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Brazil’s Archbishop highlights justice and peace in Week of Prayer for Christian unity

Posted on: June 7, 2019 4:37 PM
Bishop Naudal Alves Gomes after meeting justice campaigners in July 2018
Photo Credit: Joka Madruga/Agência PT / CC3

[ACNS, by Rachel Farmer] As Christians in the Southern hemisphere celebrate the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity this week in the days running up to Pentecost, the Primate of the Anglican Episcopal Church of Brazil, Naudal Gomes, has highlighted the struggle for justice alongside peaceful dialogue. In an open letter, the Bishop of Curutiba, Naudal Gomes, writes: “It is impossible to be a Christian without being open to dialogue, partnership, the common walk.”

He said the journey of dialogue, hospitality and respect for the different traditions and religions strengthens faith and identity. This year the theme of “Justice and only justice you shall pursue”, inspired by Deuteronomy 16: 18-20, was chosen by Christians in Indonesia who prepared the materials which were published jointly by the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity (PCPCU) and the World Council of Churches’ Commission on Faith and Order.

With a population of 265 million, 86 per cent of whom are reckoned to be Muslim, Indonesia is well known as having the largest Muslim population of any country. However, about 10 per cent of the population are Christian from various traditions.

Archbishop Naudal Gomes said: “I believe that our sisters and brothers who inspire us with this text wish that we, in our social, political and religious context, reflect on what it is for us to do as people of faith. Like them, our reality is not much different. Corruption has reached alarming rates at different levels and social institutions and this has brought discredit and discouragement, to the point of no longer believing in them.

“This feeling leads us to individualistic and dangerous attitudes such as the temptation to ‘do justice with our own hands’, which we know, did not contribute to dialogue, peace, and much less so that justice reflects the desire and dream of God for our life in this ‘promised land’”.

The Archbishop said the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity was an opportunity to be encouraged and challenged to join other brothers and sisters in praying together.

He said, “My desire and prayer is that the Week of Christian Unity will bring us together for common prayer, but on the other hand, strengthen our attitude and word of prophecy, of proclamation and denunciation, and seek to live the brotherly love and solidarity of the justice of the Kingdom.”

  • Click here to download the international texts for the 2019 Week of Prayer for Christian Unity (pdf)

  • Cliquez ici pour télécharger les textes internationaux de la Semaine de prière pour l’unité des chrétiens 2019 (pdf)

  • Haga clic aquí para descargar los textos internacionales para la Semana de Oración por la Unidad de los Cristianos 2019 (pdf)

  • Clique aqui para baixar os textos internacionais da Semana de Oração pela Unidade dos Cristãos de 2019 (pdf)

  • Klicken Sie hier, um die internationalen Texte für die Gebetswoche 2019 für die Einheit der Christen herunterzuladen