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New law criminalizes evangelism in Bolivia

The Bolivian parliament in La Paz, the administrative capital of the country
Image: Rodrigo Achá, via Wikimedia Commons

A Prayer Alert from the World Evangelical Alliance

On 15 December, Bolivian lawmakers approved a new penal code, which effectively criminalizes evangelism in the country. According to the National Association of Evangelicals in Bolivia (ANDEB), the new provisions in Article 88 of the penal code states: “Whoever recruits, transports, deprives of freedom or hosts people with the aim of recruiting them to take part in armed conflicts or religious or worship organizations will be penalised with 5 to 12 years of imprisonment.

It is reported that Evangelical Christians in Bolivia are deeply concerned about the new developments and fear that the new laws could undermine Article 4 of the country’s constitution, which accords religious freedom for everyone.

In a statement, ANDEB stated that there was inadequate citizen participation in the drafting process of the legislation, adding that the new penal code is “imprecise, ambiguous, badly written and contradictory…”

Prayer points:

  • Pray that the government would withdraw the new penal code provision, which criminalises evangelism
  • Pray that the authorities would not restrict, but protect and promote religious freedoms in Bolivia
  • Pray for God’s guidance and favour upon Bolivian Christians who are protesting against the new law and advocating for greater religious freedoms in the country

WEARLC Prayer Release January 20, 2018

The purpose of this Prayer Release is to keep you informed and mobilized in prayer and intercession for the needs of justice and religious liberty in the Church around the globe, so that we can stand together for the work of the Kingdom and the healing of the Nations.The World Evangelical Alliance Religious Liberty Commission (RLC) exists to promote freedom of religion for all people worldwide as defined by Article 18 of the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights, and in accordance with Scripture.


Update:Bolivia’s President Revokes Evangelism Restrictions: Evo Morales announces on national TV that controversial criminal code will be scrapped.”

[…] Bolivia’s evangelical leaders led a national day of prayer and fasting in response to their socialist government making evangelism a crime. That same Sunday, their president went on TV to answer their prayers.


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About the Author: Raul L. Mock is one of the founders and directors of the Pneuma Foundation and editor of The Pneuma Review. Raul has been part of an Evangelical publishing ministry since 1996, working with Information Services and Supply Chain Management for more than two decades. He and his wife, Erin, have a daughter and twin boys and live in the Grand Rapids, Michigan area. LinkedIn

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