1. Pastoral responsibility in immigrant-sending countries
M. Daniel Carroll R., an Old Testament scholar at Denver Seminary and author of Christians at the Border (which I’m thinking I ought to re-read and review soon), shares some reflections on immigration after returning from a recent trip to Guatemala where he participated in discussions about the role of churches and pastors in countries that traditionally send immigrants. This snippet has huge implications:
There is an appreciation of the fact that migration is a global phenomenon that is substantially rooted in global economics and labor demands. Migration can only be slowed if there are jobs and suitable environments in the sending countries. These are sociopolitical and economic challenges for each country, but they also are pastoral and theological challenges to the churches: What is the role of Christians and the churches to make these countries a more human place? How to make believers aware of how God is interested in every dimension of human life and how Christian mission should impact these, too.
No one should die before reaching their dreams of freedom. With the death of Oswaldo Payá (1952 – 2012), Cuba has suffered a dramatic loss for its present and an irreplaceable loss for its future. It was not just an exemplary man, a loving father and a fervent Catholic who stop breathing yesterday, Sunday, but also an irreplaceable citizen for our nation. His tenacity shone forth since I was a teenager, when he chose not to hide the scapulars — as so many others did — and instead publicly acknowledged his faith.
3. How the Internet changes how we discuss things
Jake Belder had a post this week quoting Alastair Roberts on the ways the Internet has changed how we discuss things. He offers six thought-provoking suggestions, which get me thinking again of Flickering Pixels by Shane Hipps, and long before him, the pioneering work of Marshall McLuhan (of “the medium is the message” fame).
4. Evangelicalism in Brazil
In last week’s Repaso I included a story about the recent “March for Jesus” in Brazil. Felipe Pena at Americas Quarterly has a nice summary of evangelicalism in the country, based on a recent report and touching on various aspects of Brazilian life. All in all, it helps to put the march in proper context:
[I]n many countries, Evangelicalism is most popular among those who are starting to break out of poverty. In Brazil, however, many of the poor have discovered in Evangelicalism a sense of collective identity. For those Brazilians marginalized by society, Evangelicalism is a framework within which they can reassert their rights.
5. Mining’s impact on health in Guatemala
Allan Lissner, who provided the excellent photos that accompanied my 2010 cover story on mining in Guatemala, has a new photo essay on his website about a recent health tribunal in San Miguel Ixtahuacan, the town at the center of the mining controversy in Guatemala.
6. Reducing poverty in Central America
The Center for Global Development, a D.C.-based think tank focused on solutions to global poverty, has a new report called Competitiveness in Central America: The Road to Sustained Growth and Poverty Reduction, which outlines what donors and the private sector can do to help Central America, offering recommendations in five main areas. Here’s a teaser blurb:
Central American countries have made a lot of progress in the past decade stabilizing their economies and improving their business climates. By doing so, they have weathered the most recent crises relatively well, but they are still host to certain vulnerabilities and weakness: per-capita growth rates lag behind the rest of Latin America; poverty and inequality rates remain worrisomely high; and some signs are emerging that macroeconomic and democratic stability are weakening.
Repaso is intended as a thought-provoking compilation of news and commentary from the past week related to the intersections of faith, development, justice and peace. As always, I welcome your thoughts on any of the links and ideas in this roundup!
[Photo credit: David Rochkind, "Train headed north with potential migrants to the US in southern Mexico" via gozamos.com]