The World Council of Churches (WCC) is urging Christians to pray for Peru which swore in a third president in less than a week ago amidst an ongoing political crisis.
Peru is already reeling from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. At the time of writing, the South American nation is ranked twelfth globally in terms of confirmed cases per country with almost 1 million registered infections.
Last week, the Peruvian Congress voted to remove the then incumbent president Martin Vizcarra following bribery allegations. The move triggered mass protests nationwide resulting in two deaths and many injured.
As a result of Mr Vizcarra’s impeachment, the former speaker of Congress Manuel Merino was made interim president. However, the use of violence by police against protesters as well as Mr Merino’s handling of the crisis led to the resignation of twelve cabinet members, forcing Mr Merino to step down.
With no vice president in place, 76-year-old statesman Francisco Sagasti was elected interim president by Congress on 17th November.
Responding to a letter sent by Bishop Samuel Aguilar Curi of the Methodist Church of Peru, the WCC interim general secretary Ioan Sauca encouraged WCC members to pray and highlighted the importance of democracy during this period of political and economic uncertainty.
Sauca wrote: “As Peru prepares to celebrate the 200 years of independence in 2021, stability and the constant affirmation of democratic practices and institutions acquire an even more important value.”
Rev. Darío Barolin, executive secretary of the Latin American Alliance of Reformed and Presbyterian Churches, also urged Christians to hold the Peruvian people in their prayers.
“We pray for the people of Peru and that God might raise up among them leaders who seek to serve the population, show compassion for the vulnerable, are sensitive to God’s creation, and are committed to justice
“We pray for all who have lost loved ones in the demonstrations and we await justice for those whose actions caused injury, death and disappearances.”