On October 19, after a brief and hasty debate, Congress passed the law declaring October 31 as the National Day of the Evangelical Christian Churches.
Although a few congressmen stressed the need to discuss the issue more broadly, especially for its possible consequences in the violation of the secular state, the parliamentary majority of Fuerza Popular took forward the aforementioned initiative.
For congresswoman Indira Huilca, the State must guarantee tolerance and respect for religions, but can not promote any of them, as is done by approving a “national day” for these institutions.
“It’s a mistake. The message that is sent is that the State is divided by some church and ends up giving it a power to have interference over the decision or elaboration of some public policies, “says the parliamentarian.
In this regard, he recalled that there are “very sensitive” initiatives, such as those related to gender equality, which “collide with the thinking of these churches. What is generating is that we can not move forward, or in some cases, that we are going backwards “.
During the debate on the 19th, Maria Melgarejo Páucar, president of the Culture Commission, was in charge of supporting the bill. In the opinion of said working group, among other arguments, it is read that the evangelical churches have had a positive impact on society, on the diffusion of values and on the consolidation of different cultural environments.
The Ministry of Culture, the governing body on the matter, spoke against establishing the day of the evangelical churches. “This type of religious expressions are not part of our cultural diversity, therefore they do not contribute to the continuity of the manifestations of our intangible cultural heritage,” reads the letter sent to Melgarejo.
Víctor Arroyo, executive director of the National Evangelical Council of Peru (CONEP), does not share that opinion. “It is a respectable point of view, but 100 years have passed since the arrival of the evangelical community in Peru, and it is part of a reform-oriented presence of change, of contribution to culture and knowledge in various fields,” he told La República. .
The norm has not yet been promulgated by the Executive Power, and therefore is not in force, but these religious organizations have enlisted various celebrations.
The underlying reason for the commemoration is the beginning of the Protestant reform of Martin Luther, which today celebrates 500 years. A bust in honor of this character will be unveiled this morning at the Exhibition Park. The presence of the mayor of Lima is announced.