LWF concerned about rising violence in Nicaragua
Lutheran church promotes message of “immeasurable value of human life”
(LWI) - The Lutheran World Federation (LWF) has expressed concern about rising violence in Nicaragua. “The escalation of violence and the emergence of armed groups acting outside the law is unacceptable from all points of view,” says LWF General Secretary Rev. Dr Martin Junge.
On 18 April, demonstrations broke out in several cities of Nicaragua against President Daniel Ortega's cuts to pensions and social security. An estimated 195 people died in the crackdown that followed, according to the government. Human rights organizations say numbers are almost twice as high. The conflict has flared in recent weeks.
I encourage the church to continue emphasizing and promoting the message of the immeasurable value of all human life. Every person, irrespective of their political affiliation, has been created in the image and likeness of God, and is endowed with inalienable human rights.
The LWF General Secretary expressed support to LWF member, The Nicaraguan Lutheran Church Faith and Hope (Iglesia Luterana Fé y Esperanza, ILFE) to keep churches open to all people. “I encourage the church to continue emphasizing and promoting the message of the immeasurable value of all human life,” he said. “Every person, irrespective of their political affiliation, has been created in the image and likeness of God, and is endowed with inalienable human rights.”
The LWF would continue supporting the church in its ministry for peace, the general secretary said. “It is necessary for people to talk to each other, instead of letting weapons speak.”
ACT Alliance, of which the LWF is a member, has issued an alert, identifying peace-building, psychosocial support and food aid to affected families as priority areas. Through the ACT Forum Nicaragua, churches are responding to the situation.
LWF is supporting ILFE with funds to provide aid to families who have been affected by the conflict. In June, ACT issued a statement calling for an end to the violence and for negotiations to resume.