The connection between Maduro and evangelicals in Venezuela within the Christian movement

The Evangelical Christian Movement for Venezuela (Mocev) is a union of men and women who believe in God. Established in 2017, Mocev has become a key part of Chavismo within the Venezuelan evangelical community, particularly during election periods. With around 5 thousand associated pastors and a presence in all 24 states of the country, Mocev actively participates in religious acts, government events, and actions by the PSUV.

During the 2018 Venezuelan presidential elections, Mocev openly supported the re-election of dictator Nicolás Maduro, endorsing the continuation of the regime started by late dictator Hugo Chávez. The movement is led by Pastor Moisés García, who is also a deputy in the National Assembly for the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV). Despite this support for the regime, not all Venezuelan evangelicals align with its position.

The relationship between Mocev and the Maduro regime goes beyond symbolism, with the movement actively participating in religious acts and government events. During election periods, Mocev offers local evangelical leaders to hold rallies that target support from evangelicals, particularly poorer members of society. However, not all evangelicals agree with this position. The Venezuelan Evangelical Council established in 1972 emphasizes separating Church and State and promoting freedom of religion. Religious persecution and violence against Christians have been reported by organizations monitoring religious freedom.

As Venezuela approaches presidential elections scheduled for July 28th, dictator Maduro has intensified his campaigning alongside evangelicals and Mocev. This election cycle has seen increased persecution against opposition parties as Maduro seeks divine intervention from evangelical pastors to lift international sanctions imposed on Venezuela. Additionally, announcements were made about new benefits for the evangelical community further solidifying their alliance with Maduro’s regime.

Overall, while there are differing opinions among Venezuelan evangelicals regarding their relationship with Chavismo and President Maduro’s administration, it seems that some see their faith as an opportunity to promote political change while others see it as an opportunity to maintain power at any cost.

By Sophia Gonzalez

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