The member organizations of the Peace and Hope International
Fellowship in Peru, United States, Ecuador, Bolivia, the United Kingdom,
Colombia, Chile, Brazil and France, in the face of the critical situation that
our brothers and sisters are going through throughout the continent and
particularly Brazilian society in the context of the COVID-19 crisis, we
express the following.
We share in the grief and sadness of the many families who have lost their
loved ones as a consequence of being infected with the Coronavirus. We
are intensifying our prayers of solidarity in favor of the countless people
that are suffering as a result of the pandemic. We invite our brothers and
sisters to come together with us as we pray for the situation in Brazil during
this trying time.
What is particularly concerning for us is the current state of the COVID-19
outbreak in Brazil. As the new epicenter of the pandemic, Brazil has been
critically affected, becoming the country with the biggest ratio of deaths
per day in the world. This situation is of concern due to the following:
The attitude taken by President Jair Bolsonaro and his government’s
conduct, which has become an additional obstacle in the problems
caused or exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic by opposing the
need for social distancing.
Management issues in the Ministry of Health, with the resignation of two
Ministers and the appointment of an interim, army general, who
appointed at least 25 military personnel to the main positions, with the
vast majority having no experience in the area of public health;
Government actions aimed at hiding data, changing procedures and
adopting a health protocol without the signature of a technical officer.
This decision contradicts the guidelines laid out by the World Health
Organization, and it is opposed by Brazilian scientists for being in
conflict with evidence-based medical recommendations.
The slaughter of indigenous leaders and the increased deforestation
taking place in the Amazon Rainforest. Last April, the levels of
deforestation reached 64%, a level much higher than the levels of April 2019.
With this in mind it is important to note that the Minister of the
Environment declared that it was important to take advantage of the
“lack of attention of the press due to the COVID-19″, to “change all the
rules [in environmental policy] and simplify them.”
These actions are a matter of deep concern. As such, we wish to
emphasize our call to prayer:
For God’s help and care and for the expressions of solidarity and mercy
for those who need them most. The drastic effects that the pandemic
is having and the socioeconomic crises that still need effective answers
that will also benefit those who have the least. Let us remain in prayer
those who are more vulnerable to these uncertain times, including the
indigenous peoples of Brazil.
For the Holy Spirit to comfort and provide for the families that are in
need and for our churches to offer compassionate pastoral support to
the families that are experiencing unspeakable suffering in the Brazilian
For Jesus of Nazareth to be an inspiration for the communities of faith
in Brazil so that His peace and love may shine in this moment of deep
pain and difficulty.
We pray that the current political crisis may not be used as an excuse
not to confront the grave public health emergency, and that the
Brazilian government responds in a way that honors its constitutional
responsibilities, caring for its citizens and protecting the natural
environment of Brazil.
We pray that Brazilian democracy be strengthened, and that rule of
law institutions remain firm to overcome the grave political crisis to
minimize its perverse social consequences. May God sustain us in
liberty, justice, and peace.
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and
petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” (Phil 4:6)
June 21, 2020