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Javier Bertucci: The Pastor who preaches as an Importer

The leader of the Maranatha Church in Venezuela is also an entrepreneur who has seen in the dynamics of the Venezuelan economy an opportunity to grow his private wealth. Without a clear purpose, according to the documentation of the law firm Mossack Fonseca, the pastor weighted up the possibility of chairing a company in a tax haven.

3/29/2016 11:20:29 AM

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The air conditioning feels cool as soon as you enter the living room. The white plastic chairs are aligned. A group of young people test the sound and cameras, and the faithful of the Maranatha Church in Venezuela - the largest among others and with most followers in the country - begin to seat down. Some are focused on a reading; others just talk and catch up. At a glance, the room could hold about 300 people, but this time, it seems that it will not be filled. The main star, Pastor Javier Bertucci, will not be heading the ceremony today.

While the faithful sit down on the empty chairs, the band - made up of a young man on the electric drum, another on keyboards, a guitarist, two choristers, and a leading singer - plays the first chords of the song welcoming to the temple. On the three screens arranged in the room, the lyrics appear for the audience to sing along like in an Asian-style karaoke bar. I still believe that Christ is at my side. He will… He will give me the blessing. Everybody sing with euphoria and passion, clapping and crying at the same time.