Our Hope

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The Valle region has 23 Mennonite Churches, 15 in the regions capital, Cali, and the rest are spread out in the country side. The churches involvement in political issues is minimal; most adhere to the principal fundamentals of Mennonite pacifism. Likewise in the context of this year´s presidential elections most were not open to express their political views. During most of the conversations I had, church members passed minimum comments, but one in particular accompanied his political views with a bible quotation, Proverbs 29:2, “when the righteous are in authority the people will rejoice.” The question to ask is, “Who is the righteous one?” especially for this region in which many have endured a lot of suffering.

Over the past years the Valle region has been greatly affected by the Colombian conflict, it still is one of FARC´s strongholds and scores of people continue to be displaced and are left scattered looking for security in the largest city in the region (Cali). In Cali, the majority of the Mennonite Brethren churches are located in the most fragile barrios that have received most of the displaced families. These are neighborhoods held hostage by the urban gang violence and economic instability. The church´s political stance on the two main political fronts is to favor the candidate that would guarantee peace, economical sustainability and accommodation. I was able to interview some church members it was clear that this is an uncomfortable topic and they all knew that their ballot paper could be hope or fate. These are the views that they expressed.

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