On August 19–21, member organizations of ACT Alliance in South America, which are part of the regional ecumenical movement, will hold the International Seminar “Fundamentalist Trends, Democracy and Human Rights: faith in action for a fulfilled and dignified life in South America”. The seminar will be online, and 60 representatives of faith-based organizations and churches from South America, which are part of ACT Alliance and its allies, as well as of ecumenical international agencies, will take part in it.
This seminar is the result of a process that began in the context of ACT Alliance’s Global Conference on Latin America and the Caribbean, which took place in 2019 in Guatemala. ACT members from Argentina, Brazil, Colombia and Peru agreed to reactivate the coordination of the ACT South America Ecumenical Forum (FESUR), in view of the need to address the sociopolitical situation in the continent, affected by political crises, deepening inequalities, a decrease in spaces for civil society participation, a rise in murders of defenders of rights, and the consequential weakening of democracies.
In this context, members also voiced their concern regarding the existence of an effective fundamentalist agenda for the region with great economic and political capital stemming from its religious capital. Such agenda is able to set back rights obtained by women and the LGTBIQ+ community, as well as to challenge countries’ justice systems and, in some cases, have an influence on destabilization of democracies.
Taking into account these issues, and in consonance with this process, the aim of the seminar “Fundamentalist Trends, Democracy and Human Rights” will be to present the findings of a study on the influence that fundamentalist trends have on democracies and the rights situation in South America (in which researchers analyzed cases from Argentina, Brazil, Colombia and Peru), identifying challenges and trends in order to expand the analysis with other voices from South America and Latin America and the Caribbean, its ecumenical and civil society movements.
By using this study as a starting point, during the seminar the task will be to identify challenges for ecumenical action at a national and sub-regional level, and the creation of solidarity agendas in the context of the coordination of the ACT South America Ecumenical Forum will be encouraged, to strengthen alliances in favor of democracies and the respect and defense of human rights.
Translation: Lucia Molnar, Freelance Translator. To contact her: firstname.lastname@example.org