Two evangelical ministers in Venezuela announced their candidacy in the presidential race on April 22, 2018.
Javier Bertucci, leader of the Maranatha Pentecostal Church, is the first official challenger of incumbent Nicolas Maduro, reports Venezuelan Analysis.
“I want to make this nation great, I want to bring Jesus to this nation, because Jesus dignifies the heart of any believer,” the 48-year-old pastor said during his weekly religious TV program.
A neophyte in the political scene, Bertucci vowed to share the Good News to Venezuelans through national broadcast every Sunday. The pastor is not well-known in the South American country, but he believes that he can unseat the leftist leader.
In addition to his church, Bertucci heads The Gospel Changes, a religious volunteer organization with 100,000 members. He has faith that citizens would vote for him following the various programs he created for the poor, including the soup kitchen during the country’s economic crisis. The pastor said merging politics and religion is what Venezuela needs.
Meantime, Luis Alejandro Ratti, a preacher and former head of the Hugo Chavez Bolivarian Front, confirmed that he is running for the presidency. He promised to “represent the people with chivalry, bravery, and without fear, guaranteeing that they are going to have a different path than the last twenty years.”
Both Bertucci and Ratti are not affiliated with any registered political party in Venezuela. They are obligated to gather tens of thousands of signatures to validate their candidacies.