Two leading evangelicals are currently helping draft a new constitution for the fifteen million people of Peru. They form part of a Constitutional Assembly of 100 elected delegates, chosen from 1,200 candidates.
The evangelicals are Pedro Arana and Arnaldo Alvarado. Arana, better known outside Peru, is the secretary of the International Fellowship of Evangelical Students (the umbrella organization for groups such as Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship) for western South America. He is also an elder in the Presbyterian Church of Pueblo Libre (Lima), having studied theology in Edinburgh, Scotland. Alvarado is a former race car driver and member of the Christian and Missionary Alliance Church of Lima.
Alvarado has long been a participant in the American Popular Revolutionary Alliance political party (APRA), which won the majority of seats in the Assembly. Arana also ran under APRA sponsorship, although he has not yet joined the party in spite of receiving the fourth highest total of votes for any APRA candidate. Arana believes it was the evangelical balloting that elected him, even though evangelicals total only about 2 per cent of the population of Peru.
A third evangelical candidate, however, Luciano Wise, was eliminated.
The task before the Assembly, which was convened last July, is to write a new constitution that will incorporate the socialist changes brought to the country during eleven years of military rule. If the Assembly fails to do this, several generals have warned that its work will be annulled. Upon completion of an acceptable document, elections are to be called immediately for a civilian government. The Assembly has until July 28, 1979, to finish its assignment.
Arana is participating in a study group on state and ...1
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