Friday, July 21, 2006
BOLIVIA AT THE CROSSROADS!
CONTROVERSY OVER EDUCATION CURRICULUM REVEALS BREACH IN BOLIVIAN SOCIETY.
Bolivian society, with the election of its first indigenous president Evo Morales, is going through a major upheaval.
Indigenous Indians are the majority in Bolivia; they’re also by and large not featured in the Bolivian mainstream. They’ve recently found their voice in the political processes and are beginning to stake their claim in other areas of Bolivian society. A constitutional assembly of elected representatives is trying to put together a new constitution which will reflect this reality. In the area of education Evo’s people are insisting that indigenous history and religion play a major role in the national curriculum. The Roman Church is the official religion of Bolivia. Its bishops view this change as a challenge to its place in education and society. The Christian Churches also view this as the beginnings of a series of changes that will undermine the Christian faith and promote paganism. You’d think that the Christian churches and the Roman Church would close ranks. Not so. Bolivian evangelical Christianity to a large extent thrives on a rejection of Romanism and is hoping to undo the articles in the Bolivian constitution which identify Roman Catholicism as the official religion. Evangelicalism in Bolivia is of a fundamentalist pre-millenialist sort that is trying to promote a society based on biblical principles.
It’s anybody’s guess as to what’s going to happen next. Some kind of compromise will be forged at the Constitutional Assembly which will ensure the traditional role, albeit a diminished one, of Romanism in Bolivian society.