Ministry battles paganism in Ecuador

By May 27, 2008

Ecuador (MNN) — E3 Partners is sending three times as many short-term
mission teams to Ecuador as
it sent last year, in the face of rising paganism and socialism in Latin America. 
Twelve teams will travel to nine different locations between May and
October of this year, and three of them will serve in medical missions.   

E3 plans to focus its ministry in Ecuador on empowering
church-planting mission trips led by Ecuadorians, as well as on providing
leadership support, research, and ministry tools. 

Latin America’s rising
“Pink Tide” of socialism and paganism has given e3 Partners’ operations there a
sense of urgency in recent years. Ecuador, like Bolivia
and Venezuela,
has acquired a socialist leader. President Rafael Correa took office in January 2007 and wants to rewrite
the constitution to help the poor, reports BBC News, but critics say he is only
trying to consolidate his power.  

Many suspect that the “doctors” and “teachers” Cuba is sending to Ecuador and other nations are advocates
of Santeria, an Afro-Cuban form of paganism.
Bolivian president Evo Morales, who is also socialist, wants to spread
his country’s tribal animism. Under
these circumstances, syncretism and socialistic animism could easily spread
through the continent, especially in the Andes Mountains. 

Syncretism already abounds in Ecuador. Although 90% of Ecuadorians call themselves
Roman Catholic, most of them combine Catholic beliefs with indigenous
beliefs. Sometimes their veneration of
Catholic saints resembles the traditional local worship of pagan deities. 

While the Ecuadorian church still needs financial and
material support from e3, e3 reports that the church is strong and
well-equipped for ministry. It is doing all it can to spread the Gospel in Ecuador while the doors are still
open. 

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