“The Church, as the movement of God’s people, must be increasingly engaged in the defense of human rights and the rights of the forest”, reads a letter from the National Council of Christian Churches of Brazil presented to the Synod for the Amazon, on 9 October, in the Vatican.
“We rejoice with you on the possibility of gathering the Amazonian diversity in a meeting whose purpose is to discuss the evangelizing presence of the Church in that territory”, said Rev. Cláudio Correa de Miranda, from the Episcopal Anglican Church of Brazil, who was responsible for presenting the letter to the Synod of Bishops for the Pan-Amazon region, being held 6-27 October.
“We prophetically denounce the real threats faced by such immense biodiversity that exists in the Amazon. Such threats are caused by the human craving for profit without criteria”, reads the letter.
The Council of Christian Churches of Brazil delegation to the Synod is formed by de Miranda and Rev. Nicolau Paiva, from the Evangelical Church of the Lutheran Confession in Brazil, both from the Council of Churches of the Amazon, a regional wing of the Council of Christian Churches of Brazil.
The message also included a statement about commitment to advocacy for the territorial rights of the indigenous peoples, “from whom we have so much to learn, to advance in the political perspective of common good and good living”.
“Our public testimony of the faith in Jesus Christ is also expressed in the support and promotion of agroecology, and family, peasant, indigenous and quilombola agriculture”, reads the letter.
With its ecumenical testimony, the Council of Christian Churches of Brazil takes part in several initiatives that aim to support the Synod for the Amazon, such as public events and statements and pastoral visits to churches in the Amazon region.
In 2017, the Executive Committee of the World Council of Churches (WCC) issued “the Statement on the Amazon under Threat”, calling on “churches and people of goodwill to continue to challenge governments, politicians, companies, and enterprises, holding them accountable for all unscrupulous destruction of sources of food, water, shelter, medicine and livelihoods for current and future generations”.
The statement particularly urged the Congress and Government of Brazil “to withdraw the regressive and destructive initiatives to abolish existing environmental protections in the Amazon Basin”, reads the WCC statement.