Andrés Manuel López Obrador has declared himself a Christian Friday. After years of uncertainty about his religion, the president has admitted his faith with more ambiguity than clarity. “I am a Christian, and I want to clarify it. In the Evangelical Church there is a Christian denomination, but my Christianity, what I practice, has to do with Jesus Christ, because I am a follower of the thought and work of Jesus ”, he said during the morning conference. The statement flirts with all Christian groups in Mexico, without settling doubts about its closeness to the Evangelical Church. It also does so two days before the largest elections in history, it is a country where 87% of the population is Christian.
In the middle of an electoral process in which the president has been sanctioned several times for interceding, the president has tried again, this time in a more discreet way. A reporter asked him on Friday for his opinion on the activism of the Catholic Church in Aguililla, one of the most violent areas of the country, after the visit on April 23 of the Apostolic Nuncio in Mexico, Franco Coppola. “We are respectful of all religions, we are respectful of the Catholic religion,” replied the president, avoiding the question. As Coppola told this newspaper, the president himself had asked Pope Francis to intervene to resolve the issue of violence in the country.
López Obrador did not evade, however, the reporter’s next question. “Do you profess or practice the Catholic faith?” The president finally admitted his Christianity, but has clarified that he does not ascribe to any particular community or institution. For years the president has played with the confusion about the religion he practices, although his religious affiliation had already been exposed in other press conferences. One of them was at the beginning of the covid-19 pandemic, in which he showed a little picture that said “Stop enemy, the heart of Jesus is with me”, and asked Mexicans to use their saints against the coronavirus.
Religious ambiguity now plays a game in the midst of an electoral process in which the different Churches have tried to gain influence in the parties through ideological campaigns and by positioning their own candidates. Next Sunday 93 million people are summoned to the polls in a country with 97 million Catholics and 14 million evangelicals. Both confessions have been very close to the president.
“I am a follower of the thought and work of Jesus. I believe that he is the most important social fighter that there has been in the world, on earth, that is why the powerful of his time followed him, spied on him and crucified him, ”López Obrador said. Drawing a parallel with one of the axes of his speech, he highlighted the “deep love for the poor” professed by Jesus Christ. “If we were all Christians in that sense, which we are, because we are very human, Christianity is humanism, we would live in a better society,” he added and reproached those who declare themselves “followers of Jesus, but do not follow his example.” .
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Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.