Venezuela's unpredictable dictator appeals to Jesus to heal his cancer

He's been tied to narco-terrorism, al-Qaida, the Taliban and widespread corruption. Now, Hugo Chavez appears on national TV pleading with Jesus to heal his cancer that has defied Cuban doctors.

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either for that matter, reported Timothy C. Morgan for Christianity Today magazine in 2009, noting Chavez’s expulsion of missionaries from Venezuela and a number of anti-Jewish incidents blamed on Chavez.

Chavez in a 2007 photo in front of a portrait of 19th Century hero Simon Bolivar

“Recently, the U.S. Commission for International Religious Freedom put a spotlight on government-sponsored anti-Semitism,” wrote Morgan. “The Commission sent letters earlier this month to U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs Thomas Shannon Jr. and to U.N. Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion and Belief Asma Jahangir expressing concern about increasing incidents.”

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In particular, the report cited an attack on the Tiferet Israel Synagogue in the Venezuelan capital of Caracas and quoted Commission Chair Felice D. Gaer saying, “Over the past several years, the Jewish community has suffered as President Chavez and government-affiliated media publicly made anti-Semitic remarks and published anti-Semitic cartoons and opinions.”

Morgan also recounted Chavez’ expulsion of hundreds of Christian missionaries, accusing them of contaminating the cultures of indigenous populations. His Ministry of Interior revoked their permission to serve in the Venezuelan jungles or run schools, clinics and nutrition centers that had been in operation for decades. Chavez called the missionaries “imperialists” and proclaimed he felt “ashamed” at their presence.

Singled out by Chavez was New Tribes Ministries, “which preaches to non-Christian indigenous peoples,” reported the BBC, “one of Latin America’s biggest missionary organizations” which ”has 3,200 workers and operates in 17 countries, with operations in West Africa and Southeast Asia, too.”

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