Venezuela’s socialist regime has been at odds with the national Catholic Church since its inception more than 20 years ago and carried out the same logic as other communist governments by seeking the constant usurpation of religious authority to “redefine” Christianity and adjust it to its authoritarian objectives.
Venezuela has a long history of strong Christian faith. Currently, demographers estimate that up to 96 percent of Venezuela’s population is Catholic, which has always been a stumbling block to the implementation of socialism/communism given its clearly atheistic premises.
In this sense, Chavism has always had a rocking relationship with the Venezuelan church, seeking to get close enough to attract its followers, but confronting the traditional values of Catholicism to impose communism, which in itself is contrary to any religious belief.
When Hugo Chávez’s fight against cancer became the cornerstone of the Socialist Party’s discourse, the Revolution’s hostility towards the Venezuelan Catholic Church was drastically attenuated: and at that time, the government identified in religion and faith a driving force of the revolution and the 2012 presidential campaign.
But of course, its rapprochement with the Catholic Church could only be possible by distorting the teachings and intervening in the deepest traditions of Christian belief. In this sense, it became a common practice of the leftist discourse since then to distort the figure of Jesus Christ by claiming that he was a “socialist.”
During the celebration of the Palm Sunday mass in 2011, Hugo Chávez participated in the celebration almost as if he were another priest, giving a kind of homily where he assured that “the true Jesus, son of Mary, that carpenter boy, poor, anti-imperialist and stripped of himself, gave his life for all as a socialist,” he also added that “Jesus of Nazareth, is the greatest and true socialist of our era.”
During these words he also called for the creation of “Christian base committees” in the poorest neighborhoods. In this way Chávez managed to mix religion with politics, or better said, to make politics using religion as a tool.
Of all the parasitic attempts to join religion advantageously, the action that stands out from the rest is his attempt to hijack and twist the Lord’s Prayer and rewrite it all about Hugo Chavez, as opportunely reported by Breitbart. Fortunately, the intense reaction made the “Our Chavez” prayer ephemeral.
The Venezuelan Episcopal Conference has always had a critical stance against the Bolivarian Revolution, which has led them to endure constant hostilities ranging from offensive comments to desecration of religious images, hacking of websites, and direct attacks perpetrated by leftist collectives and paramilitary gangs serving the socialist revolution.
Recently, the beatification of Venezuelan Dr. José Gregorio Hernández generated a new rapprochement between Chavism and Christianity. This was obviously used by the socialist authorities to make political use of the situation.
The current Venezuelan leader Nicolas Maduro took advantage of this opportunity to sell a false “cure” for the coronavirus that only socialism could produce.
Maduro was at the forefront of the antics by using the name and miraculous story of Blessed Gregorio Hernandez for the advertising and promotion of Carvativir, an isothymol-based product that, according to Maduro, will cure any patient.
“Ten drops under the tongue every four hours and the miracle is done,” Maduro has repeatedly promised in televised broadcasts.
The Chinese Communist Party is the world’s great expert in politicizing religion to the point of its virtual extinction. The only Christian churches in China are those approved by the CCP, and even their bishops are appointed by the party.
Despite the renewal of the agreement between the CCP and the Vatican, which honestly has nothing to do with religion and is rather a political act of the Pope, the communist regime continues its policy of Sinilization (making things Chinese) on Christianity, and recently the website Bitter Winter, a great defender of religious freedom in China, published a series of reports on how the Chinese authorities are replacing the crosses of the churches with symbols of the regime such as the communist star.
Some situations may be disguised, but some realities are undeniable. Socialism and communism are, in essence, atheistic, and their foundations are against all religious tradition and belief, which is why, no matter how much for political convenience, certain leftist leaders “join the religious,” reality shows that socialism and religion are not compatible.