Oscar Romero (1980) - “I don’t believe in death without resurrection”
Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy. Proverbs 31:8-9
Oscar’s life was threatened many times because he spoke out against the injustices perpetrated by the regime of his birthplace, El Salvador in Central America. The country was governed by a small elite who ruled through money and violence. Oscar was a man of prayer who was troubled by the violence of the regime and also by the Marxist beliefs of the Salvadorian resistance movement. For a long while he did not make any protest, but within a year of becoming archbishop of San Salvador he underwent a transformation. He started to speak out against the regime’s injustices and gave support to the resistance, much to the government’s displeasure. Two months before he died he wrote in a Mexican newspaper:
“My life has been threatened many times. I have to confess that, as a Christian, I don’t believe in death without resurrection. If they kill me, I will rise again in the Salvadorian people… As a Shepherd I am obliged by Divine Law to give my life for those I love, for the entire Salvadorian people, including those who threaten to assassinate me. If they should go so far as to carry out their threats, I want you to know that I now offer my blood to God for justice and the resurrection of El Salvador…”
On 24 March 1980, just as he finished preaching, a shot rang out. He fell and died on the spot.
You don’t have a soul. You are a soul. You have a body.
C S Lewis (1898-1963), Mere Christianity
Dr Patrick Sookhdeo is the International Director of Barnabas Fund and the Executive Director of the Oxford Centre for Religion and Public Life.
Originally appeared on Isaac Publishing