Venezuala's Presidential Race Dividing Evangelicals

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Election polls are predicting a tight contest this Sunday as Venezuelans vote for their next president.

In rallies across the country, President Hugo Chavez promised to redouble his efforts to establish a socialist system in Venezuela if re-elected.

During a massive opposition rally in Caracas last Sunday, challenger Henrique Capriles accused the government of failing to solve the country's pressing problems, including the soaring murder rate and crumbling infrastructure.

Venezuelan politics have polarized the country, creating sharp divisions even in the evangelical church.

Pastor Enger Sangronis, with Gigal Church in Caracas, said he is concerned that the situation could get worse. 

"If President Chavez wins the election, this polarization will not only continue but could become radical. If the candidate from the opposition wins, I expect many evangelicals from the Chavez camp will try to have a confrontation with the new winners," Sangronis said.

"So this is a real concern for us as evangelical pastors, and that's why we're asking the Lord's people to pray for all who are in power," he said.

One of the latest polls shows opposition candidate Capriles leading in voter preference by six points.      

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