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Radio Diospi Suyana

A “no” to alcohol and a “yes” to life

This stall should be present on every Peruvian marketplace

The idea was born years ago when ophthalmologist, Dr Ursula Buck, saw the awful consequences of alcohol consumption in the Andes: setting up an information stall during the many city festivals that take place on Curahuasi’s market square.

Alcohol and drunk-driving are the main reasons for the many, severely-injured, crash victims that we treat at the Hospital Diospi Suyana. Alcohol is the dominating factor that causes so many family tragedies, be they abuse, neglect or violence. No one can count the children conceived out of wedlock during wild orgies in the Peruvian hill-country where the alcohol rules the roost. It is really difficult to curb the misuse of alcohol, since so many shops and companies earn loads of money and knowingly cause so much misery.

Years ago a Health Minister told me: “Dr Klaus, we must curb alcohol’s power. I plan to start a huge campaign!” These attempts are noble and good, but in order to change the hearts and minds of the populus one needs to do much more than simply distribute information flyers and have good intentions. Instead one needs the inner strength to conquer alcohol’s slavery. And now the good news: Millions of South Americans have proven that a practical faith in Jesus Christ is the correct source of strength for this battle. Personal addictions can be really be conquered and also inthe long-term.

Most of the Peruvian Protestant Churches have issued a general prohibition of alcoholic drinks. This reaction has to be read in the light of the tragic historical background, since for centuries alcohol has held the Indian rural population ever so in its grip.

In Peru over the past 25 years the percentage of evangelical Christians has risen from under 5% to over 15%. The church’s strict approach has positively transformed swathes of the country. The solution to this massive social problem was and is the Christian faith. This strategy works since God really exists and answers prayer. /KDJ