Zelaya Returns: But How Will Honduras Move Forward?

By Andrew Clouse 09-21-2009

Earlier this morning Radio Globo -- a pro-resistance radio source -- broke the news that Manuel "Mel" Zelaya, the deposed president of Honduras, has arrived in Tegucigalpa and was calling his supporters to meet him. I was initially skeptical, but more and more news sources, and now the U.S. State Department, are confirming his arrival.

Yesterday at my small church in a marginal neighborhood in Tegucigalpa, one of the church leaders, who is part of the resistance, said in his sermon: "We are stuck. We haven't moved forward, we haven't moved back." If Zelaya has returned it will be a big step. But what will follow? De facto president Roberto Micheletti has repeatedly said that Zelaya will be arrested if he returns. The entire government, the country's elite, and much of civil society is against Zelaya. Now there may be two presidents in the country at the same time. How can this possibly end well?

This news brings with it a whole host of questions and worries. What will happen when thousands of Mel supporters, fueled by the tension that has been building for the last three months, meet the police who are sent to arrest him? If he really is back, what will this do to a society that is seriously fragmented and teetering on the brink of violence? How do we, as Christians, bring the two sides together to not let the world pull apart what God has united?

This coming Sunday all Christians have been called together for a Day of Fasting and Prayer to reflect on how the church can be part of true country transformation. Behind this movement is the belief that neither Mel nor Micheletti offers a way forward for this country. Christians here and all over the world have to unite behind the Bible's message of justice, peace, and love. Change begins with individuals. Individuals transform their communities, and communities can transform countries. I believe that this new situation, which some will call a step forward and others a step backward, reiterates just how important this day of prayer and fasting is.

Please pray for Honduras today, and this Sunday during the Day of Fasting and Prayer. You can also read more about the political situation at www.ajs-us.org/HondurasPoliticalCrisis.

Andrew Clouse works with a Christian development agency in Tegucigalpa.

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