Historic meeting of Pentecostal leaders in Brazil marks a new liberation from colonialism

 — Oct. 5, 20155 oct. 2015
By David Mesquiati de Oliveira for the Global Christian Forum News

In May of this year, at Ipiranga (São Paolo), where Brazilian independence was proclaimed in 1822, a group of Pentecostal leaders from across the country gathered to consider vital concerns facing the church. They discussed difficult issues in depth. This included matters such as ‘power and hierarchy’, ‘race, ethnicity and gender’, ‘theology’, and ‘Christian unity’.
After three days of fellowship they signed a joint message affirming the need for Pentecostal churches to face institutional, theological and social challenges together.

Called the Ipiranga Statement, the message came from the Brazil consultation of the Pentecostal Forum of Latin America and the Caribbean (FPLC), which the Global Christian Forum (GCF) has accompanied. [See below for full text of the Ipiranga Statement.]

Pr Dr David Mesquiati de Oliveira participated in the consultation and here reports on the historic gathering.

The Brazilian consultation of the Pentecostal Forum of Latin America and the Caribbean was part of a process that began in 2011 when a group of leaders of Pentecostal churches in Latin America came together in response to the call of the Spirit for Christian unity.

One of those meetings resulted in the formation of the FPLC. It was greatly encouraged by the Global Christian Forum (GCF), which has continued to fully support the process.
In order to succeed in bringing together so many and diverse Pentecostal leaders from such a vast region, the FPLC organized meetings within large geographical blocks, sub-dividing the Latin American region and Caribbean region into four sub-regions: Southern Cone (2012), Andean (2013), Central America/Spanish-speaking Caribbean (2014), and Brazil (2015).

The latest of these was the three-day consultation in Brazil (27-29 May) that attracted 64 participants who sharing together, forming a close heterogeneous group. Those present included Pentecostal pastors and leaders. Others were scholars of Pentecostalism. [See below: ‘Pentecostal churches and organizations present:’ for church and organizational participants]

For three days, they sat with one another in a circle, engaging in an intensive program while exploring major issues. The discussions took place under the central theme of ‘Pentecostalisms and Unity: Institutional, Theological and Social Challenges’.

The time together consisted of a variety of panel discussions, which included debate on major challenges to Christian unity.

After dialogue and exchange, the group produced The Ipiranga Statement, São Paolo 2015 (see below).

Noting that Ipiranga, the area where the consultation was held, was also the historic location of Brazilian independence in 1922, this “second Ipiranga” of Brazilian Pentecostals marked a new liberation and independence from colonization – the symbol of the imposition of models which deny diversity – in the search for new agendas, cooperation, and unity in diversity. The participants, who came from the five major geographical regions of Brazil, felt inspired to preserve and continue the bonds that were initiated at the historic gathering.

Additionally, the women present (17 out of 64, close to 27%) resolved to strengthen their relationships, as well as to invite other Pentecostal women to join them in order to voice their concerns. They outlined a program of action, proposing themes and soliciting support to pursue their aims. One of their projects is to publish before the end of this year a book called: Women Evangelicals Promoting Their Voice and Participation: Gender in Debate, edited by Valéria Christiana Vilhena. It was very encouraging to see Pentecostal women organizing themselves and developing their own reflections. The forum in Brazil has also resulted in the publication of a book with the different lectures presented at the consultation (Pentecostalism and Unity, 278 pages). In sum, it was a historic moment of sharing and fellowship between Brazilian Pentecostals and an inspiration for new encounters and projects.

For health reasons Huibert van Beek, GCF consultant accompanying the FPLC and former GCF Secretary, could not attend. In his place Pastor Fausto Vasconcelos, member of the GCF Committee representing the Baptist World Alliance and himself Brazilian, was present on behalf of the GCF. He also took part in the FPLC committee meeting which preceded the consultation.

Ipiranga Statement, São Paolo 2015

A group of Latin American Pentecostal leaders – pastors (men and women) of different Pentecostal churches of Brazil, young people, women and scholars of Pentecostalism in Latin America – met from 27 to 29 May 2015 in Ipiranga, São Paolo, Brazil. The meeting was held at the initiative of the Pentecostal Forum of Latin America and the Caribbean (FPLC), under the auspices of the Global Christian Forum and some Brazilian Pentecostal denominations. The theme of the meeting was Pentecostalism and Christian Unity: Institutional, Theological and Social Challenges.
Based on the presentations and the discussions, the forum affirmed the following:

On institutional challenges:

On theological challenges:

On social challenges:

Ipiranga, São Paolo (Brazil), 29th May 2015

Posted: Oct. 5, 2015 • Permanent link: ecumenism.net/?p=8793
Categories: NewsIn this article: Brazil, Christian unity, Global Christian Forum, Pentecostal
Transmis : 5 oct. 2015 • Lien permanente : ecumenism.net/?p=8793
Catégorie : NewsDans cet article : Brazil, Christian unity, Global Christian Forum, Pentecostal

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