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Brazilian church is destroyed and clergy is threatened in the diocese of Parana

CAPELA Anglicana MSLT

In an act of extreme violence, employees of powerful landowners destroyed, among other buildings, the chapel of an Episcopal Church at the Primeiros Passos Camp, located road side of the BR 369, near the city of Cascavel.

The invasion occurred in the early morning hours of May 08, with the participation of tractors, excavators, retro-excavators and weapons of large caliber.

The intimidation occurred in a context of serious tensions between landowners and social organizations. The Episcopal Church and fellow Christian’s churches are firmly defending and supporting the Movement of Landless People in the west of the Paraná state. The Episcopal priest in the area is the Revd. Luiz Carlos Gabas, and he is supporting the families in build a school(also destroyed at the attack)  for children and the chapel. The chapel was planned to be dedicated on May 18 and was built with great effort by the whole community.

The destruction of the chapel becomes even more symbolic because it represents a clear message from landowners against the Church.
The Rev. Luiz Carlos Gabas has been suffering intimidation from great landowners as a consequence of his pastoral position in favor of the landless people. settlers camp with which holds a pastoral work recognized by the whole community. A group of 150 families are living in a settlement waiting for legalization of the area. After clear evidences that the Rev. Gabas suffered intimidation the State Commission on Human Rights inserted him into a program of witnesses’s protection.

Today the west of the state of Parana is mapped as one of the regions of greatest tension with regard to conflict of land. The IEAB has been firm in defending the rights and dignity of small rural workers and especially the landless which lives in sub-human conditions along the roads and land occupied.
Bishop D. Naudal Gomes, the diocesan of the Diocese of Curitiba, has offered wide support to his clergy and received from the Provincial House of Bishops strong solidarity through a motion approved and forwarded to the Secretariat of Public Security of Parana.
Our prayers and support are required for our brothers and sisters in that region. The fear of impunity and violence must be faced with solidarity and practical support.

For the people of the settlement and the Diocese of Curitiba is time to rebuild the Mission destroyed and to rebuild the self-confidence of the people.

Contacts and communications could be made with Provincial Secretary (fassis@ieab.org.br) or directly to the bishop Naudal Gomes at naudal@yahoo.com.br

Comentários

Francisco, I'm horrified to hear of this act of violence, and have posted your story on my blog — http://bishopalan.blogspot.com/2008/05/confronting-oppression-in-brazil.html
Please be assured of my prayers as Fr Gabas and his people rebuild thie church and community
Paul disse…
The newsletter of the Diocese of California reminded me to read more here and I am passing the story on with a link at my blog as well. Prayers for all concerned.
Ann disse…
Episcopal Cafe is carrying the story today.
John disse…
Francisco, this is a terrible event but also a testimony to the power of the Church's witness and solidarity in a time of conflict. Today's gospel reminds us that God's reign is not a matter of saying "Lord, Lord" with our lips but with our actions. I am grateful and proud that the church in the diocese of Curitiba is showing its faith by what it does.
Svend la Rose disse…
I am disappointed that it took heavy weaponry to restore law and order in the Diocese of Curitiba. It's not OK to build on land that isn't yours to build on. The landless workers should have waited until the settlement was legalized to break ground. If legalization was a problem, a general strike could solve things in a hurry, and their labor union should have taken the appropriate action.

The landless workers should refuse to work, as a movement, until they are compensated with a living wage and the use of land sufficient for their needs. A general strike is called for.

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