Honduras has been in the news a lot for the last decade mostly for 1 reason, all the mass migration and caravans that leave Honduras and try to make it to the US Border. Politicians and Conservative Media only react with anger and call for border walls to stop this. The US Government puts more pressure on the Mexican Government to crack down on these caravans when they reach the Mexican Border. There is a lot of effort from the United States to stop people from leaving Honduras 🇭🇳. The question is, has any of this worked? NO. These are secular solutions which don’t deal with the root causes of why Honduras is such an unstable mess. How about a different approach? What can the Church do?
The reason so many Hondurans leave their country is for many reasons.
- Honduras is very poor. Honduras is the 4th poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. It is a very underdeveloped country. According to the World Bank 66% of Hondurans live in poverty. https://www.worldbank.org/en/country/honduras The country deals with lots of unemployment. There are a lack of employment opportunities and many people live in poor shacks. The country is a 3rd world nation.
- Honduras is a very violent country. Honduras has one of the highest murder rates in the world 🌎 outside of a war zone. In 2011, the country had the world’s highest murder rate. Honduras has a serious crime problem. There is much gang violence. Many Honduran youth join gangs since there aren’t many jobs. Cocaine Smuggling is rampant in Honduras, and sadly crime pays. Ever since a military coup, the country has seen a surge of political assassinations. Journalists, Enviromental activists, human rights lawyers, etc. The combination of political violence and criminal violence continues destabilizing the nation.
- The Current Government of Honduras is a very repressive and corrupt dictatorship. The Police and Military Forces of Honduras regularly engage in deadly repression against their own people and assassinate anyone who stands up to government corruption
These horrible realities show that Honduras is a country in turmoil. So much evil happens in Honduras and their government is the center of it. This shows that there is much spiritual darkness in Honduras and many people don’t have Jesus Christ in their lives. Here are some detailed reports of how terrible the government of Honduras is from Human Rights Organizations https://freedomhouse.org/country/honduras https://www.hrw.org/americas/honduras You will read about how brutal the government of Honduras is and corrupt. As many high level government officials in Honduras are involved in cocaine smuggling. Clearly anyone who is a follower of Jesus would not engage in such corrupt criminal activities. So where does the church fit into this? What can Christians do?
For many years there have been American church groups going on short term mission trips to Honduras. Volunteering to help build houses 🏠, build wells, and other good things to help with the poverty. But it has had a small impact. There is a church presence in Honduras, but it is mostly cultural. Many Hondurans claim to be Catholic but don’t live it faithfully. It is a very religious culture, yet many of those same people live corrupt lives. People in Honduras need the true Gospel. The Catholic Church in Honduras needs to decline and the Protestant Church needs to increase. Some International Evangelism Groups such as Every Home For Christ operate in Central America including Honduras and share the Gospel with people door to door. This is a good start, but more is needed. Most of the American Missionary Groups that operate in Honduras try to stay on the “good side” of the Honduras Dictatorship out of fear of the consequences. Such as being kicked out of the country or worse.
The Lutheran Church in Honduras has recently become more proactive than other denominations and trying to deal with the societal problems. For instance, the Lutheran Church in Honduras has been teaching job skills such as sewing 🧵 to Hondurans who have been deported back to Honduras from the United States 🇺🇸 . When Hondurans have jobs skills they are less likely to join a gang. The Lutheran Church in Honduras has also become very vocal against the government to denounce the corruption and repression that has caused hundreds of Hondurans to flee. https://www.lutheranworld.org/news/honduran-church-denounces-corruption-injustice In this article the leadership of the Lutheran Church in Honduras have denounced the corruption and repression of their government and the injustices that happen every day. This is a huge part of the solution. The dictatorship of Honduras needs to be told what it is doing is wrong. The leadership of Honduras needs to repent from their violent repression of their own people.
What can Christians in the United States do? If we want to stop seeing caravans of Hondurans trying to reach the US border, then we need to pray. Pray for more people in Honduras to know Christ. Pray that violence decreases in Honduras. Pray for the faithful Churches in Honduras who are risking their lives in confronting corruption in their country. Christians in the United States can share the Gospel of Christ with the Honduran Migrants at the US Border. Maybe you might consider going on a mission trip to Honduras. But be wise about that. I myself would not be able to travel to Honduras and leave alive.
Another thing Americans must be aware of is the role of the United States Government in this. https://www.southcom.mil/MEDIA/NEWS-ARTICLES/Article/2099841/jtf-bravo-honduran-leaders-recognize-strong-bonds-at-soto-cano/ The United States Government is allies with the dictatorship of Honduras. The US Government has hoped by sending US Military Advisors to Honduras to train the military of Honduras and supplying American military aid, that Honduras would become a more stable country. This has not happened. Since 1983 the US Military has had a base in Honduras. Known as the Soto Cano Airbase. The US claims it is training the security forces of Honduras to reduce crime and help fight cocaine smuggling. Yet time and time again, the Honduran Military and Police abuse American military aid and kill and repress their own people. Along with this, so many police in Honduras engage in cocaine smuggling and take bribes from drug smugglers, instead of trying to stop it. The United States is aware of this corruption yet continues to supply regular military weaponry and training to the corrupt government of Honduras. This does not help Honduras become less violent. The more the Honduran Army terrorizes their citizens, more people want to leave. This is a waste of American money and aid. Americans who want to see a change must also voice to the US Government that our military aid to that country is wrong. The United States Government needs to hold the Dictatorship of Honduras accountable to see any positive change. Since that is unlikely to happen on its own, Christians need to pray. These things need to change
In conclusion there is much work to do in Honduras. Simply ignoring the crisis in that country isn’t helping. The immigrants keep coming, don’t they? Instead of reacting with anger and prejudice at Hondurans trying to leave their country, do something about the root causes if you want it to stop. Border walls and deportations are not a permanent solution to stop Hondurans being killed and terrorized by their own government while living in 3rd world poverty. Check your heart and imagine what you would do if you were in their shoes. There are no secular solutions to these problems. Christians cannot leave it up to secular politicians to fix spiritual problems. It’s time for the church to make Jesus name known to Honduras all the more.