A scene from Fe en la Resistencia (Faith in the Resistance Movement). Photo: Screenshot from the documentary's trailer on YouTube
WACC and the World Council of Churches (WCC) are hosting the screening of Fe en la Resistencia (Faith in the Resistance Movement), a documentary on the role of churches and faith communities in resisting the military dictatorship in Uruguay from 1973-1985.
The film depicts how the faithful used religious rites as channels of solidarity, and convents as “strongholds of resistance” when traditional channels of political and social participation were censured in Uruguay, according to the film’s producers.
The film seeks to “bring to light the stories of people who lived out a political, social, and religious commitment during the 1960s through the years of the dictatorship and return to democracy, in their own words,” they explained.
It is important to “promote the contributions to the defense of human rights, the search for memory, truth and justice,” in order to raise awareness on human rights violations in the past, which is unknown to many of today’s generation in Uruguay and forgotten even by some in religious communities, they added.
"The right to memory is vital to restorative justice after periods of conflict and is a theme that WACC has pioneered,” said WACC General Secretary Philip Lee. “Civil society, of which the churches are part, can help challenge the falsification of history and hold the State accountable for crimes against humanity."
The descent of Uruguay into a dictatorship began when then President Jorge Pacheco declared a state of emergency in 1968. In 1973, Uruguay’s Armed Forces staged a coup, dissolved parliament, censored the news media, and ushered in a brutal period of repression and abuse of civil liberties. At least 7,000 Uruguayans were tortured and imprisoned, and about 200 disappeared under the dictatorship, according to Amnesty International.
The documentary will be screened on June 7, 2:00 to 4:00 p.m., at the archives of the WCC Ecumenical Center, 150 Route de Ferney, in Geneva.
A short panel with producers of the film will precede the screening of the 80-minute film.
The film was produced with the support of the Fondation pour l’Aide au Protestantisme Reforme, the Methodist Church of Uruguay, the Presidency of Uruguay and its Secretariat for Human Rights, the Roman Catholic Bishops Conference of the United States of America, and the Global Ministries of the United Methodist Church.