Venezuelan Christians call for prayer as country descends into crisis

Christians in Venezuela call for prayer as their country is in the throes of a major crisis. For several months, Venezuela has been facing a very deep political, economic and social crisis.

Lhe political crisis started at the end of 2015 when the opposition won the legislative elections. It intensified on March 30, when the Supreme Court, considered close to President Maduro, took over the powers vested in the parliament led by the opposition. This event led opposition leaders to label President Nicolás Maduro as a “dictator”. The opposition is now calling for early elections, but Hugo Chavez's successor refuses to organize a recall referendum. Asked by Mission Network News, Steve Shantz, Vice President of Trans World Radio's International for Latin America and the Caribbean said:

“The Christians of Venezuela ask us […] to pray for them, to pray for a solution to this situation. "

In this oil country, the economy collapsed after the drop in crude prices. Inflation forecast by the IMF in 2017 is 720%. Some experts expect it to continue to climb to 2000% in 2018. The majority of foods and medicines are nowhere to be found. According to Steve Shantz, the situation is so serious that “in some cases people are starving”.

In September 2016, nearly a million people had demonstrated in Caracas against the government in place. 8 out of 10 Venezuelans would demand a change of government.

This month, the opposition staged large protests to demand an early general election. They are violently repressed by the government, and have already killed 25 people.

The humanitarian situation is dire, the populations are hungry. The government tasked the military with distributing food, but they sold it on the black market, at prices 100 times the normal price.

The Church has become a place where people find help. Among other initiatives, a church manages to provide rice and beans to 120 children per week.

Pray for Venezuela.

HL

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