The land is God's gift to everyone," affirmed leaders from Latin American and U.S. churches in a statement supporting Brazil's Landless Workers Movement. The national movement, which began in 1984 and has won land for 250,000 families, has been increasingly vilified in the Brazilian press.
The church statement, signed by leading theologians, bishops, and pastors, was published during a conference on Christianity in Latin America and the Caribbean held in July in Sao Paulo. The statement concluded by saying that Jesus Christ strengthens the path of the poor of the earth. Also, the U.S. National Council of Churches published an open letter to the Landless Workers Movement during the conference, supporting "its admirable action in favor of justice in the countryside and education for the poorest of Brazil."