Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Christian persecution in Venezuela subtle, but definitely present

Persecution in Venezuela is subtle,
but could get much worse.
VOM spokesman Greg Musselman recently spoke with Mission Network News (MNN) regarding the Venezuelan government’s subtle oppression of the nation’s Christians.

Over the last year, the government has shifted away from overt forms of Christian persecution to pressuring pastors and Christian leaders, said Musselman.

“We don't see the more demonstrative persecution--church buildings set on fire, or people thrown into prison,” said Musselman.

He spoke with Venezuelan church leader Colonel Nelson Castro, who said it might not stay that way for long.

"I firmly believe that there is going to be a law passed that will modify the way churches gather, and there will be a price to pay. I think that is what is ahead,” said Castro.

The “minor” forms of persecution taking place right now are crafted in such a way to keep the country off the radar of religious freedom watchdogs.

People are losing jobs. Church buildings are being closed down and are unable to meet. It looks like there’s freedom for Christians, but that’s not the case.

“You can have Christian radio stations in Venezuela IF you agree to some very strict regulations. One of those regulations is that you cannot speak out in any way against the government,” said Musselman.

Churches that are not in alliance with the government aren’t granted licenses or permits to build or renovate. Pressures like these make it easier for Christians to compromise.

Colonel Castro says, "Preaching the Gospel will always bring consequences, but we have to continue to preach Christ as Jesus as our King, no matter what that brings."

For the full report, click here.

Pray for the church in Venezuela!
  • Pray the church and its leaders will be strong in the face of persecution and difficulty.
  • Pray leaders will prepare their people with what the Bible says about persecution and difficulty.
  • Pray that the church in Venezuela will mature.

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