Violence surrounding Morales up for discussion

By September 16, 2008

Bolivia (MNN) — An emergency summit has been called by all the major nations in South America. The temporary union called for the summit late last week, and yesterday, presidents from each of those nations gathered in Chile to discuss what can be done to end the
violence in Bolivia that has killed at least a dozen people.

It's been two weeks since the start of the clash between supporters and opponents of Bolivia's President Evo Morales. It was sparked when Morales declared his
intention to re-write the constitution and redirect gas revenues.

SIM International has work in Bolivia in urban areas and with Quechua people. They first began their work in Bolivia under the name Bolivia Indian Mission in 1907. Much of the country still practices some type of traditional spiritism religion, and right now, only around 15 percent of the population is considered evangelical Christian. SIM's goal is to see it reach 30 percent. 

Many ministries are worried that they won't be able to maintain a presence in Bolivia because of the changes Morales has suggested. Eldon Porter, an SIM director, says there's more to consider. "I think we need to really just remember the bigger picture of what God might be doing and not be distracted by specific events that are reported
or what one political entity might say or the other and just really focus on what God would be doing through this."

There are many differing opinions on the current situation, but Porter is hopeful and says others are, too. "I think the president of Bolivia, in very sincere ways, wants the best for the people, and I think the church in especially the poor area is very conscious of
that," he explained. 

Pray for Bolivian church leaders who are working behind the scenes to bring reconciliation and address social concerns. They are "speaking up and trying to express what the Lord would want in those situations, and they deserve our respect and definitely our prayers."

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