The course was part of the capacity building programme for the movement at national level. It brought together 35 leaders from different parts of Brazil to study and share their knowledge and experience of different areas of life. All 35 were leaders in their contexts, organising people, giving literacy classes, advocating for public policies and struggling for land reform.
Paulo Ueti, Alliance facilitator for Latin America and the Caribbean writes: “Religion plays a very major role in Brazilian society. Although the State is secular, the people are very much influenced by religion, especially by Christianity. So, it’s important to take it into account, especially as they face fundamentalism and the spread of megachurches every day.
Also it was important to remind the role of the theology of liberation in the 60’s and 70’s. This theology and its image of God and the Kingdom of God was very supportive for the people’s struggles against dictatorship and supportive of the vulnerable members of society. Many social movements and church ministries focussed on organising people to change the society were born during this period.
It is very important for the Anglican Alliance to be in touch with these social movements. The IEAB – the Anglican Church in Brazil – is very committed and involved in the land reform struggles. In the Diocese of Curitiba, some years ago a special ministry to minister to these people and movement.”