World Council of Churches general secretary Samuel Kobia has congratulated Fernando Lugo, the former Catholic bishop in Paraguay known as the “bishop of the poor,” on his victory in Paraguay’s recent presidential election. “We have been moved by your statements, both during the election campaign and after being elected, that reflect the rich tradition of a Latin American Christianity that has struggled to follow Jesus amidst a reality marked by inequality and injustice,” Kobia said in a message published April 30. Lugo, who will be inaugurated August 15 for a five-year term, won with promises to redistribute income and undertake land reform. His success broke the political tradition of Paraguay, where the Colorado Party had ruled for 61 years. That party’s candidate, Blanca Ovelar, conceded defeat April 20. The Vatican opposes clergy members holding political office and had demanded that Lugo halt his pursuits.