Brazilian Lutheran pastor addresses Vatican Synod

Rev. Nicolau Nascimento de Paiva (left of photo) together with other ecumenical delegates to the Vatican Synod in front of St Peter’s Basilica. Photo: Robert FLOCK
Rev. Nicolau Nascimento de Paiva (left of photo) together with other ecumenical delegates to the Vatican Synod in front of St Peter’s Basilica. Photo: Robert FLOCK

Ecumenical delegates discuss challenges of Amazon region 

(LWI) – Brazilian pastor Rev. Nicolau Nascimento de Paiva met with Argentinean Pope Francis in the Vatican recently as one of the ecumenical delegates attending the Catholic Church’s Synod on the Amazon. The Synod, which takes place in Rome from 6 to 27 October, brings together Catholic bishops and indigenous leaders from the nine nations that make up the Amazon region: Brazil, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Guyana, French Guyana, Venezuela and Suriname. 

Rev. Nascimento de Paiva is a pastor of the Evangelical Church of the Lutheran Confession in Brazil (IECLB) in Belém, the capital of Pará State. He is currently serving as President of the Amazonian Council of Christian Churches (CAIC), which plays an important role in accompanying the most vulnerable people, in particular Venezuelans fleeing the crisis in their country and African migrants seeking security and better living conditions.  

Environmental, social, spiritual challenges 

He, and the other ‘fraternal delegates’, as representatives of the different Christian churches are called, made short presentations to the gathering about their work and their churches’ perspectives on the environmental, social and spiritual challenges facing people in the Amazon. They also shared ideas and interacted in a more personal way in smaller, language groups discussing topics which contributed to an advisory document to be presented to Pope Francis at the end of the gathering.  

Rev. Nascimento de Paiva said he was delighted to receive the invitation from the pope to take part in this important gathering. Noting that “all the fraternal delegates are very well received” by their Catholic colleagues, he said he was “listened to attentively” as he highlighted the ecumenical dialogue and diakonia that is carried out by the IECLB. 

People are being killed, there is a lot of child prostitution, murders and persecution of leaders who ask questions.
Rev. Nicolau NASCIMENTO DE PAIVA, IECLB

The Lutheran pastor said that the Synod "is calling the attention of the world to what is happening in the Amazon," in particular the plight of indigenous people and migrants who are settling in the region. He stressed that the Amazon must be taken care of, "not only because it is the lung of the world, but also because people are being killed, there is a lot of child prostitution, murders and persecution of leaders who ask questions”.  

As well as guaranteeing the rights of these people, he stressed, "it is necessary to take care of the families and to respect all the spiritualities” of indigenous people who are closely connected to nature. "Care of the Amazon,” he added, means taking “care of all of us and our common home”. We must be a “prophetic and provocative” voice, he concluded, rather than keeping quiet and letting things stay the way they are. 

 

LWF for Climate Justice