Venezuelan Church Leaders Ask for Prayer Amidst Country’s Political Crisis

Demonstrators run away from tear gas during clashes with riot police while rallying against Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro’s government in Caracas, Venezuela April 24, 2017. (PHOTO: REUTERS/CARLOS GARCIA RAWLINS)

Churches are some of the few institutions providing aid to Venezuela’s suffering population as the death toll continues to rise in the midst of the country’s political crisis which had led to 12 murders this month.

Reuters reported on Tuesday that a 42-year-old local government worker in the Andean state of Merida was shot dead at a rally in favor of President Nicolas Maduro, while another 54-year-old man was shot in the chest and killed during a protest in the western agricultural state of Barinas.

Venezuela has faced massive protests over the past month against Maduro, which have turned violent and have led to police using rubber bullets and tear gas against protesters, who in turn have been throwing rocks and using Molotov cocktails.

Maduro’s Socialist Party is accusing the United States of supporting the protests, though demonstrators have said that the president is to blame for the country’s spiraling economic crisis, and have accused him of jailing activists.

The violence in April has been the deadliest since 2014, when 43 people were killed in previous protests against Maduro and his running of the country.

Venezuela’s Supreme Court further fueled anger by unsurping the opposition-led National Assembly of power, with Trans World Radio’s International Vice President for Latin America and the Caribbean, Steve Shantz, explaining: “They basically stripped the opposition of their legislative powers and annulled the assembly. And, basically, that was viewed [by] the populace as a move toward total dictatorship by Maduro, the president.”

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SOURCE: The Christian Post
Stoyan Zaimov