Jay Rogers
Director:
Jay Rogers

Recent Posts

The Forerunner

Defending Liberty in Bolivia

By Editorial Staff
Published February 1, 1991

By Dave Miller

LA PAZ, Bolivia (FR) – “As a Christian and as a lawyer, I believe that one of the greatest contributions I can make to the evangelization of our people is to work for an environment of broad religious liberty, where the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ can be preached, without interference, for the benefit of the whole country.”

So states Dr. Pedro C. Moreno, 29, an attorney in La Paz, Bolivia. To fulfill his goal, Moreno has been working since September of 1990 to organize the first chapter of the Rutherford Institute on South American soil.

Founded in 1982, the Rutherford Institute is a non-profit organization dedicated to defense of religious liberty. It provides legal services, without charge, to persons suffering discrimination or persecution for their religious beliefs. Priorities include preserving free, public speech on religious issues, protecting the constitutional rights of churches and religious organizations and supporting the sanctity of all human life. The Institute named Dr. Moreno its South American representative last year, hoping eventually to expand into every country in the region.

The La Paz lawyer will have his work cut out for him in Bolivia, a country with a history of religious intolerance. Until 1906, for example, “proselytism” was a criminal offense. As recently as 1949, six Baptist evangelists, one a Canadian missionary, were beaten to death by an anti-Protestant mob in Mercamaya, a small town near Oruro. Sporadic cases of religious persecution – beatings, vandalism, and job discrimination – continue to the present.

Official discrimination against non-catholic “sects” continues as well. Though President Jaime Paz Zamora has privately assured evangelical church leaders that he welcomes their presence in the country, members of his administration are proposing rigid controls on the activities of Protestant churches. The regulations would require non-catholic entities to register each member’s name and address with the government. The Under-secretary for Religious Affairs would review the doctrinal beliefs of Protestant denominations before granting them authorization to hold public meetings or plant new congregations.

Moreno points out that the proposed restrictions not only seriously hamper Christians from fulfilling the Great Commission, but are patently unconstitutional. A graduate of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University and a former advisor in the Bolivian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, he is keenly aware of the importance of religious freedom in democratic society.

In an address entitled “Religious Liberty, the Foundation of all other Freedoms,” that Moreno delivered at Bolivia’s first Presidential Prayer Breakfast in January of 1990, he proposed a constitutional amendment which would stop government interference in religion. In that speech, he quoted his nation’s founder, Simon Bolivar, who firmly believed in this constitutional principle. “The state cannot govern the conscience of its subjects,” wrote Bolivar, “nor grant reward or punishment, because God is its only Authority.”

Bolivar’s ideals coincide with the legal philosophy of the Rutherford Institute, which traces its judicial tradition to Samuel Rutherford, a 17th century Scottish scholar. Rutherford is remembered for his resistance to the divine right of kings, a prevailing social doctrine in his day. In his pivotal book, Lex Rex, Rutherford argued that all men – monarchs included – are subject to the law, regardless of their station in society. Rutherford’s ideal became a foundation stone for the development of democracy in Europe and the New World.

American constitutional attorney John W. Whitehead, concerned that political and social forces around the world are threatening the basic human rights of religious liberty and freedom of conscience, founded the Rutherford Institute eight years ago. The organization now has affiliates in 30 states in the U.S. and 8 foreign countries, notably in Latin America and Eastern Europe. Dr. Moreno left his position as General Secretary of the Social Emergency Fund to establish Rutherford’s South American branch.

To date he has recruited 18 lawyers interested in working to defend religious liberty in Bolivia, where discrimination continues against non-catholics. Reports have surfaced of protestant teachers fired from public schools because of their religious beliefs. In some cases, students have been forced to accept baptism, contrary to their convictions, in order to continue their studies. One of the Institute’s major emphases is to educate persons to exercise their constitutional rights, in hopes of ending such illegal abuses.

“In this manner, we can accomplish an effective work in favor of religious liberty both here and throughout South America,” says Moreno who has made contact with attorneys from Argentina to Colombia who have expressed a desire to cooperate in Institute activities.

Anyone wishing to obtain more information about the Rutherford Institute’s services may do so by writing: Dr. Pedro Moreno San Juan, The Rutherford Institute, Casilla 12754, La Paz, Bolivia.


Forerunner - Home » The Forerunner Newspaper » Latin America

Your comments are welcome!

Textile Help

The Four Keys to the Millennium (Book)

Foundations in Biblical Eschatology

By Jay Rogers, Larry Waugh, Rodney Stortz, Joseph Meiring. High quality paperback, 167 pages.

All Christians believe that their great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will one day return. Although we cannot know the exact time of His return, what exactly did Jesus mean when he spoke of the signs of His coming (Mat. 24)? How are we to interpret the prophecies in Isaiah regarding the time when “the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea” (Isa. 11:19)? Should we expect a time of great tribulation and apostasy or revival and reformation before the Lord returns? Is the devil bound now, and are the saints reigning with Christ? Did you know that there are four hermeneutical approaches to the book of Daniel and Revelation?

These and many more questions are dealt with by four authors as they present the four views on the millennium. Each view is then critiqued by the other three authors.

$12.95 — ORDER NOW!

(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)

Click here for more information


The Beast of Revelation IdentifiedThe Beast of Revelation: Identified (DVD)

Who is the dreaded beast of Revelation?

Now at last, a plausible candidate for this personification of evil incarnate has been identified (or re-identified). Ken Gentry’s insightful analysis of scripture and history is likely to revolutionize your understanding of the book of Revelation — and even more importantly — amplify and energize your entire Christian worldview!

Historical footage and other graphics are used to illustrate the lecture Dr. Gentry presented at the 1999 Ligonier Conference in Orlando, Florida. It is followed by a one-hour question and answer session addressing the key concerns and objections typically raised in response to his position. This presentation also features an introduction that touches on not only the confusion and controversy surrounding this issue — but just why it may well be one of the most significant issues facing the Church today.

Ideal for group meetings, personal Bible study — for anyone who wants to understand the historical context of John’s famous letter “… to the seven churches which are in Asia.” (Revelation 1:4)

Running Time: 145 minutes

$17.95 — ORDER NOW!

(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)

Click here for more information


The Silent Scream (DVD) Eight Languages

“When the lives of the unborn are snuffed out, they often feel pain, pain that is long and agonizing.” – President Ronald Reagan to National Religious Broadcasters Convention, January 1981

Ronald Reagan became convinced of this as a result of watching The Silent Scream – a movie he considered so powerful and convicting that he screened it at the White House. More recently, it was by catching just a glimpse of what this film reveals that Planned Parenthood director and abortion advocate Abby Johnson turned and became a strong advocate for the pre-born.

The modern technology of real-time ultrasound now reveals the actual responses of a 12-week old fetus to being aborted. As the unborn child attempts to escape the abortionist’s suction curette, her motions can be seen to become desperately agitated and her heart rate doubles. Her mouth opens – as if to scream – but no sound can come out. Her scream doesn’t have to remain silent, however … not if you will become her voice. This newly re-mastered version features eight language tracks and two bonus videos.

“…a high technology “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” arousing public opinion just as Harriet Beecher Stowe’s 1852 antislavery novel ignited the abolitionist movement.” – Sen. Gordon Humphrey, Time Magazine

Languages: English, Spanish, French, South Korean, Chinese, Russian, Portuguese, Japanese

Running Time: 28 minutes

$17.95 — ORDER NOW!

(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)

Click here for more information


Go Stand Speak (DVD)

With “preaching to the lost” being such a basic foundation of Christianity, why do many in the church seem to be apathetic on this issue of preaching in highways and byways of towns and cities?

Is it biblical to stand in the public places of the world and proclaim the gospel, regardless if people want to hear it or not?

Does the Bible really call church pastors, leaders and evangelists to proclaim the gospel in the public square as part of obedience to the Great Commission, or is public preaching something that is outdated and not applicable for our day and age?

These any many other questions are answered in this documentary.

$19.95 — ORDER NOW!

(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)

Click here for more information


Massacre of Innocence (DVD)

Exposing The Occult Roots of Abortion

This presentation looks at the spiritual roots of abortion and exposes the myths surrounding child killing. Little known historical facts about abortion and how they relate to modern feminism are presented logically and accurately. Has been effective in converting many to a pro-life position.

Massacre of Innocence goes where no pro-life presentation has gone before in “tearing the lid off abortion” to reveal the spiritual realities we must battle if we will bring an end to this crime. The presentation is absorbing, fast-paced, informative and incredibly devastating to any attempt to justify abortion.

“… an extraordinary statement … a powerfully articulate presentation about what abortion really means, and why a great and moral nation like the United States must not allow the slaughter to continue.”
— Congressman Robert K. Dornan

Running time: 85 minutes

$19.95 — ORDER NOW!

(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)

Click here for more information

Share |

Search this site:
View CCNow Cart/Checkout
View CCNow Cart/Checkout

RSS
Subscribe to
The Forerunner

Have The Forerunner Weblog sent straight to your inbox!

Enter your email address:

YouTube
The Forerunner Channel on YouTube


Promote Your Page Too

Featured Product
If you like the articles on this website, you may also be interested in:

Featured Articles

Live Seminar!

Real Jesus
The Abortion Matrix DVD: Update

The Abortion Matrix:
Defeating Child Sacrifice and the Culture of Death

is a 195-minute presentation that traces the biblical roots of child sacrifice and then delves into the social, political and cultural fall-out that this sin against God has produced. You can order this series on DVD, read the complete script and view clips on-line...
continued ...


View My Stats