30 January 2006

Methodist delight at Bolivia appointment

The Methodist Church of Great Britain has written to congratulate the appointment of Casimira Rodriguez Romero as Bolivia's Minister of Justice. The Rev Tom Quenet, World Church Secretary for the Americas, wrote to Bishop Carlos Poma of The Methodist Church in Bolivia to express delight at the news.

Casimira Rodriguez Romero is a well-known human rights activist within Bolivia, and has campaigned for decades among low-paid indigenous people to secure employments right and protection from discrimination. She lead the successful campaign to have the Household Worker Law to the Bolivian Congress, and in 2003 was awarded the World Methodist Peace Award. She is an active member of the Emmanuel Methodist Church in Bolivia.

The full text of Tom Quenet's letter follows:

'Greetings in the name of Jesus Christ Our Lord.

'I would like to take this opportunity to express the Methodist Church in Britain's deepest joy for the appointment of sister Casimira Rodriguez Romero as Bolivia's Minister of Justice.

'We pray that God will guide sister Casimira in the challenges posed by such a significant role so that the Bolivian people, through their leader Evo Morales, can walk with firmness and dignity towards a more just and prosperous future.

'We would also like to congratulate the Methodist Church in Bolivia for the life and ministry of sister Casimira at this historical time for the recognition of the rights of the indigenous people in Bolivia and the struggle to combat social inequality. We trust that her faith and experience as leader of the National Federation of Household Workers, her fight for human rights and for peace will enrich and exalt the Bolivian people as well as the Methodist people in the construction and service of the Kingdom of God.'

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