Rounding Up The Flock

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GUATEMALA CITY: Pope John Paul arrived in Guatemala Monday amid intensive security precautions, just a day after what appeared to have been an unsuccessful assassination attempt on Guatemalan President Alvar Arzu. Hoping to speed up the sluggish peace negotiations that have done little to end the 30-year civil war, Pope John Paul is also waging what Mexico Bureau Chief Laura Lopez calls "the intrachristian battle for for hearts and minds". In recent years, the Catholic Church has lost followers in Guatemela to an increasingly popular evangelical movement. Lopez says: "There are only 281 diocesan priests, and 952 religious workers serving the country's 7.8 million Catholics. A lack of native clergy has resulted in a sense of alienation of the faithful from the Church, and has provided opportunities for the ever-growing evangelical movement."