Christians cry out for God's intervention as Venezuela's economic woes take a turn for the worse
Christians are crying out for mercy in Venezuela, imploring God to intervene to put their nation back on its feet amid the chaos and confusion following the declaration of a state of emergency by socialist leader President Nicolas Maduro, CBN News reports.
Critics are pinning the economic crisis on Maduro who is under pressure to approve a recall referendum that could most likely remove him from office.
Venezuelans have long been experiencing shortages of food and water and skyrocketing inflation, despite being the fifth-largest exporter of oil in the world.
But the situation has worsened in recent weeks with the government taking one desperate measure after another. To save electricity, the government shut down many of its offices for all but two half-days each week, The New York Times reports.
The courts and other government offices are closed most days. The government even converted its public defender's office into a food bank for government employees, according to NYT.
Electricity and water are being rationed, and huge areas of the country have spent months with little of either.
The health care system has also crumbled, with hospitals lacking basic medicine and equipment, according to CBN News.
Many Venezuelans are leaving the country in search of a better life in America. Many of those left behind could only turn to God for mercy.
Churches in the capital Caracas recently organised a prayer walk. Thousands came to the main streets of the city crying out to God to ease their misery.
Under the slogan "I pray for my country," dozens of Christians marched and prayed for unity of the church and for God to finally intervene to end their country's plight.
"We need to turn to God, cry out to the Lord and ask him to intervene," Pastor Jaime Perez said.
"We are motivated more than ever to pray for Venezuela, because the situation is very critical," Pastor Enrique Soto, with Maranatha Church, said. "Only prayer and the unity of the body of Christ will make the country better."
Venezuela's growing economic crisis is being fuelled by low prices for oil, the country's main export; a drought that has crippled the country's ability to generate hydroelectric power; and a long decline in manufacturing and agricultural production, according to NYT.
Venezuela's government says the problems are the result of an "economic war" being waged by elites who are hoarding supplies, as well as the American government's efforts to destabilise the country.
But most economists agree that Venezuela is suffering from years of economic mismanagement, including over-dependence on oil and price controls that led many businesses to stop making products.
Most Venezuelans appear resigned to the situation they are in. "It's in God's hands now," says Luis Ríos, a Caracas resident, echoing a common phrase heard in the country.