Bolivia is a country in central South America. It has about 8.1% Roman Catholic population while 7.9% of the population is Protestant.
Bolivian President Evo Morales is about to pass a new law in the country which is called Penal Code. The Christians in the country are worried about this law since according to Penal Code no evangelism is allowed. It a state abuse against Christians in a Christian dominated country.
The Article 88.11 says, “Whoever recruits, transports, deprives of freedom or hosts people with the aim of recruiting them to take part in armed conflicts or religious or worship organizations will be penalized 5 to 12 years imprisonment.”
The implementation of this law would stop about 2 million Christian preachers in Bolivia.
A National Emergency Commission has begun by the National Association of Evangelicals in the country. This commission will examine the effect of the Penal Code on the public. It also predicted that new legislation could lead to have no more churches in the country.
The president Morales is opposing the Constitution of Bolivia which says, “The State respects and guarantees the freedom of religion and spiritual beliefs, according to their worldviews. The State is independent of religion”.
Many priests prayed in gathering in La Paz city outside Bolivian National Parliament for the freedom of Christianity. They say that these evangelical churches are used for people rehabilitation. Through evangelism pastors develop the countrymen ‘moral, spiritual, ethical and social conditions.’
Like Christian priests, journalists also opposed the new Penal Code implementation because the new law will ban the freedom of speech and media.
President Morales is a socialist who is against Israel and called it a ‘terrorist state’ in the past.
The new Penal Code law will unite Catholics and Evangelical Christians as it did in the past over abortion issue.