Religion Plays Big Role in the Presidential Campaign of Costa Rica

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    The Costa Rica News (TCRN) – The political campaign in Costa Rica this year has been full of controversy, including the role played by religious groups and how the presidential candidates have addressed issues such as abortion and homosexual unions.

    Costa Rica, whose constitution has been officially established as Catholic, is a country of 4.7 million inhabitants, of which 46% have declared practicing Catholics, 23% claimed lapsed Catholics and 22% belong to another religion, according to a survey released last year by the University of Costa Rica.

    In the course the political campaign for the election last February 2 and for the second round on April 6, religious groups have demonstrated their power and have called on voters to choose their candidate based on Christian principles and Bible mandates.

    The first show was on November 17 when a massive march, that the Catholic Church estimated was 200,000 people, manifested through the streets of San José in order to “defend life and the traditional family.”

    A few days before the elections on February 2, the Evangelical Alliance Federation published a paper in the press which called for people to vote “on the basis of their religious beliefs, as consistent and coherent with the principles and values ​​that emanate the Bible.”

    The publication also urged not to vote for political parties dissatisfied with the teachings derived from Psalm 139:13, Genesis 1:27 and Genesis 2:24, on marriage between same sex partners and abortion.

    At a time when the country debates on civil unions between homosexual couples and the reactivation of in vitro fertilization, the position of religious groups has gained importance in election campaigns.

    Last Thursday, the Evangelical Alliance endorsed the candidate Araya because of its “commitment to life, with family, to reformulate the sexual education of our children and adolescents.”

    Solis said the next day that mixing politics and religion can be “very negative” for the country because they are “different areas” that should be “carefully separated.” (ACAN-EFE)

    The Costa Rica News (TCRN)

    San Jose, Costa Rica

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