PC(USA) partners issue statements on the unfolding crisis
By Kathy Melvin | Presbyterian News Service
MANAGUA, NICARAGUA – Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) partners are asking for prayers for the unfolding crisis in Nicaragua.
Last week, the Nicaraguan government rapidly approved radical legislation regarding its national social security, which is in crisis. Protests to the reforms began almost immediately followed by counter-protesters supporting the reforms. The situation escalated.
The death toll has risen to at least 30 over the past several days. There was rampant looting and general chaos Sunday morning, and on Sunday afternoon, President Daniel Ortega announced a revocation of the changes to the social security system and showed openness to dialogue. Monday afternoon, more than 100,000 people marched in the capital city of Managua and other cities around the country waving the Nicaraguan flag and demanding change. “It was a beautiful show of unity of the Nicaraguan people. Tuesday morning there is a feeling of calm, but also a lot of work yet to be done,” said Tracey King-Ortega, World Mission’s regional liaison for Central America.
Two Nicaraguan partners, CEPAD (Council of Protestant Churches of Nicaragua) and CIEETS (Interchurch Center for Social and Theological Studies) issued statements and asked for solidarity and prayer for the people of Nicaragua.
“We encourage you to seek out information and know what is happening in Nicaragua,” said Valdir Franca, World Mission’s area coordinator for Latin America and the Caribbean. “We stand with the people in their pain and sadness as we watch what is still a developing situation that has broken into disorder and chaos. We pray for the families of the most affected, where the violence has taken the lives of too many of God’s children, our Nicaraguan brothers and sisters. Enriched by decades of partnership, in times of trials and tribulations, PC(USA) will continue to walk with our mission partners to be witnesses and serve the people of Nicaragua. The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) will continue to hear the perspective of our partners and count on their guidance on how to support and respond to this crisis.”
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