For the past few days, I have been present at a Theological Conference in Mexico City. The theme of the conference is "The Hope of Liberation and Theology". There were 6 sub-themes to the conference: City participation, Human Rights, Economy, Ecology, Ecclesiastical Participation, and Immigration.
In order to talk about these issues, we broke into smaller groups. I found myself in the group that was talking about Immigration. We explored the life of immigrants, challenges posed to them, and what our response as religious people should be.
The immigrant's journey is a process: Leaving, traveling, and returning. It is a journey that may take years to complete, and sometimes may never be completed. The return step is particularly difficult due to various reasons including economic ones. Our response, we decided, to this process needs to be one of accompaniment and hospitality.
Though we didn't have enough time to cover it, I think it is also important to pay attention to the causes of immigration as well. (When) Immigration is a break in community, it is the result of systemic sin. When we fail to work to repair that community, either simply through acts such as hospitality or by working to transform the system, individual sin enters. It is our responsibility to care for community and relationships for any of our neighbors.
The conference also had some brilliant speakers: Enrique Dussel, Doris Mayol, Emilio Icaza, Alejandro Solalinde, Pedro Pantoja, Oscar Enriquez, and Maria Pilar Aquino. Topics of liberation theology, new paradigms of biblical and theological interpretation, religious initiatives to transform violent conflict, and a panel on peace and human rights. In addition to all of this, the conference had undertones of women's rights and indigenous rights.
Overall, it has been a pleasure to be a part of conversations of faith and be able to meet people here in Mexico who are part of those conversations. I am very glad to have been a part of it.
Should you be interested in getting some more information, feel free to email me or check out the website here.