Recent Updates RSS Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • NSIEAB 3:08 PM on 05/26/2017 Permalink | Reply  

    Church responding Human Traffic reality 

    “No human body can, in any circumstances, be simply an object to be traded, trafficked
    or enslaved.” 1
    Archbishop Justin Welby
    So – I have been invited to talk about human trafficking, which is something that is in the media at the moment and people are shocked by the extent to which it has spread
    across the globe. But it is not a new thing. For centuries people have been trafficked and enslaved from one part of the world to another, or one part of a country to another. In
    the Bible there are examples of slavery in Egypt and throughout history people were enslaved. But today, although official slavery has been abolished, it continues, as human
    beings continue in their greedy, selfish way to exploit those who are weaker.
    In the Amazon region of Brazil this has been the scenario since its “discovery” just over 500 years ago. The Amazon was never seen as a place to be developed, but a place to be
    exploited, and not just by the Portuguese, or, as today, by China, Japan, Canada and many others, but also by Brazilians themselves. The Amazon is rich in minerals, oils,
    hardwoods and many other natural resources. Until the early 19 th century the State of Pará, known as the gateway to the Amazon, was an independent state, not part of Brazil.
    But the Brazilian elite had its eyes on the wealth there and tricked them into joining the rest of the country.
    In this sense, the people of the Amazon, the indigenous populations, were never considered, on the contrary, millions were massacred as they would not “co-operate”
    with the Portuguese invaders. And the British have their share too – during the Rubber Cycle in the 19 th century many British came to exploit the rubber, but left a few years later, taking with them seeds from the seringueira to Malaysia, where land and labour was cheaper so they could sell the rubber at a higher profit – so the idea of profit being more important than people is nothing new, and yet we are always surprised by it.
    In this world, we live in where profit is more important than people, everything becomes a product – including people. And it is not because this has gone on for
    centuries that we will just keep silent. Human trafficking has been a concern of the Diocese of the Amazon for some time. As Bishop Saulo Barros writes in his article 2
    (2012): We understand that human trafficking is the result of the dominant ideology in the Western world which turns everything into a product and reifies human beings. This
    is the logic of the empire, which we are submitted to, the formation of powers in the new globalized society that creates a system of domination and exploitation. For the empire,
    the body, the human being, is just another product to be sold. This year, the Bishop Primate of Brazil, Francisco Silva continues to express his concern in his message during the Human Trafficking Awareness Week, motivating the churches in Brazil to talk about this issue and act on putting an end to the injustice. He writes: We need to increase the awareness of Brazilian society in relation to this silent
    1 CEREMONY FOR THE SIGNING OF THE JOINT DECLARATION OF RELIGIOUS LEADERS
    AGAINST SLAVERY – Casina Pio IV, Tuesday, 2 December 2014
    2 Tráfico de pessoas: uma breve reflexão teológica. (Human Trafficking: a brief theological reflection)
    Bishop Saulo Barros. 2012.
    and obscure problem, which makes 30 billion dollars around the world, lining the pockets of international and national mafia. 3
    In an attempt to raise this awareness the Anglican Diocese of the Amazon has taken part in debates and petitions. The Human Rights Commission of the Anglican Diocese of the
    Amazon decided to support the realization of an informative panel on human trafficking, in the Cathedral of St. Mary, Belém – PA, demonstrating its total rejection of this kind of violence against human beings. A courageous attitude considering that this subject involves organised crime with international connections, exchanging 35 billion
    reals every year, and about which society keeps a “silent pact of moral reprobation and practical accepting” 4 , especially in our region of the Amazon. Also, in 2013, SADD
    (the Anglican Service of Diaconia and Development) put together a booklet on Violence Against Women, to be used in the local communities to help women recognise the
    problem and build a support network for those who suffer violence. I believe this is a major step to help people, especially women, to recognize their rights, and not permit the exploitation and violence of working in slave-like conditions or being sold for prostitution. We have been taking the booklet to several communities around the
    Diocese like Ulianópolis, in the interior of the state, where human trafficking and violence against women are common, and where many women didn’t even know there
    was a special police station for women. The Northern part of Brazil is one of the poorest regions in the country and many men and women, when they are offered an opportunity
    to work somewhere, often don’t question enough and find themselves enslaved in sub-human working conditions. The large corporations make them slaves of debt, ensuring
    that all workers buy their groceries from their stores and discounting it from their salaries – that way they never have enough money to leave if they want to. (Most of
    these people are brought in from other parts of the country, meaning they have nowhere to go for help if things get difficult).
    In our own communities, we have examples of human trafficking. One man managed to rescue his niece’s two sons from Suriname. She was taken there with promises of a
    better life, which wasn’t quite what she had expected, but the traffickers have brainwashed her, buying her confidence with trips around the world, expensive gifts –
    all in exchange for her selling her body. In the time she was there she had two children – who are very often sold and/or used for child labour, but our friend managed to find
    them and bring them back over the border. Later, with help from the Justice and Peace Committee of the Catholic Church who are working together with the Federal Police to
    combat human trafficking, he could bring his niece back, together with a five years old child that she rescued from a family in the gold mines and who has suffered all kinds of
    abuse. Another family was also affected by this – the granddaughter was about to leave for Suriname to work in the gold mines, but luckily her grandmother managed to
    prevent her from leaving and went into hiding because of the threats against both theirlives.
    We offer them our prayers and support when we can.
    So, what can we do about this? With support from the USPG, the Amazon Diocese is running a Leadership Training Course for people who want to engage in their
    communities and defend justice and human rights. To be honest I was very pleasantly surprised with the group we are training at the moment as they are very much engaged
    3 Mensagem do Primaz sobre a Semana de Combate ao tráfico de pessoas – SNIEAB – 27/02/2015
    4 Marcel Hazeu
    <http://amaivos.uol.com.br/amaivos09/noticia/noticia.asp?cod_noticia=18674&cod_canal=41>in the fight against injustice which is so rare today and in a context where it is becoming more and more dangerous to stand up against the large corporations and in the name of the people. In May, we had a workshop on human trafficking, offered by sister
    Henriqueta who has been fighting against this for years and is on the blacklist of the traffickers. She is also a member of the Justice and Peace committee and, with her help,
    we hope to be able to run workshops in the different communities around Belém and multiply these preparing a maximum number of people possible to defend themselves
    against this extreme violation of human rights. As Bishop Saulo mentions in his article,“Because of the complexity of human trafficking, it will never be stopped through local
    initiatives, only through global action can we achieve results. As Christian communities, we have the possibility of creating networks of solidarity around the world in order to
    fight this and other forms of dehumanizing.” As Diocese, we try to understand the complexities of the Amazon region and apply
    Christ’s liberating theology to that. In order to understand these complexities, in our Diocesan Synod in 2012, we invited several speakers to talk about this context.
    One of these was Edmilson Brito Rodrigues – a Federal Deputy for the State of Pará for the PSOL party (Socialism and Freedom Party) His speech and that of our other
    guests was transcribed and compiled into this book: Amazônia e Anglicanismo (The Amazon and Anglicanism) – JUNET – National Board of Theological Education, Ed.
    Fonte Editorial 2016. I have brought a couple of copies if anyone here can read Portuguese.
    Edmilson, (apart from being my candidate for the next elections for mayor) was one of the founders and a teacher of UNIPOP, the Popular University who is
    providing us with the teachers and support for our Leadership Training Course. UNIPOP began in the Anglican Church, supported by a British missionary, who
    came from Canada, Rev. Graham Bland, where the popular movements met in their struggle against the military dictatorship. There began the first ecumenical
    theological course. So the Anglican Church in the Amazon for some time now has been engaged in the fight for social justice.
    So let’s look at this context through the eyes of Edmilson. He explains how Amazonia is one of the largest exporters in Brasil, perhaps in the world.
    Parauapebas – a town in the interior of the State, financially exports more than São Paulo, because of all the minerals from the mines in Carajás. But at the same time
    the region has the highest rate of Hansen’s disease – leprosy – in the world – a disease that has existed for thousands of years and has been eradicated from many
    countries. In Belém the disease is coming back and is spreading, just like dengue, zica and chikungunya. and tuberculosis– unfortunately prostitution is another
    epidemic caused by this emphasis on products, exports for money etc and little support for people. It is profit that calls the cards.
    As Edmilson affirms, it is the large coorporations that support technical research – so they will support what is interesting to them. A large pharmaceutical company,
    for example, is not going to support research into popular knowledge about natural remedies – some of which may even cure cancer – if that is not going to
    bring them profits. Cancer is big business! They say they have found a cure, and its natural and cheap, but the pharmaceutical companies won’t allow that news to spread. So one phenomenon that is threatening lives is the idea that everything is a product – even human beings. Another problem is globalisation – we should see it as an opportunity and not just as a threat. Globalisation is for products – when people want to cross the border in Mexico many face a huge wall – much thickerthan the Berlin Wall and hundreds die trying to cross over. “For the markets everything, for the people nothing”, says Edmilson. One example of this is the railway line that the Chinese want to build across South America – they have
    offered 90 billion to build it – why? To transport minerals from Brazil and other countries in South America to China – people – no – only if they want to work as
    slaves or sell their organs!! Immigration – walking the streets of Italy, France, UK, there are many people onthe streets selling goods illegally, struggling to survive, and you find they have come from the colonies. Their country provided a wealth in raw materials many years ago – but today they are unable to reap the benefits of those products and
    are treated with disrespect by the countries who took so much from them – products are more important than people.
    The BBC produced a report on human trafficking calling attention to the high numbers in the UK. 5 According to the report there were 2340 potential victims of
    human trafficking in the UK in 2014, over 10% from Nigeria. It is an international situation and if we are to talk about the globalization of products we need to talk
    also about the globalization of combats against these violations of human rights. I believe that as a worldwide church we can contribute to that.
    Edmilson took part in a CPI – (Parliamentary Inquiry Commission) on Human Trafficking and discovered that many people were tricked into sending their sons
    to special football training schools – maybe to be the next “Neymar” in São Paulo or other regions of the country. These families are often in a situation of extreme
    poverty, and low levels of education, and fall for the sweet talk of these criminals. They send their sons off to become football stars, and then completely lose contact
    as they are trafficked off for sexual exploitation or child labour, having their documents confiscated and having no way of returning home.
    But what most shocks me is when I hear, on the island. of Marajó, of parents who “rent” their daughters to tourists and visitors in order to buy oil for the generators
    as there is no electricity in a large part of the island. Virgins will get you up to 60 lt of oil! What brings someone to sell their own daughter like that!! The value of
    money and possessions over people.
    We only can change these histories if we challenge and change the values that are being taught to these families. And this needs to be changed world wide. If
    technology is reaching all people to sell, exploit and buy – so it should be used as well to raise awareness, disclose reality. – Indigenous populations now have access
    to computers and are able to contact support groups when large companies occupy 5 see: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-33592634
    their lands to deforest and put cattle, soy-bean or whatever products is the “fashion” of the time. Need to build international networks – like the World Social
    Forums which have taken place in Brazil where everyone shares their experiences.
    We need to confront developments such as Belo Monte – a hidro-electric plant being built on Indigenous lands, which has only the interests of large companies in
    mind – thinking nothing of the local people. It is being build for the production of aluminium. They say the produce jobs – they didn’t need them before – and most of
    the employees are brought in from other stares – they are outsourced.
    Water shortage – in a place where there is the biggest reserve of potable water in the world, we can find people living with no clean water. Men with no land for land with no men – totally ignoring the indigenous, river –dweelers and traditional populations of the Amazon. But really many large companies with their eyes on the land managed to falsify documents and now own huge áreas of land, and they still are – throwing people off their land saying they have the necessary documents and buying people off. – who then, losing their
    traditional lifestyle, end up with nothing and accepting slave-like labour in order to survive. This happened in Santarém and there are now an alarming number of
    favelas in the city where people from traditional families have been abandoned. They survived in the forest- didn’t need anyone or anything from outside. Now the
    tv tells their children that to be someone you need an iphone, a computer, a video- game. nike trainers!! And many are prepared to kill to get those things, in order to
    establish some form of status in a world where they are otherwise completely excluded.
    The indigenous rights are being decided by the Brazilian parliament. With the current configuration of it there is no hope for justice for them. Again, people are
    being neglected, they are commodities and some time a problem to be eradicated so profit wins. In other parts of Brazil the Anglican Church is also involved in countering human
    trafficking and slave-like working conditions. CAMI – Centre of Support and Pastoral Care for Immigrants is run by the Anglican Bishop Flávio Irala, but is an
    ecumenical organization. They offer support for immigrants to get their legal documents, advocacy support etc. In 2015 they dealt with around 6,000 requests
    for help.
    We pray for this international support and hope that, although we are very small, the Anglican Church here in the Amazon can make some noise and take part in the fight
    against this abomination against Human Rights!
     
  • NSIEAB 4:07 PM on 12/21/2016 Permalink | Reply  

    Christmas Message from Primate of Brazil 

    The journey to Bethlehem is coming to a close.  On this trek we have encountered many people in search of meaning in their lives.  Some might be looking for a special blessing.  Others are looking for romance or the “perfect” Christmas, so that when they return to the humdrum of daily life they will have a story to share with their friends. And so, these pilgrims have many different expectations in relation to the birth in Bethlehem. We remember that even Herod had his own expectations regarding the miraculous birth (Matt. 2:7)!  What are yours?

    We can, of course, find in Bethlehem a portrait marked with the contradictions of our society.  We see a migrant family who did not plan on having to shelter themselves from the storms of their time, yet they were welcomed by heavenly hosts, by animals, by shepherds, by angels and by Wiseman under an open sky.

    In this complicated situation, a light shone through!  It was brighter there than in any other part of that small town, a town so humble and forgotten. The cosmos united in a perfect communion of celestial beings, of voices and joy.  The Baby Jesus was born to transform and recreate the universe; he was born to replace the old order with an order of love, justice and truth (Luke 2:14).

    The miraculous birth is a guarantee to the oppressed that exclusion and separation are overcome, and that the poor, the immigrants, those without rights will be emancipated. They will sing praises to God and their shouts of joy will never be silenced (Luke 1:51-54)

    Have a Merry Christmas and may God give us wise ears and eyes in order to share solidarity, hope, and justice for all of humanity.  May Baby Jesus inspire us to become co-constructors of God’s new creation.

    Francisco de Assis da Silva

    Primaz da Igreja Episcopal Anglicana do Brasil

    Diocesano em Santa Maria

     
  • NSIEAB 9:25 AM on 11/26/2016 Permalink | Reply  

    16 Days of Activism (from 11/25th to 12/10th) for the End of Violence against Women 

    November 25th 2016

    International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women

    “We realize the importance of our voice when we are silenced”

    Malala Yousafzai

    And Jesus said: “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace and be healed of your affliction.”

    Gospel of Mark 5, 34

    We have gone through difficult days in Brazil with the resurgence of a wave of political, religious and social conservatism, in which society achievements since democratization in the late 80’s have been rapidly and authoritatively reverted.

    Within this scope, there has also been a serious reversion of values, such as gender equality and trivialization of violence against women. Brazilian women has built at a high cost their empowerment process in order to face a culture that attributes to them roles of subservience in family, work, churches and society. Advancements have been made with much struggle from several social movements they have organized. Public policies most recently in Brazil have been built despite of all resistance from a chauvinistic, judgmental and selfish elite.

    The deposition of the first women president in the history of the country was carried out by a white-rich-chauvinistic collusion that today is feeding an illegitimate government that very rapidly has been destroying rights, dignity and equality of gender. The issue both of women dignity and their full rights to a real joint citizenship with men has been under constant risk and – what is even more impressive – with the support of chauvinistic, racist and xenophobic nature.

    More than ever, the key word is to resist and innovate. The destruction of acquired rights can only be avoided if we join forces around a common ground and, by all means, resist to any attempt of actions that oppress the poor, indigenous, black people and women. It is they who pay the price of discrimination and inequality. They not only have their bodies dominated by the culture of rape, but also their souls, through ideological repression of fundamentalist religions.

    Alongside women, segments such as LGBTI people have been constant victims of homophobia that strips rights and exposes them to the risk of physical violence, unjustified and dangerously overlooked by society. In this sense, our Church have been combining efforts along with organized groups of rights defense such as ABRAFH – Associação Brasileira de Famílias Homo afetivas (Brazilian Association of Homo-Affective Families), to promote ecumenical events in several capitals, some of them to be held in Anglican parishes on December 10th.

    In the context presented, I challenge all people from all beliefs, leaderships and communities, to build a pastoral program of “Safe Church”, a proposal born at the 15th Meeting of the Anglican Advisory Board (AAC Resolution 16.25, year 2012): “Churches will be sanctuaries if they consciously become reliable and safe for each and every everyone who has hit their limits, particularly members of the most vulnerable communities”.

    Men and women are called to build a new paradigm of society, a paradigm of respect, gentleness and complicity. I urge our communities of faith to get together in prayer and action against all kinds of violence. This is a call from God and a mission to the church, so it may dignify human life and build a culture of peace and equality.

    Against the culture of rape!

    Against institutional chauvinism!

    Against the oppression towards the poor!

    For a just and solidary society!

    From your Primate

    Francisco de Assis da Silva

    Primate of the Episcopal Anglican Church of Brazil

    Diocesan in Santa Maria

     
  • NSIEAB 5:05 PM on 09/23/2016 Permalink | Reply  

    Anglican Diocese of Amazon 

     
  • NSIEAB 4:02 PM on 07/26/2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Indigenous,   

    “Do not forget us”, plea from the indigenous leaders of the Guarani-Kaiowá to the IEAB 

    Last week, members of the IEAB were part of an ecumenical mission in favor of the rights of indigenous peoples

    The Episcopal Anglican Church of Brazil – IEAB, was part of the  ”Ecumenical Mission” for the second consecutive year. This is a partnership with the CESE – Coordinator of the Ecumenical Service, CIMI – Indigenous Council, CEBI – Center for Biblical Studies and CONIC – National Council of Christian Churches in Brazil. Over the past year the illegal exploitation of land by loggers, landowners and fazenderos are a symptom of a national problem that Brazil confronts regarding land ownship.The region of Mato Grosso do Sul is one of the most affected. The Guarani-Kaiowa and the Terena people, who are still awaiting the demarcation of the their indigenous land, suffer the consequences of a strong wave of violence as a result of these unresolved land issues. Hundreds of Guarani-Kaiowa and Terena people have been removed from their ancestral homes for  agribusiness in the form of soya plantations and cattle raising.

    Background

    According to CIMI, over the past 12 years, more than 500 people committed suicide and another 390 were brutally murdered in the onslaught of removing families from areas for agribusiness, which originally belonged to the indigenous people. The different organizations that form the ecumenical mission strongly advocated for an investigation of the abuse suffered by the Guarani-Kaiowa and Terena people. On June 14, near the village of the Guarani-Kaiowá in the municipality of Caarapo, an indigenous community health worker Achilles Clodiodi Rodrigues de Souza, twenty-three years old, was shot dead, and another 5 Guarani were taken with severe gunshot wounds to the local hospital in Dourados/MS. As reported by the residents of the area,  men in trucks, tractors and motorcycles were shooting for all sides.

    After the incident, a large group of indigenous people dispersed and occupied land in order to protect themselves. This has generated conflict with the owners of those lands. Clodiodi was buried at the site of the attack and his grave has become a symbol of the struggle of the Guarani-Kaiowa and Terena peoples to regain their land.

    Days 14 and 15 July, return of the mission: “N’handeru had said that there will be resistance!”

    The IEAB took part along with other members of the ecumenical mission in a public act in front of the Legislative Assembly of the State of Mato Grosso do Sul. The ecumenical group expressed its total support to the indigenous cause, pleaded for the immediate end to killings and conflicts and to work towards the resolution of the conflicts.

    In attendance were Bishop Flavio Irala, Bishop of the Diocese of Sao Paulo and President of CONIC, Dom Naudal Alves Gomes, Bishop of the Diocese of Curitiba and chairman of the National Committee of Public Incidence of IEAB, the missionaries that are members of  Mission Desk of The IEAB, Monica Vega and Heidi Schmidt, Vagner Mendes, staff member of the Secretary General of the IEAB, Rev. Hugo Sanchez, Rector of the Mission of the inclusion in Campo Grande – MS, along with the parishioners Emanuel, Lucy, Cleide and Maria Helena.

    A very powerful moment was experienced as the tribes greeted and danced together and welcomed the religious leaders who came to express their support to the native people. They danced together and the ecumenical mission was blessed in accordance with the Guarani-Kaiowa and Terena people’s faith.

    Meeting with the Federal Justice Judge

    After the public act in support of the rights of indigenous peoples, the members of the mission, together with the indigenous people, were received by the attorney general of the state. The attorney general explained all the legal measures that were taken since the last gathering in Oct 2015. The indigenous leaders took the opportunity to bring their grievances, especially the lack of effective responses to their pleas, with particular emphasis on the long overdue demarcation of their indigenous land. The ecumenical mission committed itself to follow-up in this process. At the end of the meeting the caravan continued its journey toward Dourados, where they arrived in the evening and were hosted by St Andrew’s Catholic Church. St Andrew’s parish offered dinner and a time for conversations with 3 Guarani leaders. As we sat in a circle and listened attentively to the stories and the pleas of the Guarani-Kaiowa, it was very clear that the indigenous people carry within an ancestral pain due to the loss of their land and the way of living at the hands of the landowners. The haunting echo of the few words told to us by the leaders still resonates as the lament of the prophets of the Old Testament, “do not forget us”.

    Visit to Caarapo

    The village of the Guarani-Kaiowa is located at the Yvu farm, more than 270km from Campo Grande, the state capital of Mato Grosso do Sul. This was the meeting place for the caravan and the indigenous leaders, together with their people. This was another powerful moment in which different cultures and faiths meet together in search for dignity, solidarity, and support. The

    ceremony was opened by the Cacique (chief), with words of welcome and appreciation for the concern of the churches towards the indigenous cause. With pauses for prayers, the leaders and visitors shared profound, sacred moments with songs and conversations. After sharing a meal the whole group moved to the graveside of Clodiodi, where in a circle of prayer the silent reverberation of grief was deeply felt, and the blood-stained Brazilian flag waved above us in the wind.

    Visit to the Apka’i: the Power of the Ancestors

    Chief Damiana is the leader of a small indigenous community on the banks of the river. This community was bulldozed, destroying their homes, killing some men, women and children, and were expelled from their ancestral land. Chief Damiana anguishes as she has not been able to bury the dead in their land, and the ancestral cemetery is now part of a farm. Now she stands vigil from the roadside where she has made her dwelling place with the few belongings left to them.

    She stands there as a marker to those not only traveling by car and bus, but to remind us all that at the margins of the road we always find the injured, waiting for a Samaritan who can take them to an inn for rest and recovery.

    The IEAB continues to support the struggles of the Guarani-Kaiowa

    We know as Church that the struggle continues, that much blood has been spilled, and that greed behind the profits that come from these lands destroys hundreds of peoples and their livelihood and culture each and everyday. As Church we commit ourselves to advocate for them in Brazil as well as abroad. This is the plea of a people who are Brazilian, and bonds us to the struggles of all humanity to preserve our style of life, our lands, and our beliefs.

     
  • NSIEAB 5:10 PM on 07/12/2016 Permalink | Reply  

    Passage to Eternity of Bishop Edmond Lee Browning 

    NOTE FROM THE BRAZILIAN CHURCH TO THE EPISCOPAL CHURCH (TEC)

    Passage to Eternity of Bishop Edmond Lee Browning

    Sao Paulo, July 12th 2016

    “The love of God extends to the whole creation. Every life, beginning with ours, is precious to God. Christian people has always believed that there is hope, both in life and death, and that is new life in Christ, even after physical death”. Common Book of Prayer Brazil

    This Monday, July 11th 2016 we, from Igreja Episcopal Anglicana do Brasil (IEAB), learned with sadness about the passing of Bishop Edmond Lee Browning. In this time of mourning we send our affection and solidarity both to the People and the Clergy of The Episcopal Church.

    Bishop Browning has left a precious theological-pastoral legacy to the Anglican Communion by safely leading the Church beyond borders of so many taboo and challenging issues. In a practical and generous way he has built up bridges with sister churches, in an effective gesture of what has been called “Partners in Mission”. Yes, he has gone beyond physical and human thought borders, towards the other in a passionate manner, with no restrictions!

    Edmond Browning was a great friend of the Brazilian Church when held the office of 24th Bishop President of The Episcopal Church and left spiritual marks when took part in the celebration of IEAB Centenary (1890-1990). For us, Brazilians, it was the time of the “Church We Live” slogan that challenged Brazil to open a new paradigm of Church as community of faith, where Christ incarnates. Bishop Browning and the former Primate, Dom Olavo Ventura Luiz started a new movement in relations between our churches, which for some time had been asleep, and mother and daughter church rebuilt their affective and historical relations. They took actions to bring two provinces even closer.  We then became part of CETALC membership, searching “to make Anglican theology in the Latin American and Caribbean context” in a deeper manner. With the creation of Bilateral Committee, there was a gradual insertion of Brazilian leaderships in TEC events and programs trying to find new ways of doing Mission.

    We want to express our gratitude for the life and ministry of Bishop Edmond Browning, who was truly a “Shepherd of Sheep”, encouraging and supporting all people baptized in their ministries and gifts!

    At last but not least, we want to join our voices with those of all who lived with and met Bishop Browning, saying wholeheartedly and out loud: “Well done, good and faithful slave. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.” Matthew 25:23

    ++ Francisco de Assis da Silva

    Primate Bishop of IEAB

     
  • NSIEAB 3:49 PM on 03/31/2016 Permalink | Reply  

    Message to the Church of Christ and the Brazilian Society 

    “But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.”

    James 3: 17-18

    Dear brothers and sisters, citizens of this country, which gives name also to our Church.

    We would like to reaffirm what we already said in our document “In Defense of Democracy and Social Justice and Against the Impeachment of President Dilma Rousseff”, published on Dec 10, 2015. In this document we express our understanding that the process of impeachment is steered by political leaders, many of which are being “investigated for corruption, are well known defenders of the business sector which historically has benefitted from public funds.”

    The historical churches which have never had direct involvement with this or any other government, and which do not hold any other political post, have expressed themselves regarding this issue. These churches reaffirm the defense of the due legal process and the institutional proceedings for democracy. They therefore do not defend a particular party or political leader, rather, they defend the social and economic policies that will reduce the extreme poverty as well as facilitate the access to housing, education, and health services to millions of people who are excluded from these non-negotaible human rights.

    The National Council of Christian Churches (CONIC) which includes the Roman Catholic Church, Lutheran Church of Brazil, the United Presbyterian Church, the Syrian Orthodox Church, and our IEAB published a document “Statement on the Defense of Democracy by the Religious Organizations of Brazil”, endorsed by people of different religions, express that they do not “agree with the judicialization of politics, the partisanship of the judiciary, making a spectacle of the judicial procedures. These kinds of practices contribute to the discrediting of the institution and foster polarized positions. Therefore the Brazilian population casts shadows on the justice system. We respect those who think differently. We defend the right to a plural and democratic society. We encourage to be faithful in an honest dialogue with those who hold political opinions contrary to our own.”

    Our Presiding Bishop the Right Reverend Francisco de Assis da Silva, reaffirms that:

    “…the investigation into corruption of public servants in all its powers, and in association with some from the business sector, are an attack on the people. They should be confronted within the rule of law only. These investigations are only legitimate when there is proof and when the right to a defense is guaranteed. The corporate interests from the major media outlets cannot and should not be ideologically selective and they cannot condemn anyone beforehand because of their political ideologies.”

    In addition to fully embrace the statements quoted above, we, would like to express our opinion because of the pastoral and evangelical task given to us to shepherd not only the people who attend our churches, but the entire Brazilian society:

    1. That the way in which the impeachment process has been conducted shows clear vices, it does not prove crime according to the current legislations and hides the true intent of preventing the continuity of the social policies that have changed the lives of millions of Brazilians in recent years.

    2. The for the goodness of the Brazilian society and its citizens, the fight against corruption should continue at all levels. We advocate a comprehensive reform of the political and electoral system in Brazil through a referendum which establishes clear procedures to finance campaigns, eliminating abuse and focuses on the welfare of the Brazilian people.

    3. As was recommended in the letter of our Presiding Bishop, we, who have different political beliefs, should seek to respect the free expression of thoughts of the other in ways that renounce hatred and violence against individuals or groups. These forms of intolerance hinder the democratic society we strive to build in peace and justice.

    We believe it is our pastoral and prophetic duty to raise our vices as part of Christ’s Church in defense of justice, truth and peace following the words of James “now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace” and echoing the psalm 85:10 “mercy and truth meet, righteousness and peace have embraced.”

    We call on all people of good will to work in preserving the democratic values of the Brazilian society.

    Sao Paulo, March 31, 2016

    Dom Francisco de Assis da Silva, Bispo Primaz e Diocesano da Sul Ocidental

    Dom Naudal Gomes, Bispo da Diocese Anglicana de Curitiba

    Dom Filadelfo Oliveira, Bispo da Diocese Anglicana do Rio de Janeiro

    Dom Mauricio Andrade, Bispo da Diocese Anglicana de Brasilia

    Dom Saulo Barros, Bispo da Diocese Anglicana da Amazônia

    Dom Renato Raatz, Bispo da Diocese Anglicana de Pelotas

    Dom Flavio Irala, Bispo da Diocese Anglicana de São Paulo

    Dom Humberto Maiztegui, Bispo da Diocese Meridional

    Dom João Peixoto, Bispo da Diocese Anglicana do Recife

     
  • NSIEAB 1:37 PM on 11/24/2015 Permalink | Reply  

    故 伊東 宏 名誉主教 死亡通知 

    去る11月15日にサンパウロ教区の名誉主教であった伊東宏師(76歳)が昇天されたことをここに謹んで通知申し上げます。

    伊東師は1939年9月7日奈良市に生まれ、神学と哲学を修められたのち、1967年に執事の按手礼、1968年に長老の按手礼を受けられました。サンタクルス(聖十字架)教会の開拓と創立に尽力された司祭でした。そして2002年4月6日に開催された臨時年会において主教に選ばれ、同年7月28日に就任されました。

    故人は、エキュメニカル運動、宗教間対話、宗教的包括主義、牧会神学教育に特に力を入れて奉仕に当たられていました。残された澄子夫人と三人の娘さん、そして4人のお孫さんのためにお祈りください。

    埋葬式は翌日11月16日、サンパウロ市内のパース(平和)霊園にて、教区諸教会の教職者、信徒の列席のもと、サンパウロ教区主教のフラービオ・イラーラ師が執り行いました。また一週間後の11月22日に、教区諸教会の教職者、信徒の列席のもと、サンタクルス教会にて同じくイラーラ師が記念会を執り行いました。


     
  • NSIEAB 7:11 PM on 11/18/2015 Permalink | Reply  

    An Inexcusable Crime against Present and Future Generations 

    The bursting of the Fundão and Santarém dams, of the mineral company Samarco, controlled by the Vale do Rio Doce and by the Anglo-Australian company BHP, occurred on the 5th November, provoking an avalanche of mud mixed with toxic residues causing 24 deaths, and leaving over 600 people homeless, as well as the environmental damage to the whole region around the town of Mariana and the district of Bento Rodrigues.  Those affected were river communities, rural workers, some working in this very mineral company, families with not much income. The tragedy reached beyond the limits of the state of Minas Gerais, hitting various towns in the state of Espirito Santo.

    The mineral industry, in general, is one of the human activities that most affects life on Earth through its destructive impacts on ecosystems, and is an enormous contributor to global warming with the emission of greenhouse gases, when it does not consider strategies to reduce risks and mechanisms of sustainable development.

    Equally, with its enormous potential for profit and dividends, which, added to corruption, is one of the industrial activities with the least regulation from local, regional and federal governments. These governments should interfere in order to control and forbid the excessive exploitation of the soil in the face of clear evidence of imminent catastrophe, always prioritizing the right to human and environmental protection and the rights of future generations, since the damage caused in Mariana and Bento Rodrigues will affect the next two generations.

    A tragedy like this is not a mere accident, but it is the result of a succession of errors that were not contemplated with due relevance, leading to a disaster which was not caused by one factor alone. This cluster of errors is added to the total lack of government control as well as the crime of prioritizing profits over human and environmental safety.

    We believe it really was a crime not to take the necessary precautions as well as not planning emergency mechanisms for a possible bursting of the dam and, in an extreme case, warning the population in advance to minimize the effects of a mud avalanche. It is not enough to compensate the families. The power of decision-making in these companies needs to be decentralized when it comes to natural resources, since they are not infinite, nor are they renewable without the necessary sustainability. However, the owners of the Samarco mineral company are not taking on responsibility for the event, which makes their criminal behaviour more emphatic as they are not offering a clear and effective mechanism of repairing the damage after the event.

    Tragedies like this arouse feelings compassion and solidarity, but also of resentment, impotence, anger and pain. Anyone could be affected in the future. Therefore, it is essential to denounce this predatory model supported by the market economy that favours profits in detriment of people’s lives!

    So I ask the Church to PRAY:

    Ø  That the necessary precautions and actions be taken both by the government and by the mineral companies in order to prevent the third dam in Germano from bursting and increasing the damage to the people there.

    Ø  That those affected by the dam may be compensated and that they may receive decent housing, work and infrastructure to rebuild their lives.

    Ø   That human ambition for wealth may cease and that profit may not be put above life, thereby avoiding other disasters caused by neglect and corruption.

    Ø  That those who suffered may have the right to humanitarian support and may receive food supplies, clothes and basic, quality provisions.

    Ø  That the water supply may be guaranteed to all the populations around the towns affected by the avalanche of mud, which is polluting the rivers and the springs.

    Ø That the governments implement strategies directed at avoiding disease, epidemics and toxic contamination due to the avalanche of mud.

    Ø That we may become more aware of the needs of our neighbours who, in this case, are our brothers and sisters in Mariana and the District of Bento Rodrigues in Minas Gerais, as well as several villages and towns in Espirito Santo.

    Archbishop Francisco de Assis da Silva

    The Episcopal Anglican Church of Brazil

     
  • NSIEAB 4:08 PM on 10/02/2015 Permalink | Reply  

    A PLATFORM THAT CHALLENGES THE CHURCH TO ACT! 

    SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS (SDGs):

    A PLATFORM THAT CHALLENGES THE CHURCH TO ACT!

    “The Lord will establish you as his holy people, as he promised you on oath, if you keep the commands of the Lord your God and walk in obedience to him” Deuteronomy 28:9

    Precisely fifteen years ago, the UN approved a human development programme based on what it is called “the Millennium Goals”. It was an ambitious programme to be implemented in all the world’s nations and destined to overcome the state of poverty in countries that showed shameful levels of exclusion in the fields of health, education, distribution of wealth, gender inequality, among other essential points that make up the Human Development Index (HDI).

    The ambitious programme presented some encouraging results in some of the world’s nations, but still hasn´t reached the desired levels, although it should be recognised that things have improved. The economic crises were challenging and the increasing military tension after the 9/11 of 2001, caused an enormous waste of military expenses – a few hundred billion dollars – resulting into diverting the priorities of governments into a greater attention to social affirmative programmes.

    The recent UN Conference on SDGs unanimously approved a new programme of sustainable development, with a methodology that is more open to civil society participation and less dependent on governments, and intends to overcome inequality in the world, until 2030. These are the so-called Sustainable Development Goals – SDGs.

    According to the SDGs, world action is expected in the areas such as eradicating poverty, food security, agriculture, health, education, gender equality, reduction of inequalities, energy, water and sanitation, sustainable consumption and production, climate change, sustainable cities, protection and sustainable use of oceans and terrestrial ecosystems, inclusive economic growth, infrastructure, industrialization, among others.

    It is a bold agenda because, at first sight, there are many goals which will require mobilizing a huge amount of resources and also dealing with contexts of conflicts and seasonal economic crises.

    From the Church point of view, we are called to effectively contribute to this project which has a lot to do with our way of living out our mission. The marks of Anglican mission oblige us to offer our theological and pastoral contribution to our governmental and social partners as well as to those who walk with us ecumenically and in dialogue – whatever their faith is – to fulfil the SDGs in our local contexts and throughout the whole of the Anglican Communion.

    We believe in a God of Justice and of Love. Our God does not rejoice in injustice nor in a system that generates inequality among fellow human beings. Nor does our God rejoice in the selfish and irresponsible use of the environment, which causes serious harm to life on the planet through the selfish and accumulative use of resources which ignores the lives of the less favoured and vulnerable in the world.

    Evangelizing is, essentially, spreading the Good News to the world. I convoke the IEAB (The Episcopal Anglican Church of Brazil), in all its bodies, to study and share – from the local communities up to the provincial bodies – the platform of the SDGs. The appropriation of this platform will guide us to find ways through which our pastoral leaders may interact to help to shape our communities into agents of transformation. I convoke the Human Rights and Advocacy Committee and the National Committee of Diaconia – as instruments of reflection on the action of the Church – to study deeply this platform and to support the entire Church to prepare concrete actions to keep struggling for a Brazilian society that is democratically strong, economically and socially fair and environmentally responsible. In order to do this we have many partners who are prepared to follow this path of witness and grace with our people.

    May God inspire us to serve him with love and courage!

    Santa Maria, September 29th, 2015.

    ++ Francisco

    Primate of the Episcopal Anglican Church of Brazil

     
c
compose new post
j
next post/next comment
k
previous post/previous comment
r
reply
e
edit
o
show/hide comments
t
go to top
l
go to login
h
show/hide help
esc
cancel