Through this open letter, the Bahia Ecumenical Council of Christian Churches (Conselho Ecumênico Baiano de Igrejas Cristãs: CEBIC), the Ecumenical Coordination of Service (Coordenadoria Ecumênica de Serviço: CESE) and the Ecumenical Centre for Biblical Studies (Centro de Estudos Bíblicos: CEBI) make manifest their support for Pastor Odja Barros, from the Baptist Church of Pinheiro (Rio Grande do Norte), in the face of the violence and death threats she has suffered since celebrating an equal marriage between two young women.
It must be said that the Gospel of Love, Forgiveness and Grace, to which every Christian is called to bear witness, is incompatible with violent gestures or actions that harm the principle of love and mercy.
We stress that Pastor Odja Barros’ behaviour does not violate state laws and falls within the free will, of both people and communities of faith, to interpret the scriptures and decide on their personal, pastoral and liturgical acts.
It is possible to disagree, but we need to respect each faith community’s autonomy, “that which brings us together is greater than that which sets us apart”.
We pray that the Holy Spirit continues to protect Pastor Odja and her family.
We hope that the appropriate authorities will take the necessary and most appropriate measures to ensure her safety.
Anglican Episcopal Church of Brazil (Igreja Episcopal Anglicana do Brasil)
Evangelical Church of the Lutheran Confession (Igreja Evangélica de Confissão Luterana)
United Presbyterian Church of Brazil (Igreja Presbiteriana Unida do Brasil)
Roman Apostolic Catholic Church (Igreja Católica Apostólica Romana), Archdiocese of Salvador, Bahia
Nazareth Baptist Church (Igreja Batista de Nazareth)
Community of Jesus (Comunidade de Jesus)
Community of Trinidad (Comunidade da Trindade)
Focolare community (Comunidade dos Focolares)
Ecumenical Coordination of Service (Coordenadoria Ecumênica de Serviço: CESE)
Ecumenical Centre for Biblical Studies (Centro de Estudos Bíblicos: CEBI), Bahia