Churches in Colombia express concern over recent law changes

December 22, 2011

BOGOTA, Colombia

Evangelical leaders in Colombia say they’re concerned about the future of their nation in the wake of recent legislation that has decriminalized euthanasia, eased abortion restrictions and could legalize same-sex marriages, reports the Latin America and Caribbean Communication Agency (ALC).

“These matters that the Colombian Congress is considering are nothing other than the sociopolitical, cultural and religious changes of the times to come, that affect our country considerably,” said Evangelical Senator Edgar Espindola Nino at the “First Pro Ecclesial Forum: Human Rights and the Church,” held Nov. 28 in Bogota.

Participants included the Evangelical Council of Colombia, the National Association of Ministers of the Gospel, the Colombian Bible Society and the Congress of the Republic represented by Nino and Pastor Alvaro Puentes Velasquez.

The forum gave religious leaders the chance to debate the challenges that the current legislative agenda represents, among other matters. The Pro Ecclesial Forum questioned its leaders as to what the church should do in light of these legislative trends.

Colombia’s Constitutional Court ruled in 2010 that a person cannot face criminal charges for helping a terminally ill patient to die.

This past July, the same court directed Congress to legislate on the matter of same-sex marriage. If Congress does not act, same-sex couples will automatically be granted full marriage rights on June 20, 2013.

Since 2006, abortion has been illegal in Colombia except in case of the threat to life or health of the mother, if the pregnancy is the result of rape, or when the fetus is expected to die after birth because of severe fetal abnormalities. The law survived a congressional challenge in October that would have eliminated these exceptions.

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