A delegate for the United Socialist Party of Venezuela decided to honor Hugo Chavez, the nation’s deceased former president, by inserting his name into the Lord’s Prayer during a speech she delivered to her fellow officials at an event Monday, CNN reported.
“Our Chávez who art in heaven, on Earth, in the sea and in us delegates, hallowed be thy name. Thy legacy come so that we can take it to people here and elsewhere.” María Estrella Uribe said while addressing an audience at the party’s Third Congress. “Give us today your light to guide us every day. Lead us not into the temptation of capitalism, but deliver us from oligarchy.”
Uribe was reportedly a supporter of Chavez, the Venezuelan leader who passed away in 2013, but who clearly remains a source of inspiration for some.
She delivered her speech in front of hundreds of delegates as well as current president Nicolás Maduro, as the crowd cheered for her Chavez-inspired rendition of the Lord’s Prayer.
Faith leaders in Venezuela were concerned and offended by Uribe’s recitation, with some fearing that politicians are essentially worshipping late president.
“From a Christian perspective, we consider changing the words of the Lord’s Prayer sacrilegious, an act of idolatry and desecration and a trivialization of the sacred,” the Rev. José Piñero, vice president of the Evangelical Council of Venezuela, told CNN.
The Lord’s Prayer can be found in the Bible in two locations — Matthew 6:9-13 and Luke 11:1-4.
The version in Matthew reads, ““‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.”
Read more about the story here.