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The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada is Canada’s largest Lutheran denomination with 182,077 baptized members in 624 congregations. It is a member of the Lutheran World Federation, the Canadian Council of Churches, and the World Council of Churches.

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From Lutheran World Information


GENEVA, 7 November 2006 (LWI)--The General Secretary of the Lutheran World Federation (LWF), Rev. Dr Ishmael Noko has received with deep distress news about the murder of two pastors from the Salvadoran Lutheran Synod (SLS), Francisco Carrillo and Jesus de Carrillo.

A statement received from the SLS says Pastor Francisco Carrillo and his wife Jesus were cowardly assassinated on 4 November 2006 by three unknown young perpetrators, as they were leaving the Montes de Pensbert congregation church in the Jayaque municipality, in El Salvador's central department of La Libertad.

"This tragic news serves to impress upon us again the serious and increasing violence afflicting society in El Salvador, and the important work being undertaken by the Salvadoran Lutheran Synod in an often difficult and dangerous context," Noko told the Lutheran World Information (LWI).

The LWF general secretary said he expects the Salvadoran authorities "to conduct a swift and thorough investigation of this crime, and to bring those responsible to justice." It is Noko's prayer that "the Salvadoran Lutheran Synod, its pastors and members, will be upheld by the prayers of all their sisters and brothers in Christ around the world, and strengthened for their essential continuing witness for peace and human rights in El Salvador."

The Carrillos were serving the Pan de Vida and the Montes de Pensbert congregations in Jayaque. The SLS statement says they were tireless defenders of human rights. Among other responsibilities, Rev. Francisco Carrillo was president of the Green Cross (La Cruz Verde) in Jayaque, which includes medical charities and organizations providing health care to the local people. The couple is survived by two adult children.

In a joint letter of condolence to the SLS Bishop, Dr Medardo E. Gomez Soto, the LWF Area Secretary for Latin America and the Caribbean, Rev. Martin Junge, and Dr Guillermo Kerber, the World Council of Churches (WCC) program executive for Latin America and the Caribbean in the international affairs team say, "We are aware of the fact that these cruel events unfortunately have become a daily experience in the Salvadoran society, making human life increasingly precarious and the population more vulnerable to becoming victims of such violence."

As ecumenical organizations that are closely linked to the SLS, "we wish to raise our voices in condemnation of these and all the killings that are extinguishing the precious gift of life for men, women, youth and children in El Salvador," Junge and Kerber write.

Both regional desk officers express confidence that the “Salvadoran Lutheran church will persevere in its witness for reconciliation and peace and will not let itself be confounded or dragged down by the spiral of violence that threatens to involve an ever-increasing section of the society. Instead, the church will continue raising its voice with prophetic clarity, announcing with words and deeds the good news of Christ, who came to bring life in abundance."

The 12,000-member SLS joined the LWF in 1986. It is a WCC associate member church. (509 words)

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