As Guatemalans prepare for what are being described as the most significant elections in their country’s recent history, due to take place next month, the Bible Society of Guatemala has launched a national media campaign to promote the principles of biblical leadership. Marco Vinicio Martínez, the Society’s Director of Programs and Projects, describes the campaign and people’s reactions to it so far.
“These general elections on September 11 are taking place at a critical point in Guatemala’s political history, and their outcome will determine the future direction of our country. The political violence that we are experiencing and the lack of credibility of our institutions and leaders are all indicative of a crisis that needs to be addressed.
Very little hope
Apathy and pessimism have also set in: surveys show that Guatemalans believe that the situation in our country has worsened in recent years and that there is very little hope for a better future.
It is in this context that we have launched the campaign, Un gobierno como Dios manda (A government as God commands). The campaign has a relevant and pertinent message in the midst of the great challenges facing our country: that voters have a responsibility to choose future leaders wisely and prayerfully, and that God expects leaders to govern with justice, wisdom and integrity.
‘God-fearing and cannot be bribed’
These messages are conveyed through a series of key Scripture verses placed on ‘mupis’ (moving posters) across the country, at bus stops, metro stations and other highly visible places. For example, one poster quotes Exodus 18:21, which urges people to choose leaders who are ‘God-fearing…can be trusted and…cannot be bribed’. Isaiah 61:8 appears on another poster, reminding people that God ‘love(s) justice…and hate(s) oppression and crime.’
In addition to the posters, we are distributing 25,000 copies of a 43-page booklet about the principles of biblical leadership in churches, government offices, and to university students and members of political parties.
We are also placing advertisements in national newspapers and are using Twitter, Facebook, and our campaign website, www.ungobiernocomodiosmanda.org, to ensure that we reach as many people as possible. We hope that at least half a million people will be exposed to this campaign by the time the polls open.
We have already received a great deal of media interest in the campaign. Our press conference in late July was covered on national television and radio, and many articles have been written about it in the press and on the Internet.
Please join us in praying for our upcoming elections, asking that the people of Guatemala vote for a government that will honour God and bring peace, stability and prosperity to our country.”