Four Christian men were attacked with knives and sticks and forced to eat sheets of the Bible in a recent, shocking incident in Venezuela. It took place in Libertador, a city in Mérida state. The perpetrators are believed to oppose the work of Restoration House, a church-led drug rehabilitation programme which the four victims had joined.
In Latin America, the illegal activities of drug gangs are endangered by churches who deter people from criminality. This can lead to opposition against Christians and may explain this latest incident in Venezuela.
Opposition and threats emerged in weeks leading to attack
The four men were in the house when eight hooded men broke in and began hurling curses at them. The group destroyed the house, scarred the men with Xs and forced them to eat pages from the Bible. “The criminals covered our faces and started to beat and stab us,” one of the victims reports.
Pastor Dugarte, who set up Restoration House with his wife, says that threats about the home had been made prior to the attack. “Weeks before the attack, in the middle of a meeting discussing neighbourhood issues, two men said they were going to end the Restoration House because they did not agree with this type of programme,” he reports.
To appease neighbours, Pastor Dugarte agreed with the neighbourhood council to reduce the beneficiaries of the house from ten to six men. However, the two men still took issue with the programme. A few days before the incident, the attackers asked Pastor Dugarte for a list of people in the rehabilitation centre, but the pastor refused them.
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SOURCE: Open Doors