GREAT NEWS – details yet to be seen – my free translation of this email from Bishop Godfrey – “With my warm greetings to everyone. The good news is that the President (Humala of Peru) has just signed – a few minutes ago – the new regulation on Religious Liberty which replaces the old punitive regulation. Thank God for this good news. …”
Con mis saludos cálidos para todos, y la buena noticia que el Presidente ya firmó – hace unos minutos – el nuevo Reglamento de Libertad Religiosa que reemplaza el viejo reglamento punitivo. Gloria a Dios por esta buena noticia. Un abrazo para todos ustedes y pido que compartan la noticia con los miembros de nuestras comunidades este fin de semana. Demos gracias a Dios por la victoria. Con mis oraciones. En Cristo, +William
Here is a picture of some of the children attending the VBS at UCU
This is the road that leads to the building where the vice chancellors offices and the Chapel are housed. While I was there there was rain each day which kept everything green.
Some of the 37 volunteers who helped with the VBS. I am low on power but will try and send more in another e-mail. I fly from Bor to Juba tomorrow where I will meet the Chancellor of John Garang. Then on the 3rd I head to Mukono Uganda to begin preparing for 4 VBS’s in the month of January. They hope to have from 200-300 at each one. Pray that God will equip the volunteers and prepare the way. I His Strength Alone. Mary C
In July 2011, on his last day in office, President Garcia of Peru signed a regulation (Ley 29635) that defined a “religious entity” as needing 10,000 verifiable adult adherents. Thus regulating out of legal existence as recognized religious entities most religions and churches other than the Roman Catholics. This regulation (Ley 29635) comes into effect on January 18, 2013. It can thus be seen as anti-Semitic, anti Islam, anti Hindu, anti Buddhist and anti most Christian churches in Peru.
The history is as follows;
In December 2010 the Peruvian Government passed the Law of Religious Freedom and Equality. This law guarantees all religions and churches equality before the law. What was then required was a regulation, which would define a “religious entity.” The Ministry of Justice, we are told, had prepared such a regulation that would have continued the recognition accorded to religious groups and churches as we already had in Peru. However, this was not the regulation that was signed. It is suggested that at the last minute some ultra conservative Roman Catholic persons substituted another regulation, which was then signed by the departing president.
The effect of this regulation is that other religions such as Judaism and Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism are no longer recognized. Nor are other churches such as Anglican, Methodist, Baptist, Lutheran, Presbyterian and the scores of independent Evangelical Churches likely to fit the requirement and simply will become civic associations like a football or cricket club. It also means that they will no longer be able to have foreign missionaries as legal residents.
Interestingly the day January 18, 2013 is the first day of the week of prayer for Christian unity!
The Anglican Church in Peru – with whom I am a missionary – is a special case. Our existence here in Peru was the result of an intergovernmental treaty in 1846. we are not sure if that confers upon us any legal status separately from the new regulation. However we have joined forces with the other religious groups and Churches to seek a new and just regulation. The current one we regard as unjust and punitive.
It is hoped that President Humala will sign a new regulation that supersedes the one of July 2011, signed by President Garcia and due to take effect January 18, 2013. Meanwhile we are gathering adult signatures from as many as possible seeking to collect 10,000 plus signatures. Each signature has to be accompanied by a person’s full name, identity document and fingerprint of the right index finger. This is a tall order.
We are seeking prayer over this.
- To see the regulation be replaced by one with the previous rules intact.
- To gather signatures.
- In our case as Anglicans to see if the treaty of 1846 still is in force and covers our own Anglican presence.
To God be the Glory.
Ian Montgomery, Lima, Peru
Today I went to a leadership conference being given by a team from the Diocese of Bristol in the UK. As I sat and listened to the speakers I saw clearly that the time given me this week did have a purpose. Baby steps are helping me to understand more and more of all God has promised. Help me to wait on the Lord. Tomorrow I will meet with Bishop James Sebaggela to discuss the VBS and I am sure because of this leadership conference which we both attended the meeting will be fruitful. Father God help me to listen to you and not to man as I seek to do your will