'Tired of politicized pastors': Maduro alerts Pope that Venezuelans are DITCHING Catholicism
"I want to tell you, dear Pope Francis, we now have the data that Venezuelans have been leaving Catholicism," Maduro stated in a speech, broadcast live on state TV on Friday.
"Nearly 40 percent are declaring themselves Evangelicals. That number used to be 3 percent."
Maduro stressed that people are getting "tired" of bishops who "use pulpits to express their political obsessions." Some clergymen "act like militants, not like pastors," he added.
The president had previously called on the local Catholic Church to stop being "involved into politics," and harshly criticized religious figures for holding events with Western-backed opposition leader Juan Guaido, who was declared interim president by anti-Maduro politicians in January last year.Also on rt.com Venezuela parliament speaker election: Chaos inside & outside, Guaido accused of provocation after he was ‘denied’ entry
Some bishops have openly urged Maduro to step down during his standoff with Guaido.
"Bishops must learn to respect the people who don't want to see pulpits politicized," the president said during his state-of-the-nation address earlier this week.
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