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On Dennis Peacocke’s recent trip to Costa Rica, SCS representative, Ronnie Diaz, brought together many church ministry and political leaders as an informal network. Ronnie has been instrumental in bringing the message of the Kingdom of God and its social implications to a number of leaders in Central America.
This meaningful show of unity was based on their common realization that the issues of Costa Rica’s upcoming national elections in February are crucial for a Christian culture. Like many nations, Costa Rica faces an agenda of secularization by outside influences with economic leverage. Currently, Costa Ricans are coming against efforts to legalized gay marriage and abortion, as well as initiatives to remove the official status of the Catholic Church in their nation. On the surface, this is very surprising, but a better-informed and more principle-oriented perspective has led to Protestant opposition to the repeal of the state church status.
Although there are significant differences in the beliefs of Catholics and Protestants, both realize the opposition‘s goal is to remove the very roots of Christianity from their culture. Many nations in Europe and the Americas with “religious freedom” still have an official state church, as an affirmation of the importance of a spiritual base for the morals and ethics of the people.
As secularization seeks to eliminate more and more of the moral and ethical boundaries in historically Christian nations, we can expect changes in the acknowledgement of God’s place in all jurisdictions. Thus, in the United States, there are many attacks on the prominence that the Judeo-Christian ethic has had in its history. From the taking down of the Ten Commandments to objections to “In God we trust” as a motto, the battle is already engaged.
2013 brought mass demonstrations against these proposed legislations jointly led by Catholics and Evangelicals. This unity of purpose was truly an historical event and shows that the Holy Spirit is convicting Christians to join forces to withstand the political and economic pressures of secularization.
Dennis was invited to address a number of national Christian organizations and their leaders, as well as numbers of people holding or running for public office in the upcoming elections. The increased level of political awareness and the people’s understanding of the connection between the Kingdom of God and our task to disciple nations was a startling increase from the last time he addressed churches there on the same issues four years ago. In previous visits, he had addressed relatively small groups, whereas on this trip, he addressed hundreds and spoke on one of the top ten radio stations in Costa Rica for an hour and a half with political leaders on the secular crisis facing Costa Rica. He also had a joint strategy meeting with Catholic and Protestant leaders, something he has never experienced before in this nation.
It is clear that Strategic Christian Services is providing much-appreciated knowledge and training to encourage the Costa Rican church body to pick up its social responsibilities for righteousness and justice.
Please pray for multiplied effects of our cooperative efforts for Christ’s Kingdom in Costa Rica and Central America—especially that the necessity of voluntary associations in Central America would begin to emerge with strength and the wealthy would begin to take their proper place in supporting social systems which both glorify Christ and empower the larger segments of society.