The Appearance of Religious Group that Won the Seats in Peru’s Election
The Appearance of Religious Group that Won the Seats in Peru’s Election – Peru or officially known as Republic of Peru is a country in South America. This becomes the most populous country in South America. Most of the people in the country is Roman Catholic believers and this has significant situation in the country. Although constitution of Peru and Peruvians have good tolerance and the country uphold the freedom of religions, Christians in the country get preferential treatments. These are not only for the clergies and religious workers, but the regulations have preferences toward the Roman Catholic Christianity. The religion cannot be totally separated from the country and its regulations. However, there is something interesting that happened in the legislative election in 2020.
There is a messianic religious group that emerged and got attention in the election. The group is called Israelites of New Universal Pact. It is actually not a new religious group in Peru. At least, the group had been established since 40 years ago. However, it kept falling to qualify in the national election of Peru and finally it was officially qualified in 2021. The group established political party called Agricultural People’s Front of Peru and it is usually called as Frepap. In the election, the party of Frepap could win 15 congressional seats in Peru and it is great achievement of the party and group after 40 years of waiting. With its seats, even Frepap became the third largest bloc in legislative seats of Peru.
Emergence of religious group that later becomes a political party is not something strange in Peru. For many years, politics and religion cannot be totally separated and line between them ahs become blurry for years. even the two main parties in Peru, Accion Popular and got the first place and Alianza para el Progreso that got the second place, have quite interesting relationship with the Christian Democracy. This is like historical ties with the group. Christian Democracy is actually a movement that has got its name and popularity especially in 1950s. The movement approached economical development in Latin America at that time. Of course, popularity and emergence of Frepap in election of Peru is not without reason. In fact, the popularity of the group and its capability to won the legislative seats became a public’s response toward the political conditions in Peru. The political condition is related to the corruption scandals that have occurred in Peru for many years. There were vote-buying and even illegal contracts in infrastructure in government of Peru.
As what is mentioned before, there is blurry line between religion and politics. These two aspects cannot be separated because in term of history, religions and believers had their impacts in the development of the country. Religious people create groups and these become vehicles and methods to drive social changes. Frepap is the one that later gained great supports of people who want to have great changes in Peru, especially in dealing with corruptions. Frepap also started with religious people who later become grassroots political movement among Peruvians. The Israelites of the New Universal Pact that later became political party of Frepap was established in 1968. It was founded by laborer who got the name of Christ of the West. The founder attracted people and they formed group. In its early movement, the founder and early members blended the Andean folklore and teachings in Hebrew Bible. The approaches were successful because indigenous people of Peru still uphold the traditional belief even when they have become part of Roman Catholic Church. The group movement promoted agricultural practices adopted from the Inca Empire in the past and it was combined with the Ten Commandment from the Bible. The Israelite belief mentions that the Promised Land is not Israel but it is the Peruvian Amazon. Then,, they also believe that their founder has gained revelation from the God at the Machu Picchu that becomes the historical site of Inca Empire. The movement was successful and there were large group member. In addition to their beliefs, they also adopted the lifestyle as interpreted from the Old Testament in Bible. Thus, the men in the group have long hair and they grow their beards. Then, women wear robes and scarves. Even, lying and stealing are highly prohibited as what is ruled in in Ten Commandments in the Bible. They really follow the interpretation and lifestyle in the Bible.
Once the group becomes political party, the movement becomes clearer and they have goals to achieve in their political struggles. Their main concern is to eradicate the corruption. In the campaign, Frepap said that they will bring transparency in the political movement and policies as the prevention of corruption. The clear goal of Frepap surely gained interest of many people and they could gain enough numbers of voters that made the party able to win the seats in election. In the movement, Frepap also did not follow what the evangelicals and Catholics in their movement of anti-LGBTQ. They said that the LGBTQ are still Peruvians but they have evil in their blood so they do not agree with their way and sexual preference.