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

Dr. Francis Schaeffer - How Should We Then Live? (DVD)

Special Two-Disc Set!

After 40 years of intense study and world-wide ministry, Dr. Francis Schaeffer completed his crowning work of scholarship – to present profound truths in simple film language. Dr. Schaeffer’s brilliant analysis of the past and predictions for current trends have proven so uncannily accurate that this amazing series still feels contemporary almost three decades after its initial release. Ultimately, Schaeffer concludes that man’s only hope is a return to God’s Biblical absolute, the truth revealed in Christ through the Scriptures.

Available for the first time on DVD, this documentary spectacular also includes intimate in-depth conversations with Francis and Edith Schaeffer. With the on-disc study guide, this presentation forms a unique course of comprehensive study. While this series forms an innovative analysis of the past, this outstanding work is more than history. Each episode focuses on a significant era, yet speaks clearly to 21st-century man with answers for modern problems.

$49.95 — ORDER NOW!

(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)

Click here for more information


God's Law and SocietyGod's Law and Society (DVD)

Download the Free Study Guide!

God’s Law and Society powerfully presents a comprehensive worldview based upon the ethical system found in the Law of God.

Speakers include: R.J. Rushdoony, George Grant, Howard Phillips, R.C. Sproul Jr., Ken Gentry, Gary DeMar, Jay Grimstead, Steven Schlissel, Andrew Sandlin, Eric Holmberg, and more!

Sixteen Christian leaders and scholars answer some of the most common questions and misconceptions related to this volatile issue:

1. Are we under Law or under Grace?
2. Does the Old Testament Law apply today?
3. Can we legislate morality?
4. What are the biblical foundations of government?
5. Was America founded as a Christian nation?
6. What about the separation of Church and State?
7. Is neutrality a myth?
8. What about non-Christians and the Law of God?
9. Would there be “freedom” in a Christian republic?
10. What would a “Christian America” look like?

Perfect for group instruction as well as personal Bible study.

Ten parts, over four hours of instruction!

Running Time: 240 minutes

Watch over 60 on-line video interviews from God’s Law and Society.

$19.95 — ORDER NOW!

(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)

Click here for more information


Martin Luther: Digitally Remastered 1953 Classic (DVD)

“Here I stand … I can do no other!”

With these immortal words, an unknown German monk sparked a spiritual revolution that changed the world.

The dramatic classic film of Martin Luther’s life was released in theaters worldwide in the 1950s and was nominated for two Oscars. A magnificent depiction of Luther and the forces at work in the surrounding society that resulted in his historic reform efforts, this film traces Luther’s life from a guilt-burdened monk to his eventual break with the Roman Catholic Church.

Running time: 105 minutes

Special offer: Order 5 or more for $5 each.

Watch a clip from Martin Luther.

$9.95 — 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 Real Jesus: A Defense of the Historicity and Divinity of ChristThe Real Jesus: A Defense of the Historicity and Divinity of Christ (DVD)

Who is the Real Jesus?

Ever since the dawn of modern rationalism, skeptics have sought to use textual criticism, archeology and historical reconstructions to uncover the “historical Jesus” — a wise teacher who said many wonderful things, but fulfilled no prophecies, performed no miracles and certainly did not rise from the dead in triumph over sin.

Over the past 100 years, however, startling discoveries in biblical archeology and scholarship have all but vanquished the faulty assumptions of these doubting modernists. Regrettably, these discoveries have often been ignored by the skeptics as well as by the popular media. As a result, the liberal view still holds sway in universities and impacts the culture and even much of the church.

The Real Jesus explodes the myths of these critics and the movies, books and television programs that have popularized their views. Presented in ten parts — perfect for individual, family and classroom study — viewers will be challenged to go deeper in their knowledge of Christ in order to be able to defend their faith and present the truth to a skeptical modern world – that the Jesus of the Gospels is the Jesus of history — “the same yesterday, today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8). He is the real Jesus.

Speakers include: George Grant, Ted Baehr, Stephen Mansfield, Raymond Ortlund, Phil Kayser, David Lutzweiler, Jay Grimstead, J.P. Holding, and Eric Holmberg.

Ten parts, over two hours of instruction!

Running Time: 130 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