During current times of change, violence, and opposition, the Ecumenical Christian Council of Guatemala continues to promote community-based projects. It also facilitates ecumenical worship and reflection opportunities in service to the community. Through ecumenical public prayers, lectures, theological courses, national youth meetings, workshops, ministries of women for gender justice, and migrant programs, the Ecumenical Christian Council of Guatemala continues to give a prophetic voice and nurture a broad participation of men and women in society in all regions of
The year 2014 proved to be one of the most violent in Guatemala. The wave of violence lived out in 2014 started in 2013, when opposition to the guilty verdict given to former Guatemala dictator Efran Rios Montt brought together sectors of the government, business (especially related to agriculture and extractive industries), groups of former soldiers that had committed serious violations of human rights and extreme right-wing groups. This alliance has encouraged various situations of impunity and a growing criminalization and limitations of freedom of expression. This has increased the situation of risk for various groups and people who defend human rights to become the objects of spurious charges. Such criminalization is a mechanism that both decreases possibilities for the defense of human rights in general, and also deprives individuals of liberty for crimes they never committed.
Ecumenical Pastorate of a Culture of Peace
In 2014 the Ecumenical Christian Council of Guatemala facilitated pastoral visits and ecumenical prayers to the communities of San Juan Sacatepquez, La Puya and Chuarrancho.
- Participated in the U.N. evaluations of the Millennium Development Goals to created processes against violence, especially against women.
- Led two delegations of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) to several communities throughout the country.
Youth and Children
- The National Youth Meeting “Indispensable Aspects of Tax Policy for Youth Citizen Participation” was held with a participation of 45 young people from many states and churches.
- The Ecumenical Council organized a Day of Prayer and Action for Children, held workshops on ethics in education that was aimed at educators of different faiths in order to and use the manual “Learning to Live Together”.
Women and Gender Justice
- Conducted a workshop addressing violence against women at Bethania House in Guatemala City, where 11 churches and faith-based organizations where present.
- Supported the organization of Kaqchikel women around the recovery of ancestral cultural values with the “Textile Art” project
- Developed the relationship with the U.N. Population Fund to support activities of the Ministry of Women and Justice.
Stewardship of Creation
- Attended the National Forum of the ACT Alliance where the Ecumenical Council prepared and presented their research regarding “Churches and Faith Communities against Violence against Indigenous and Mestizo Women in Guatemala”
- Attended the national committee of the Latin American Council of Churches (CLAI), coordinated workshops on Sexual and Reproductive Health and prepared a forum regarding “Church, Family, Sexuality and Reproductive Rights”
Throughout the year, there have been a number of Ecumenical Celebrations. Some special days include:
- Ecumenical Prayer for Christian Unity
- Ecumenical Prayer for the Day of Pentecost 16th
- Anniversary of the martyrdom of Monsignor Juan Gerardi, done as an interfaith opportunity with the Catholic church
The Ecumenical Christian Council of Guatemala and its partners remain committed to promote the common good, Christian values and the defense of life. They do this by reflection and action that involves both church leaders and church members — at different levels, in different regional areas, and all with the common denominator of shared faith, life, reflection, and action.