Murder of pastors leaves evangelicals in Honduras feeling vulnerable

According to Compass Direct News, Pastor Carlos Roberto Marroquín was shot last week as he walked his dogs near to his home in the Colonia Aurora neighbourhood of San Pedro Sula, the country’s second largest city.

Marroquín was founding pastor of the Pentecostal Church of God in San Pedro Sulam and a prominent figure in other Christian organisations, including the Latin American Network of Christian Lawyers.

The police are treating the pastor as a victim of robbery as the two gunmen reportedly asked the 41-year-old to hand over his mobile phone.

However, some in the evangelical church fear that he was deliberately targeted as part of a wider attack on the work of the church.

Local Pastor Roy Santos was quoted by Compass Direct as saying: “I cannot believe [Pastor Marroquín’s murder] was for stealing. The authorities have to act. He was a man who gave a message of hope.”

Misael Argeñal, a pastor of Harvest Ministry, called upon the authorities to launch a full investigation into the murder of Pastor Marroquín and others.

He was quoted as saying: “This was not a dog theft. There are already six pastors who have died in Honduras in recent months. There must be a project, an escalation … [the authorities] must investigate who is behind everything.”

Oswaldo Canales, president of the Evangelical Fellowship of Honduras, said Marroquín had received death threats prior to the shooting, although he added that this was not uncommon for pastors in the evangelical church.

“We have always been subjected to threats; we have been in the cross-hairs of those who are not in keeping with our thinking,” he said.

Marroquín is the second pastor to be murdered in Honduras this year. Raymond Fuentes, the 43-year-old pastor of the New Jerusalem Temple, was murdered on January 30 as he left evening service at his church.

His death came just days after the murder of the daughter of an evangelical pastor.