Marcelo Figueroa, an Evangelical leader, recently expressed opposition to a proposed measure that would ban religious symbols from public places in Argentina.
In a statement sent to the Argentinean news agency AICA on Sept. 19, Figueroa explained that although the government is secular, “it should not be secularist.” He said it is “highly contradictory” to implement a religious ban in the name of a “supposed equality.”
He noted that the proposal put forth by two Buenos Aires lawmakers allows exceptions for cemeteries and hospitals, as long as they allow the same access for other faiths. “In my Christian Evangelical identity, I clearly identify with a secular State while at the same time recognizing that religious images are not part of the protestant liturgy.”
“Therefore, from own personal perspective, I should be in favor of this measure, even though I admit that the presence of these images does not affect my own religious faith. But this would be a short-sighted outlook that ignores the underlying intention,” he added.
“The images in question belong to the Catholic Church, for whom such images are indeed important,” Figueroa explained. “The religious sensibilities of its followers would be affected by this prohibition which includes, as mentioned, the removal of those symbols that are already in place.
“Out of ecumenical solidarity, then, I cannot support what would cause profound sadness to my brothers and sisters in their faith identity.”