During the celebration of Bolivia’s independence day on August 6, President Evo Morales snubbed the Catholic Church by skipping the traditional “Te Deum” prayer and spending the afternoon with various evangelical groups.
After ignoring the traditional Thanksgiving Mass which Bolivian presidents usually attend, Morales delivered a speech calling for unity in the country in Sucre, Bolivia’s official capital.
According to local reports, state-run television “manipulated the broadcast during the president’s speech” by inserting pre-recorded applauses.
Recently Morales said the Catholic Church was nothing more than an “historical nuisance” and an “institution of the past” that must be relegated or suppressed. The statements of the president, who is one of Hugo Chavez’s main allies, have led to increased political and social tensions in Bolivia.