Anglican community to show solidarity in this tragedy; we call for the unity of Christians to create conditions for a culture of hospitality. We call for the governments in the Northern Triangle to work and generate conditions for the development of human life in our countries, but more than anything we demand that migration not be criminalized, because migration is a right and no one is illegal in God’s creation, and that a peaceful life be procured with dialogue, medication, and the principal of humanity.

We ask our Lord, to strengthen us and give us courage to denounce sin and continue working for our brothers and sisters, the migrants, and we commit ourselves to strengthen the care of migrants, at local and regional and, interprovincial level.

In Cartagena de Indias, Columbia, the 28th day of October 2018.

The Rt. Rev. Julio Murray
Primate of the Anglican Church of Central America\

The Rt. Rev. Francisco Moreno
Presiding Biishop of the Province of Mexico

The Rt. Rev. Lloyd Allen
Diocese of Honduras

The Rt. Rev. Juan David Alvarado
Diocese of El Salvador

The Rt. Rev. Silvesire Romero
Diocese of Guatemala

The Rt. Rev. Benito Juarez
Diocese of Southeastern Mexico

[This translation was made by Jennifer Cortes at the request of Christopher L. Webber.  San Francisco, CA December 14, 2018]


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