about us | contact | for sale<  - congregations


Captivity of Puerto Rican Americans 

"In terms of the Christian Church and its mission within the existential reality of the Puerto Rican migrant community in the U.S., how can be attempt to understand the phenomena of captivity? ... The exile itself may be understood as one of the most traumatic experiences that occurred in the history of the people of God. It was a forced migration under Babylonian imperial domination. Deportations to a foreign land evoked feelings of abandonment and despair. An overall state of crisis engulfed the political, economic, and religious life of the people. Both State and Temple were overrun as the Empire wreaked havoc on the promises of God's protection from the enemy. The national theology and political hopes for freedom were devastated by the oppressive forces of the Empire. ...(97)

The crisis of neocolonial captivity suggests that a new faith orientation is imperative in order to break with the history of enslavement to the powers and principalities that dominate the structures, institutions and ideological formation of both the religious and national community. In the Puerto Rican migrant community, the role of the church can be no other than to serve as a liberating agent where deep-seated idolatry has replace authentic worship and faith in the God of history. The proclamation of the Gospel requires a living faith that is set free to denounce injustice at all levels of social existence, and to pronounce new models and new meaning for ecclesial and community constrained to be an agent of social and spiritual transformation 'to pluck up and break down, to destroy and to overthrow, to build and to plant' (Jer 1:10). Out of the exile emerges the formation of a new community with a new heart and a new spirit. Freedom for the future irrupts out of the chaos. This new faith orientation will attempt to break the yoke of the death sentence that engulfs both State and Temple. A new Exodus points the way toward a new day of integral salvation. ...(99)

In the Puerto Rican migrant community, the prophetic role of the church to denounce the very systems and spurious leadership that benefit from  and perpetuate the state of captivity. This new faith is oriented toward the construction of a new social order where justice and fraternity exist." (100)

David Traverzo in Voces edited by Justo L. Gonzalez, Abington, 1992.  Traverzo is a minister of the Reformed Church of America and a Ph.D. in Ethics from Drew U.

Return to Homepage

  CSCO, P.O. Box 60123, Dayton, OH 45406; email: cscocbco@charter.net phone: 937-276-4077