Pingstvänner minskar våldet

gang

Polis med gängmedlemmar

Jag brukar ju dissa religion, men det finns fall där dess effekter är positiva. En ny studie* klargör att pingstvänner i Honduras tycks ha en våldsreducerande effekt:

Ethnographic research on Pentecostal youth in a Honduran colonia reveals the ways in which they maneuver through the violence in their community. They maintain an uneasy relationship with gang members in which they claim exemption from everyday violence because of their belief in being saved. Drawing on Pentecostalism’s doctrine of separation from community life, they exclude themselves from violent retribution by appealing to their rights to the sanctuary of the church. A call to the sanctuary of Pentecostalism also allows many gang members to escape the violence of street life. Pentecostal conversion is thus one way for young men to present a reformed persona that the larger community affirms.

Efter ett besök i Guatemala 2006 inser jag behovet av våldsreduktion i dessa länder. Överallt stod beväpnade vakter, vilket kändes olustigt, minst sagt. Det var knappt att jag vågade mig utanför hotellet.

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*Wolseth, Jon (2008). ”Safety and Sanctuary: Pentecostalism and Youth Gang Violence in Honduras.” Latin American Perspectives, 35(4): 96-111.