AMERICA/BRAZIL - Indigenous leaders: a greater presence of the Church in the most distant communities is urgent

Friday, 18 May 2018 evangelization   missionaries   missionary animation  

Río Negro (Agenzia Fides) - Understanding the lives of indigenous peoples should lead us to reflect, to discover the value of what is fundamental in our daily life. This is what emerges from a conversation between Agenzia Fides and Braz Garrido Melgueiro, Catholic leader of the community of Iabe, located on the banks of the Rio Negro, in the Brazilian Amazon. The representative of the indigenous community says: "Here you live peacefully, nothing is lacking, we have fishmeal and manioc flour. Life in the city is another thing. Here we have our work, we owe nothing to anyone, we have space to hunt, fish, gather fruits in the forest ". The community leader, in his dialogue with Fides, says that "globalization is developing more and more dangers". For this reason, he is worried about "the arrival of foreigners threatening to exploit the region, we are afraid because we depend on nature to survive". He also recognizes some problems: "a greater presence of the Catholic Church, more visits, deepening of the knowledge of the Bible, catechesis, are needed, because teachers do not seem interested in our young people", emphasizes Braz Garrido Melgueiro .
With reference to the Synod on the Amazon, whose process is taking its first steps, on the search for new ways of evangelization in the more distant indigenous communities, the indigenous leader hopes that "the participants of the Synod are attentive to everyday life, visit the communities to see the reality in which they live: from a distance people do not know or understand our difficulties. Sometimes things can be written, but it would be better to come, visit and see our reality", he concludes. (LMM) (Agenzia Fides, 18/05/2018)