Peruvian religious leaders call for peace and reconciliation

In a joint statement signed by representatives of 16 religions and confessional communities in Peru, they addressed the dramatic events that the country is experiencing.
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“We Peruvians want a society marked by hope, dialogue, social peace, justice and human development. In the same way, we ask the international community to respect our sovereignty and the democratic transition that our country is experiencing”, reads the joint declaration signed by representatives of 16 religions and confessional communities in Peru, drawn up at the end of a meeting in which They addressed the dramatic events that the country is experiencing, launching an appeal “for peace, tranquility, unity and reconciliation, based on a broad process of listening and national dialogue.”

The “Interreligious Statement on the Political Crisis in Peru”, released on December 22, underlined the conviction that “spirituality is a central and fundamental element in the life of all human beings.”

In these moments of serious social and political crisis in the country, which has deep roots, the religious communities expressed their solidarity and pain “for the lives that have been lost in the recent demonstrations, which requires a transparent investigation, given the serious events that threaten social peace”. At the same time, they considered that “we must listen to each other and attend to the cries of our brothers who claim for their rights, a task that is particularly proper to the State.”

The religious leaders urged “not to polarize or discriminate against each other, on the contrary, we must unite for the common good, since we must all be builders of a dignified, fraternal and peaceful Peru.”

Addressing the political and civil authorities, they were also reminded of their duty to seek, “through sincere and binding dialogue, truly democratic solutions,” since any solution “requires the joint application of spiritual, moral, and ethical approaches.”

“We do not want an atomized, polarized or violent country”, the representatives of the religions wrote in the final part of the message. “All Peruvians want and trust in justice, unity and peace… We need to reconcile to understand each other and walk together, everyone: civilians and soldiers, men from the countryside and from the city,” they concluded.

Finding ways out of the crisis and regaining calm
For their part, the Peruvian bishops urged the institutions, from the outset, “to protect and safeguard democracy, guaranteeing, preserving, and restoring public and constitutional order,” and launched an appeal “to maintain national unity, calm and put an end to any form of violence and violation of the fundamental rights of citizens”. In one of their messages, they reiterated: “We need sincere dialogue, calm down to protect our weak democracy, preserve the institutional framework and maintain the fraternity of our people.” In this sense, on December 18 they invited “all the faithful and people of good will to express peace, hope and fraternity in Peru” through a Day of Prayer for Peace.

Meanwhile, the Ecclesial Network of the Justice and Peace Commissions of Latin America and the Caribbean also published a statement addressed to all political, social and union actors in Peru, expressing its solidarity with the Peruvian people who, once again in their history, faces a political crisis and is subjected to violence. “We believe it is necessary to insist on respect for human rights, which are the basis of peace and justice in relations between citizens and the State,” they underlined, and also urged: “It is time for a public discussion that, given the legitimate differences, be capable of finding creative solutions that guarantee democracy in Peru”.

Since the removal and subsequent arrest of former President Pedro Castillo on December 7, protests have erupted throughout the country, including the capital, involving thousands of people demanding the resignation of the new president, Dina Boluarte, and the call for a Constituent Assembly. As a result, on December 14, the government declared a state of emergency throughout the country for 30 days. For his part, Castillo was sentenced to 18 months in prison by the Supreme Court, while the investigation of the charges against him continues.

The death toll rises to 27 and the number of wounded to more than 650, as a result of clashes between supporters of the former president and the Peruvian security forces.+

Peruvian religious leaders call for peace and reconciliation –