Christians Call for Peace, Prayer in Bolivia

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CWN.org - It's been a devastating week in the South American nation of Bolivia. Political strife and riots brought the country to the brink of civil war.

And as the situation deteriorated out of control, the country's Christians cried out for peace.

Click play to watch for more on what's at stake in Bolivia from CWN's Stan Jeter, following this report.

Violence, looting and killings have increased the threat of a civil war in Bolivia. The simmering conflict between President Evo Morales and opposition forces erupted into violence over the past weeks.

In Cobija, capital of the jungle state of Pando, government soldiers retook the airport from anti-government protestors. The troops fired into the air, but some shot into the crowd, leaving several dead.

One victim was a visiting Christian evangelist. Family members say he was there trying to pacify the crowd. Local television images showed Pastor Luis Rivero after he was shot.

Scenes like that prompted evangelicals to rally for peace in Santa Cruz, a stronghold of the opposition. Church leaders called on Bolivia's political leaders to work for reconciliation.

"May God intervene to heal us of our hatred and bitterness," pastor Julio Cesar Suarez said at the rally. "To heal us of our racism and divisionism. To heal us of our idolatry and paganism."

Christian leaders also called for a day of fasting and prayer for Bolivia.

"All the church, all Christians, abstain from solid food and call on the name of God to defeat the forces of evil," Pastor Caballero of United Churches of Santa Cruz said.

Meanwhile, government and opposition leaders met to work out their differences, with little hope of success.

A few hours after the rally, opposition and government leaders surprised the public with an agreement, allowing Bolivia to step back from the brink of civil war.

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Gary Lane

Gary Lane

CBN News Reporter

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