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The 58-year-old died in March after a two-year battle with cancer. During his illness, Chavez often referred to his strong Roman Catholic faith as a source of inspiration, and publicly praised God for giving him strength to continue leading his people.

But his relationship with the Church in his country was not always straightforward. The President often berated its leaders, whom he accused of neglecting the poor, siding with the opposition, and defending the rich. ‘They do not walk in...the path of Christ,’ he once said.

Shortly before he died he wrote, ‘I’m clinging to Christ and trusting in my doctors and nurses.’


// @christianitymag