CESE: 48 years in defence of life!

Illustration: Mônica Santana

June brings with it the June festivities and CESE’s anniversary; this year we are celebrating 48 years of existence.  A time for gratitude and to look back over our history of faith and commitment to the defence of rights for the most vulnerable and fragile groups and sectors of our society.  And this commitment to develop diaconal work with the grassroots movements and organizations, aimed at the promotion, defence and guarantee of rights, is refreshed and renewed every year.

With the ongoing pandemic and the worsening of historic inequalities in the country, CESE continues in the arduous and urgent struggle for human rights in the broadest sense, reasserting the important role of small projects, of dialogue and networking, and advocacy activities.  Aware of the humanitarian crisis that has hit Brazilian society, because of a lack of coordination to contain the current pandemic and the fires and floods in the North of Brazil, the organization has mobilized to provide a rapid response in emergency aid to families who are vulnerable in terms of both food and health.

Despite all these challenges, the strength that CESE receives via support from partner organizations and agencies, from friends, from the grassroots movements it works with and from the constant presence of member churches, is a huge incentive to keep moving forward.

Looking back, we can see it was all worth it!  How many hands, hearts, heads and feet were involved in building, with the strength and tenderness of the Divine Breath, the memories that we recall today, which help us go forward with the joy and the challenges of our times.

CESE’s new President, Pastor Helivete Bezerra, from the Alliance of Baptists of Brazil (Aliança de Batistas do Brasil: ABB) reflects on the days to come: “Remembering the words of the poet and singer from this land, Raul Seixas, ‘A dream you dream alone is only a dream. A dream you dream together is reality’.  In these dark times, when they want to take everything away from us, even our capacity to dream, we boldly go forward in resistance, announcing that death will never have the last word – but rather the penultimate one – the definitive word will always be life, and life in abundance.”

CESE – 48 years of a prophetic, ecumenical journey in solidarity and for democracy, justice and human dignity.

Illustration: Mônica Santana