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Anglican Episcopal Church of El Salvador
 
Fundación Cristosal in solidarity with the community of the Lutheran martyrs
by Susana Barrera, Communications Officer of the Anglican Episcopal Church of El Salvador
 
ELSALEN 070207-1
February 7, 2007

[Anglican Episcopal Church of El Salvador - Central America] An atmosphere of nervousness and uncertainty was palpable in the Community of 2 de Mayo de Jayaque en La Libertad, some 40 kilometers west of the city of San Salvador. Four months have passed since Pastors Francisco Carrillo and his wife, Jesús, were assassinated in front of their church by supposed hired gunmen. The reasons why are known by the community but no one has dared to step forward to speak.

The women of the community, children in their arms, met in the church, "Montes de Penzberg," of the Evangelical Lutheran church to welcome last Tuesday's visit from Fundación Cristosal, made up of bishops, priests and lay members of The Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church of Canada, who offered a flower arrangement as a sign of solidarity and accompaniment in their struggle.

"Martyrdom is a seed of resurrection: they killed our pastors close to the altar and, in our tradition, by the altar we make up the Church. This has great symbolism for us," said Bishop Medardo Gómez, Bishop of the Salvadoran Lutheran Church. He has announced that a national and international movement, "Marquéz Carrillo," has been formed, seeking justice against the impunity of the Carrillo killers.

The two Carrillos were pastors in two congregations in Jayaque. Their pastoral work was characterized by their defence of human rights and the environment. This outspokeness was denounced and was the root of threats. Days before their assassination, they had denounced the upsurge in criminal activity in the zone.

The Lutheran bishop said, "I speak because no one from the community dares to speak. The people responsible for this double crime keep them threatened. They fear for their lives and we also are afraid. This has been a huge blow and I cannot rest without justice."

The women present sobbed and only one of them had the boldness to say, "Our brother and sister Carillo were good." Father Richard Bower, Executive Director of Cristosal, said, "You will be in our our prayer and we will accompany you in this process."

"They followed the steps of Jesus to the end; they were with the poor and defended them," the Most Rev'd Martín Barahona of the Anglican Episcopal Church of El Salvador said.

The Fundación Cristosal was in El Salvador from 5-10 February to reflect on the national reality, observe the social works of the Anglican Episcopal Church of El Salvador and clarify the direction of their accompaniment and commitment to the least protected people of this country.

[Fundación Cristosal is a Vermont-based 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization that walks with the Anglican Episcopal Church of El Salvador. Its website is www.cristosal.org.]