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Political mud slinging from the pulpit

By Staff writer / March 13, 2009

Reporters on the Job: I enjoyed doing this story about Evangelicals as the key swing vote in Sunday’s elections in El Salvador (read the Monitor's report here) because I got to revisit a theme that is dear to my heart: the role of Evangelicals in Latin America.

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But there was definitely an undercurrent of polarization here, which was different from what I’d seen among Evangelicals in Nicaragua, Brazil, Colombia, and Guatemala. There is a political battle going on between pastors who support the conservative Arena party and those who support the leftist FMLN. It includes all kinds of name-calling and wild claims about political parties and candidates. I felt as if I was watching a soap opera.

In a way it was a microcosm of the deep polarization in Salvadoran society, which is a major theme in this election.

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