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Prayercast | Venezuela

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Uploaded on May 2, 2011

Venezuela is one of the most bio-diverse nations in the world, with the snow-capped Andes Mountains to the West, the lush Amazon rainforest in the South, and pristine Caribbean beaches along the coast. However, socially it is fragmented into two distinct groups: rich and poor. Two-thirds of its 26.1 million inhabitants live below the poverty line, with one-fourth living in inadequate housing. The top fifth of all Venezuelans control the majority of the wealth.

Unfortunately this social gap extends into Venezuela's religious culture as well. The vast majority (96%) of Venezuelans claim to be Catholic, but less than one-third of them attend mass once a year. Therefore, it is no surprise that 80% of Venezuelans view Catholicism as merely a part of their culture and tradition, not a living faith or personal relationship with God, making Venezuela the least religious nation in the Americas.

The elite and upper middle class dominate the religious hierarchy and maintain the traditions of the institutional Church. As one descends the social ladder, he finds that the poor in rural domains and urban neighborhoods are unsure of Catholic doctrine, often blending it with folk spiritualism, and are leery of Christian beliefs that do not conform to their local culture and traditions.

Finding themselves disconnected from the Catholic Church hierarchy, many of these poor and marginalized Venezuelans are finding eternal life in Christ and the strength to endure their difficult lives. The number of evangelical Christians in Venezuela has more than doubled in the last twenty years, and two new churches are planted each day. But so many of these new believers come from dysfunctional backgrounds damaged by drugs, crime, poverty, abuse and spiritualism. These churches are working hard to help their brothers and sisters realize their new lives in Christ and grow in discipleship.

Venezuelans need to know that Christ loves each of them individually no matter what their social status. They need to hear and understand that He died, was buried, rose again and ascended to the Father for them and will give them the Holy Spirit to empower them in gaining victory in this life and the next. Please pray for them.

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