When I meet new people here in Perú or make new friends one of the first questions I
get right into my face is if I believe in God or not. I get a little shock whenever I hear that question partly because there are more questions that follow, i.e. whether I’m a catholic, what church I go to, if there are many catholics in Russia, etc. Recently we had a new volunteer here from France who is atheist. It was funny, I was a witness of one occasion when she got the same question and she honestly said No, next few seconds there was a silence, because people who asked her didn’t know how to react to that answer. In Perú, whether you believe it or not, there is God and he or she is everywhere! Almost all moto taxis have signs saying that Jesus loves you, cities are built around cathedrals, religious schools and obligatory religion classes in public schools. While in Lima my host invited me to only one museum and that happens to be a Museum of Inquisition. That’s a hell of a museum, I should say. The expositions shows many interesting tools invented to save you from eternal punishment. I was very grateful to God that I don’t live in those days. One of the first things I saw while in Lima was this procession dedicated to some holiday. People were carrying this statue of an angel, it was really heavy so they had to stop several times on their way and take turns. I was invited recently to a Christmas dinner and the first glass of champagne was for the Lord. Here in the community we have prayers before every meal and before opening the sale in the store where people stand in the circle, hold hands and give thanks/petitions. Poor french girl, she had to stand in the circle with us as well. The local market here is the place where people simply yell all the time to get attention and thus customers. It happens that the people that yell the most through their speakers are preachers that recite some text from the Bible or warn you about upcoming judgement.
Continent #2 – religion. This is something that gets you… categorized. If you believe this you belong here, if you believe that you belong there and NOT here. Separation by faith.