For two millennia, countries where the church serves faithfully have experienced civil unrest and violence. In the midst of such turmoil, the Christian church has found its voice and called their nation to a higher way. In recent weeks we have seen concerning unrest in places like South Africa and Cuba. In the case of Cuba, Bishop Ricardo Pereira Diaz, a leader in the Evangelical Alliance in Cuba, shares a statement made on behalf of Iglesia Metodista en Cuba:
The Methodist Church in Cuba is part of the historical churches. Since its foundation late 19th century, it has endeavored to stand by justice and has been involved in the fight to guarantee peace and respect among the people.
It is with much pain and concern that we are watching what is happening in different places in Cuba, ever since a series of events began to take place in numerous cities of the country that have called us to reflect and be concerned as the Church. Therefore, we hereby state our duty to express the position of the Methodist Church in Cuba in this regard:
We reaffirm that the church has been called to be by the people. Seeing Jesus Christ in every individual, as He said, “Since you have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, you have done it unto me” (Matthew 25:40).
We condemn all act of violence and social indiscipline. We reject the repression exercised against the people who were protesting. Confrontation and violence only lead to death, mourning, and insecurity. Refusing to listen to the people’s voice, those who were peacefully making their claims, equals to closing the only door to understanding and the power to live in peace.
We declare that the people must have freedom of speech. The people’s voice must be heard when they claim for their rights. In these few years, the government has been proclaiming that the Cuban nation must be “inclusive”, rejecting the “exclusion” of “minority groups”; therefore, the fact that an individual does not agree with the political system does not make them antisocial or delinquent.
They must receive the same right as other groups in society. Because Cuba ought to be a free and sovereign country, where all their children are respected, both those who support the revolution, as those who do not sympathize with the sociopolitical system.
We reaffirm our calling unto peace, never a calling implying the confrontation of our people can be the solution to our many difficulties. We pray and we fast so that our nation can live in peace. We work so the needs of our people be taken care of and for bloodshed to be avoided at all cost. As the psalmist said, “Peace be within your walls, and prosperity within your palaces” (Psalm 122:7).”
Read the statement in PDF]]>