A church group in Venezuela that was helping drug addicts to recover has been viciously attacked by thugs who are ‘violently opposed to the drugs rehabilitation work of the church’.
The victims, who were from a church in Libertador, Mérida State, were attacked with knives and had crosses etched into their skin.
The Christians also suffered cracked ribs and snapped limbs, and were forced to eat pages of the Bible.
The Evangelical Council of Venezuela called the assault an act of ‘hatred towards religion’ and called for an immediate investigation.
Open Doors, a Christian group that campaigns against global persecution, believes the attackers had links to the governing regime in Venezuela.
Dr David Landrum, Director of advocacy and public affairs at Open Doors, said: ‘The cutting of crosses into the bodies of these young Christians, and the forced eating of pages of the Bible is deeply disturbing.
‘This premeditated attack has all the hallmarks of the local “collectives” of the Maduro regime.’
He added: ‘This shows how Venezuela has become a dictatorial narco-state which is violently opposed to the drugs rehabilitation work of the church.’