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Chilean Evangelical Christians “Rally for Jesus”

SANTIAGO – Hundreds of Evangelical Christians gathered last Saturday, October 27, at the front of La Moneda palace in a “Rally for Jesus” march. A few were injured after clashes with counter-protesters. The march had a key theme, one that has been the topic of an emotional debate in Chile.

The Evangelical Christians held a “Rally for Jesus” to commemorate the National Day of the Evangelical and Protestant Churches holiday. A key theme was “No more gender ideology,” and the event was punctuated by chants of “less government, more family” and “our children have a dad and a mom.”

The Evangelical organizers had the goal of mobilizing half a million in Santiago and 28 other cities. In Santiago, four columns of marchers converged at La Plaza de la Ciudadanía, in front of La Moneda, seat of the government, where the rally took place.

“The people of god will defeat the evil!”

The rally was intended to be a peaceful, “family affair,” but that peace was disrupted by anarchist aggressors who confronted the marchers on Bernardo O’Higgins avenue, the city’s key artery also known as La Alameda, in front of Gabriela Mistral cultural center, and threw paint bombs and other objects at them, while shouting counter-slogans and insults. This generated some panic and at least one carabinero was injured.

Afterwards, the rally continued, but the environment remained tense and many participants were visibly nervous. Downtown residents of Santiago also attacked the marchers verbally from their apartments, generating energetic chants from the marchers: “Christ is alive!”, “God loves you!” and “The people of god will defeat the evil!”

Referencing these incidents during the closing act, the organizers declared that “the devil tried to stand up,” and blaming the anarchists for the initial attack by saying, “This country cannot be the country of the anarchist,” and “This country is one of peace and joy.” The act finished with a musical show and families sitting in the park, with their Christian symbols and national flags from Uruguay, Chile and Israel.

The Evangelical community has been especially active with respect to “value issues” and it has staunchly rejected initiatives such as the decriminalization of abortion, the law of gender identity, homosexual marriage, and single-parent adoption.

Since last March, when the current legislature began, Evangelicals have obtained the backing of three deputies, who despite being members of the government coalition, Chile Vamos, have not hesitated in opposing the government of conservative Sebastián Piñera, who has less dogmatic positions on these issues.

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