by Evangelical Focus | The draft law seeks the independence of any religion, and to optimize the times and procedures for the granting of legal entity to churches and religious evangelical entities. (Image, The Bolivian President Evo Morales, along with the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Diego Pary, met with evangelical representatives. / Evangelico Digital)
The Bolivian President Evo Morales, along with the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Diego Pary, signed an agreement with representatives of the Evangelical Church, with the commitment to guarantee the freedom of religion.
The agreement “contemplates three points: one referring to the freedom of religion and independence of the State (…); the second point refers to the recognition of democratic institutionalisation the country (…), and the third issue refers to the coordination of social programs and projects”, Pary reported.
“TODAY WE HAVE BEEN HEARD”
The representative of the Evangelical Churches, Munir Chikie expressed his gratitude to the Executive for listening to their demands. “Today we have been heard, today we have been included in the need for a draft law on religious freedom”, he said.
He also pointed out that the evangelical Churches expressed their willingness to work with government authorities and “recognize the democratic institutionalism of the State”.
“The evangelical church does not make partisan politics, and we will maintain our independence on different issues”, he added.
The meeting was held at the Casa Grande del Pueblo, and it also included the participation of the Minister of the Presidency, Alfredo Rada, and the presidents of both Houses: Deputies, Gabriela Montaño, and Senators, Milton Barón.
LEGAL ENTITY FOR CHURCHES AND EVANGELICAL ASSOCIATIONS
The most important agreement has to do with the promotion of the draft law of Religious Freedom, Religious Organizations and Spiritual Beliefs, which began to be drafted in 2014, but whose process goes back more than ten years.
The Bill seeks the independence of any religion, and to optimize the times and procedures for the granting of legal entity to churches and religious evangelical entities, that will be subject to their respective regulations.
RELIGIOUS FREEDOM LAW APPROVED BEFORE FEBRUARY 2019
The representative of the Parliament undertook to approve this Law before February 15, 2019.
The agreement also stipulates the creation of a commission that will carry out tasks and joint programs in areas of social impact, such as provision of basic services, technical education, as well as job, health, and family support.
“We were very excited to hear the president asking the evangelical Church to be an ally on social issues”, Chikie said in a news conference.
“Today is a day of celebration, it is a historic day,” said Alberto Salcedo Peñaloza, who pastors Ekklesia Church, a megachurch in La Paz. “There is now full freedom of conscience we have rights and also obligations, so all of in this beloved Bolivia, we can serve, support and to go forward. “