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Serious threat to landless people in Missionary District - Brazil





Dear brothers and sisters,

Grace and Peace!!

As Provincial Secretary of the Episcopal Anglican Church of Brazil I would like to make public an appeal for the prayers and support of all the Church in relation to a tragic event that will affect about 250 people in “linha 50”, in Ariquemes. Above some pictures from my last visit to them in July.

It is a matter of a court decision of eviction of the settlers in the Urupema farm. After an occupation of over 13 years and the mediation of the INCRA (National Institution of Colonization and Agrarian Reform) in settling these families, the judge Deisy Cristian de Oliveira Ferraz decided to vote for the eviction of the 30 or so families and now the eviction order is in the hands of the Military Police.

We are doing what we can together with political authorities and are looking for support for arranging a meeting between the leaders of the community and INCRA in Brasília, hoping to reach a solution.Our Primate Bishop is in London on an engagement with the Trustees of USPG (United Society for the Propagation of the Gospel) and demonstrates his solidarity in this difficult time. I appeal to the Church that we may intercede with God to reach a pacific and just solution to this situation.

The community – affectionately known as the people from linha 50 (line 50) – is accompanied by our Church and within the settlement we have the Anglican Mission of St. Peter and St. Paul. The community consists of agricultural workers with small plantations of bananas, coca and coffee among other subsistence products. With the ecumenical movement, which involves Anglicans Roman Catholics and the Assembly of God Church, a school was built that attends 40 children in primary school education.

In 2007 the association ASPROJO was constituted, and in 2008 and 2009 received support from the government to the value of 300.000 reals, receiving a milk cooling tank to store the milk produced by the community. In our visit to the area in July I was able to see the progress and joy of the families because of this achievement.

This is all now under threat of being destroyed by a legal decision that was cold and indifferent in the face of the extremely serious social problem that this eviction would create. The Military Police have today already done an inspection of the property and are now keen to evict He families.

The town of Ariquemes does not have the infrastructure to take in 250 people and their belongings. We cannot watch this social catastrophe happen wih our arms folded. Children, women and families are being condemned to misfortune and we need to use all possible resources to avoid this.

We are contacting people who are linked to the Ministry of Justice so that they may support us in initiatives that could at least lead to a dialogue with the judicial Power in Rondonia in order to avoid the eviction.

We need put the ecumenical community into action to avoid the worst.We need to receive support from our fellows brothers and sisters from Anglican Communion in stand before the powers of this world and defend those who are suffering injustices.

If you like to send a message of soldarity to our brothers and sisters in the Missionary District please do that trough our email (xicoasilva@gmail.com) and I`ll forward to them.


If you like to offer a personal support to this advocacy initiative please sign the petition on line at: http://www.petitiononline.com/08102009/petition.html


If someone think is possible to offer some financial support to our Province related to this questions please contact me about procedures ahead.


May God have mercy on us!

Rev. Francisco de Assis da Silva

General Secretary

Episcopal Anglican Church of Brazil

xicoasilva@gmail.com

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