One aspect of the campaigns of El Salvador's presidential candidates is their interaction with the country's churches, particularly the evangelical churches which are the fastest growing segment of churches in the country.
The conservative parties stumbled in their relationship with ELIM church, the largest evangelical church in El Salvador. One of the associate pastors at the church, Jose Tomas Chevez, was the presidential candidate for PCN. Yet after the January 2009 elections, the PCN and ARENA cut a deal in which the PCN leadership threw its support towards ARENA and Avila and jettisoned Chevez over his objections. In a statement following the PCN/ARENA deal, the pastors of ELIM church decried the betrayal by the PCN of its presidential ticket. This week, Chevez threw his support behind Mauricio Funes, breaking with the PCN leadership.
At least some churches are resisting being lured into presidential politics. On its website, the ELIM church has a statement noting that the political preferences of evangelicals vary in pretty much the same way as the rest of the Salvadoran population and the opinion of one pastor or another was not going to alter that fact. In November 2008, the Catholic bishops of El Salvador called on the priests in the country to stay out of politics during this election season. Contrast those positions with the politicized religiosity which David Holiday noted from some churches (supporting the FMLN) in the days before the 2004 elections.