Religion and the roots of civilization
This message is stark in a city that has amassed nearly 10,000 murders in the last three-and-a-half years, the majority of the dead being the young people themselves who populate the hundreds of gangs in the city. The project's coordinator, Carlos Mayorga, explained that the idea came out of the need to bring to the city's regular people, and the criminals, messages that "seek peace" and that call people to "draw near to God", in one of the city's most difficult moments.
In these ways, the people of faith in Juárez are seeking to rescue and to defend their city. Perhaps the population can find in religious faith the rest and hope it needs. It is when religion asserts itself in a post-modern, secularized world that the power inherent in religion can be put to work to fill people with hope for a better life. The hope is to generate, once again, civilization through the practice of faith. And that is the heart of the matter.
Daniel E. Valles is a Juárez-based writer and TMP contributor. His column "El Meollo del Asunto" (The Heart of the Matter) appears regularly throughout Mexico and Latin America.
English translation of this article provided by TMP online editor Richard Potts.