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Christianity in Latin America and the Caribbean

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Editorial Team

Editors

Kenneth R. Ross Ana María Bidegain Todd M. Johnson

Associate Editors

Gremaud Angée Albert W. Hickman

Managing Editor

Alejandra Fontecha

Editorial Advisory Board

Raimundo C. Barreto Roderick R. Hewitt Laënnec Hurbon Fortunato Mallimaci Yves Bernardo Roger Solis Nicot Rubén Tito Paredes Catalina Romero-Cevallos

Demographic Profile

Editor: Gina A. Zurlo Data Analyst: Peter F. Crossing Layout and Design: Justin Long Cartography: Bryan Nicholson

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EDINBU RGH COMPANIONS TO GLOBAL CHR ISTI ANIT Y

Christianity in Latin America and the Caribbean Edited by

Kenneth R. Ross, Ana María Bidegain and Todd M. Johnson

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Edinburgh University Press is one of the leading university presses in the UK. We publish academic books and journals in our selected subject areas across the humanities and social sciences, combining cutting-edge scholarship with high editorial and production values to produce academic works of lasting importance. For more information visit our website: edinburghuniversitypress.com © editorial matter and organisation Kenneth R. Ross, Ana María Bidegain and Todd M. Johnson, 2022 © the chapters their several authors, 2022 Edinburgh University Press Ltd The Tun – Holyrood Road 12 (2f) Jackson’s Entry Edinburgh EH8 8PJ Typeset in Palatino and Myriad by R. J. Footring Ltd, Derby, UK, and printed and bound in Poland by Hussar Books A CIP record for this book is available from the British Library ISBN 978 1 4744 9214 0 (hardback) ISBN 978 1 4744 9216 4 (webready PDF) ISBN 978 1 4744 9217 1 (epub) The rights of Kenneth R. Ross, Ana María Bidegain and Todd M. Johnson to be identified as the editors and the contributors to be identified as the authors of this work have been asserted in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patent Act 1988, and the Copyright and Related Rights Regulations 2003 (SI No. 2498).

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Contents

Series Preface ix xi Volume Preface Contributorsxv

Introduction

A Demographic Profile of Christianity in Latin America and the Caribbean Gina A. Zurlo Christianity in Latin America and the Caribbean Ana María Bidegain

3 17

Countries

Chile37 Cristián G. Parker Argentina  Fortunato Mallimaci

49

The Falkland Islands Kenneth R. Ross

63

Uruguay65 Carolina Greising Paraguay72 Ignacio Telesca and Magdalena López Bolivia80 Luz Jiménez Quispe Brazil91 Raimundo C. Barreto Peru111 Catalina Romero-Cevallos Ecuador122 Eloy Nolivos

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vi  Contents Colombia129 William Elvis Plata Venezuela140 Matilde Moros and Gremaud Angée Suriname147 Franklin Jabini Panama151 Claire Nevache Costa Rica Miguel Picado Gatjens

154

El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua Luis Eduardo Aguilar Vásquez

160

Guatemala167 Santiago Otero fms and Claudia Dary Mexico177 Yves Bernardo Roger Solis Nicot and Hugo Garibay Rodriguez Cuba195 Petra Kuivala Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Jamaica, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Guyana, Anguilla, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Montserrat, Turks and Caicos Islands, Trinidad and Tobago Roderick R. Hewitt

203

Haiti217 Laënnec Hurbon Dominican Republic Antonio Lluberes sj

221

Curaçao, Aruba, Bonaire, Sint Maarten, Sint Eustatius and Saba Joyce Overdijk-Francis

227

Puerto Rico and the United States Virgin Islands Samuel Arroyo

237

Guadeloupe, Martinique, Saint Martin, Saint Barthélemy and French Guiana Laënnec Hurbon

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244

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Contents  vii

Major Christian Traditions Anglicans  Joanildo Burity

253

Independents262 William Mauricio Beltrán Orthodox275 Austreberto Martínez Villegas Protestants285 Pablo Moreno Catholics298 Susana Nuin and Gremaud Angée Evangelicals311 Darío López Rodríguez Pentecostals/Charismatics322 Nicolas Iglesias Schneider

Key Themes

Faith and Culture Renée de la Torre

337

Worship and Spirituality  Cláudio Carvalhaes

347

Theology360 Néstor O. Míguez Social and Political Context Bibiana Ortega

372

Mission and Evangelism  Luís Wesley de Souza

384

Gender397 Ana Lourdes Suárez

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Religious Freedom Néstor Da Costa and Ana María Bidegain

408

Inter-religious Relations Alejandro E. Williams-Becker

418

Martyrdom and Persecution Fernando Torres Millán and Álvaro Frías Cruz

430

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viii  Contents Migration441 Ernesto Fiocchetto Afro-descendant Populations Laënnec Hurbon

453

Indigenous Populations Sofía Chipana Quispe

464

Conclusion

The Future of Christianity in Latin America and the Caribbean  Ana María Bidegain

Appendices

477

Christianity by Country

493

Methodology and Sources of Christian and Religious Affiliation  Todd M. Johnson and Gina A. Zurlo

505

Index523

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Series Preface

While a number of compendia have recently been produced on the study of worldwide Christianity, the distinctive quality of this series arises from its examination of global Christianity through a combination of reliable demographic information and original interpretative essays by local scholars and practitioners. This approach was successfully pioneered by the Atlas of Global Christianity 1910–2010, published by Edinburgh University Press on the occasion of the centenary of the epoch-making Edinburgh 1910 World Missionary Conference. Using the same methodology, the Edinburgh Companions to Global Christianity take the analysis to a deeper level of detail and explore the context of the twenty-first century. The series considers the presence of Christianity on a continent-by-continent basis worldwide. Covering every country in the world, it maps patterns of growth and/or decline and examines current trends. The aim of the series is to comprehensively map worldwide Christianity and to describe it in its entirety. Country-specific studies are offered, all the major Christian traditions are analysed and current regional and continental trends are examined. Each volume is devoted to a continent or sub-continent, following the United Nations classifications. Through a combination of maps, tables, charts and graphs, each of the successive volumes presents a comprehensive demographic analysis of Christianity in the relevant area. Commentary and interpretation are provided by essays on key topics, each written by an expert in the field, normally an indigenous scholar. By the use of these various tools each volume provides an accurate, objective and incisive analysis of the presence of Christian faith in the relevant area. The volumes (published and projected) in the series are: 1. Christianity in Sub-Saharan Africa (published 2017) 2. Christianity in North Africa and West Asia (published 2018) 3. Christianity in South and Central Asia (published 2019) 4. Christianity in East and Southeast Asia (published 2020) 5. Christianity in Oceania (published 2021) 6. Christianity in Latin America and the Caribbean 7. Christianity in North America 8. Christianity in Western and Northern Europe

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x  Series Preface  9. Christianity in Eastern and Southern Europe 10. Compact Atlas of Global Christianity As series editors, we rely heavily on the regional expertise of the dedicated third editor who joins us for each volume. Furthermore, each volume has its own editorial advisory board, made up of senior scholars with authoritative knowledge of the field in question. We work together to define the essay topics for the volume, arrange for compilation of the required demographic data, recruit the authors of the essays and edit their work. Statistical and demographic information is drawn from the highly regarded World Christian Database maintained by the Center for the Study of Global Christianity at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary (South Hamilton, MA, USA) and published by Brill. For each volume, a team of 35–40 authors is recruited to write the essays, and it is ultimately upon their scholarship and commitment that we depend in order to create an original and authoritative work of reference. Each volume in the series will be, we hope, a significant book in its own right and a contribution to the study of Christianity in the region in question. At the same time, each is a constituent part of a greater whole – the 10-volume series, which aims to provide a comprehensive analysis of global Christianity that will be groundbreaking in its demographic quality and analytical range. Our hope is that the Companions will be of service to anyone seeking a fuller understanding of the worldwide presence of the Christian faith. Kenneth R. Ross and Todd M. Johnson Series Editors

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Volume Preface

This volume covers a single United Nations ‘major area’ which comprises three regions: Central America, South America and the Caribbean. Because the Caribbean is not widely understood to be part of Latin America we included it in the title, ‘Christianity in Latin America and the Caribbean’. There are 50 countries represented, ranging from Brazil with a population of nearly 214 million to the Falkland Islands with fewer than 3,000 residents. Although the overall percentage of Christians changed little in the twentieth century (99.4% in 1900, 96.5% in 2000), the internal composition of Christianity changed significantly. Today, Catholics remain the largest tradition, but Protestants (evangélicos) and Independents have been rapidly increasing their shares of Christianity in the continent. This includes Protestant denominations such as Presbyterians in Guatemala, Pentecostal groups such as the Assemblies of God in Brazil and Independent Charismatic churches such as the Methodist Pentecostal Church and the Evangelical Pentecostal Church in Chile. Other Independent churches have also been growing rapidly, especially the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and Jehovah’s Witnesses in Brazil and Mexico. Finally, the Orthodox community has experienced growth in Chile and now has the third-fastest growth rate among churches in Latin America. The Charismatic movement within the Catholic Church continues to grow in Brazil, Mexico, Colombia, Chile, Argentina and other countries. The movement began in the late 1960s in the USA and Colombia and quickly spread throughout Latin America. In 2020 the world’s largest Catholic Charismatic community was in Brazil. Many Pentecostal/ Charismatic movements have connections to the USA, such as that in Peru, where roughly 70% of today’s Pentecostal churches trace their origins to the original US Assemblies of God and to the groups that separated from it. At the same time, Latin American Pentecostalism is very diverse, ranging from Classical Pentecostalism to Independent Pentecostal movements that are much closer to Catholicism in practice. There are also numerous networked Charismatic groups and ministries under the leadership and authority of apostles. Christians in Latin America face a wide range of challenges. Major corruption scandals plague governments and businesses. Christian

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xii  Volume Preface involvement in politics ranges from pastors and priests running for public office to the eschewal of politics altogether. Drug and gang violence is very real and severely impacts the churches. For example, in El Salvador, affiliation with Protestant Evangelical Christianity provides many people with safety from violent gangs. Often, joining an Evangelical church is the only safe alternative to joining a gang – as well as the only safe way to leave a gang – especially for young men and boys. Such challenges have, though, given way to a variety of fruitful ministries through which churches – Catholic, Independent and Protestant – have the opportunity to serve their communities, such as prison ministries and peace-building efforts. In pursuit of understanding, this volume offers four angles of analysis. The first is demographic, using the methodology of the highly successful Atlas of Global Christianity (Edinburgh University Press, 2009) to present reliable statistical information in an attractive, user-friendly format. Maps and charts depict the status of Christianity regionally and in terms of the principal church traditions. In this region, almost all countries are majority Christian, though with a difficult history where Christianity came through conquest. Inward migration has brought increasing religious diversity while small but growing numbers profess a secular worldview. At the same time, new movements of Christian faith are changing the religious landscape. These trends are tracked in the demographic analysis. The second angle of analysis is at the country level. Account is taken of the presence and influence of Christianity in each of the 49 countries of Latin America and the Caribbean. Scholars who either belong to one of these countries or have long experience of the region have contributed interpretative essays that offer a ‘critical insider’ perspective on the way in which Christianity is finding expression in their context. Larger countries are the subject of a dedicated essay, while some of the smaller island nations have been grouped together according to geographical proximity and linguistic affinity. Thirdly, Christianity in Latin America and the Caribbean is considered in terms of its principal ecclesial forms or traditions. Five types of church are considered: Anglican, Independent, Orthodox, Protestant and Catholic. In addition, the Evangelical and Pentecostal/Charismatic movements, which cut across ecclesial affiliation, are examined. In each case, an author who is identified with the tradition in question brings a ‘critical insider’ perspective to the analysis. Fourthly, selected themes are considered. Eight of these run right through the entire Edinburgh Companions series: faith and culture, worship and spirituality, theology, social and political context, mission and evangelism, gender, religious freedom and inter-religious relations. A further four have been selected by the editorial board specifically for this

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Volume Preface  xiii

volume on account of their salience in the context of Latin America and the Caribbean: martyrdom and persecution, migration, Afro-­descendants and Indigenous populations. Each of these themes is examined on a region-wide basis, deepening our understanding of features that are definitive for Christianity in this part of the world. As is evident from the short bibliography offered at the end of each essay, this book rests on the body of scholarship that has illumined our understanding of Christianity in Latin America and the Caribbean. Justo Gonzalez and Ondina Gonzalez’s Christianity in Latin America: A History (Cambridge University Press, 2007) offers a succinct and comprehensive account. Likewise, John Frederick Schwaller’s The History of the Catholic Church in Latin America: From Conquest to Revolution and Beyond (New York University Press, 2011) offers a first-class account of the early history of Christianity in Latin America, though it gives limited attention to recent developments and focuses exclusively on Catholicism. Another valuable contribution to the literature is Anthony Gill’s Rendering unto Caesar: The Catholic Church and State in Latin America (University of Chicago Press, 2008), but it has a very tight thematic focus and considers only 12 countries. Similarly, Samuel Escobar’s In Search of Christ in Latin America (Langham Global Library, 2019) is a welcome contribution to the literature, offering a theological line of enquiry, but it is necessarily selective in its approach and makes no attempt at the kind of comprehensive account being undertaken in the present volume. Todd Hartch’s The Rebirth of Latin American Christi­anity (Oxford University Press, 2014), published in the Oxford World Christianity Series, is an excellent account, by a North American scholar, of the dynamic renewal of Latin American Christianity in the past 50 years, with special attention to its missionary dimension. The present volume owes much to these scholars and the many others whose work is acknowledged in the bibliographies, but it is distinguished by its local authorship, multidisciplinary perspective and comprehensive approach. While resting on the preceding scholarship, this volume breaks new ground through its reliable demographic analysis, its contemporary focus, the local authorship of its essays and the originality of the analyses. The essay authors employ a variety of disciplinary approaches – historical, theological, sociological, missiological, anthropological – as appropriate to their topics. Taken together, the volume offers a deeply textured and highly nuanced account of Christianity in Latin America and the Caribbean, one that will reward the attention of any who wish to deepen their knowledge of this subject. The contributors to this volume represent the great ethnic, age and gender diversity of the region. Long-standing academics together with

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xiv  Volume Preface young researchers, coming from all corners of the immense Latin American and Caribbean geography, from various social and human disciplines, contributed to the knowledge of specific problems and realities. It is therefore a volume written from the heart of the region, by authors who have been challenged by the huge demonstrations of social protest that have erupted in various countries, exposing the difficulties and anguish that have choked social development for decades. With pain we recognise that this is the continent with the greatest socioeconomic inequality, where the ruling and political elite has reproduced itself in the same families for half a millennium and, perhaps for this very reason, it is the most violent on the planet. In the midst of this indignant, painful, multi-ethnic, multiracial and multicultural people, made up mostly of young people who see no future, Latin American and Caribbean Christianity is building its own path: a Christianity where the present and the future do not break with the past, and the former can be explained only by the latter, which amalgamates them and is the source of its own identity. It is this path that is explored in the pages that follow, discerning common themes across the continent as well as distinctive features in different contexts, as Christianity finds new forms of expression in Latin America and the Caribbean in the twenty-first century. Kenneth R. Ross Ana María Bidegain Todd M. Johnson June 2021

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Contributors

Gremaud Angée earned a master’s in divinity from St Vincent de Paul Seminary and a master’s in mass communications from Florida Inter­national University, where he is a PhD candidate working on Catholic liberation movements in Latin America between 1960 and 1980. Venezuela; Catholics Samuel Arroyo is a pastor in the United Methodist Church in New Jersey. He has dedicated himself to social justice, especially in fighting for the rights of immigrants and for a fair and equitable education in the public education system in the state of New Jersey. Puerto Rico and the United States Virgin Islands Raimundo C. Barreto is Associate Professor of World Christianity at Princeton Theological Seminary. An ordained Baptist pastor, he is the general editor of the series World Christianity and Public Religion, published by Fortress Press, and one of the conveners of the PTS World Christianity Conference. Brazil William Mauricio Beltrán is a sociologist who holds a PhD from SorbonneNouvelle in Latin American Studies. He currently serves as Associate Professor of the Department of Sociology at the Universidad Nacional de Colombia. Independents Ana María Bidegain is Professor of Latin American Religions at Florida Inter­national University in Miami, Florida, USA. She earned her PhD at the Catholic University of Louvain in Belgium. She developed her academic career in Colombia, where she lived and taught for more than 20 years. She teaches courses on world Christianity, immigration and religion, women and religion, and Latin American liberation movements. Christianity in Latin America and the Caribbean; Religious Freedom; The Future of Christianity in Latin America and the Caribbean Joanildo Burity is Lead Researcher at the Joaquim Nabuco Foundation and Professor of Sociology and Political Science at the Federal University of Pernambuco, Brazil. He is a lay Anglican and a former member of the Anglican Consultative Council and its Standing Committee. His work focuses on religion, identity and politics. Anglicans

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xvi  Contributors Cláudio Carvalhaes is Associate Professor of Liturgy, Union Theological Seminary, New York City. He is an ordained Presbyterian pastor and his books include Liturgy in Postcolonial Perspectives: Only One Is Holy (Palgrave Macmillan, 2015), Correlações: Religião, Liturgia e Arte (Fonte Editorial, 2018), What’s Worship Got To Do With It? Interpreting Life Liturgically (Cascade Books, 2018) and Liturgies from Below: Prayers from People at the Ends of the World (Abingdon Press, 2020). Worship and Spirituality Néstor Da Costa has a PhD in sociology from the University of Deusto, Bilbao, Spain. He specialises in the sociology of religion and is the author of several investigations, publications and books dedicated to the subject. He is a professor and Director of the Institute of Society and Religion at the Catholic University of Uruguay. Religious Freedom Álvaro Frías Cruz is a theologian, lawyer and constitutional law specialist who is a member of Kairos Educational. Based at the Universidad Nacional de Colombia, his professional experience includes work with human rights organisations and state institutions in demobilisation, disarmament, re­ integration and peace processes of illegal armed groups. Martyrdom and Persecution Claudia Dary is a social anthropologist who graduated from the State University of New York (SUNY). She is a part-time researcher at the Institute for Inter-ethnic and Indigenous Peoples Studies (IDEIPI) at the University of San Carlos de Guatemala (USAC). She is a professor in the Faculty of Theology at the Mariano Gálvez University (UMG) and an independent consultant on anthropology and sociology of religion. Guatemala Renée de la Torre has a PhD in social sciences, specialising in social anthropology, from the Research and Study Centre of Social Anthropology (CIESAS) and the University of Guadalajara. She is Research Professor of Anthropology at CIESAS Occidente in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico. She is the author of Religiosidades Nómadas: Creencias Y Prácticas Heterodoxas En Guadalajara (D. F. CIESAS, 2012) and editor of the journal Encartes antropológicos. Faith and Culture Luís Wesley de Souza is the Arthur J. Moore Associate Professor of Evangelism at Emory University’s Candler School of Theology in Atlanta, Georgia, USA. He is director of the World Methodist Evangelism Institute, founder of the Missio Dei Institute and an elder in full connection with the United Methodist Church. Mission and Evangelism

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Contributors  xvii

Ernesto Fiocchetto is an Argentinean sociologist. He earned two master’s degrees (religious studies and international relations) and, currently, he is a PhD candidate in international relations at Florida International University. His research interests revolve around religion, migration, refugees, and sexual orientation and gender identities. Migration Miguel Picado Gatjens is a Catholic priest who holds a doctorate in theology from the University of Saint Esteban, Salamanca, Spain. He also studied church history at the Gregorian University, Rome. Costa Rica Carolina Greising is Associate Researcher at the Institute of History of the Catholic University of Uruguay and an active researcher at the National System of Researchers of Uruguay. She has several publications related to the history of the church, secularisation and secularism. Uruguay Roderick R. Hewitt is President of the International University of the Caribbean, based in Kingston, Jamaica. He is an ordained minister of the United Church in Jamaica and the Cayman Islands and author of Church and Culture: An Anglo-Caribbean Experience of Hybridity and Contradiction (Cluster, 2012). Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Jamaica, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Guyana, Anguilla, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Montserrat, Turks and Caicos Islands, Trinidad and Tobago Laënnec Hurbon is a sociologist and a scientific researcher at the Centre national de la recherche scientifique – Paris (CNRS) and Professor at the State University of Haiti. He is the author, most recently, of Esclavage, politique et religion en Haïti (Editions de l’Université d’Etat d’Haïti, 2018). Haiti; Guadeloupe, Martinique, Saint Martin, Saint Barthélemy and French Guiana; Afro-descendant Populations Franklin Jabini serves as Academic Vice President for the Caribbean College of the Bible International (Trinidad). He is the author of Christianity in Suriname: An Overview of Its History, Theologians and Sources (Langham, 2016). Suriname Todd M. Johnson is the Eva B. and Paul E. Toms Distinguished Professor of Mission and Global Christianity and Co-Director of the Center for the Study of Global Christianity at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in South Hamilton, Massachusetts, USA. His most recent book is the World Christian Encyclopedia, 3rd edition (Edinburgh University Press, 2019). He also serves

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xviii  Contributors as a series editor for the Edinburgh Companions to Global Christianity (Edinburgh University Press). Methodology and Sources of Christian and Religious Affiliation Petra Kuivala is a postdoctoral researcher in the Faculty of Theology at the University of Helsinki. With a specialisation in religion and the Cuban revolution, her expertise covers twentieth- and twenty-first-century Cath­ olicism, particularly in the Americas, as well as the modern papacy and the Holy See. In Cuban studies, her interdisciplinary work combines historical research with ethnographic approaches, with a focus on the histories of lived experience in Cuba. Cuba Antonio Lluberes sj, a native Dominican, is a priest of the Society of Jesus. He studied theology at the Gregorian University in Rome and history at George Washington University in the USA. He is a former professor of ecclesiology and church history at the Pontifical Seminary of Santo Tomás de Aquino de Santo Domingo. Dominican Republic Magdalena López has a PhD in social science from the Universidad de Buenos Aires (UBA). She is a researcher at Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (CONICET; National Scientific and Technical Research Council – Argentina) and coordinates the Group of Social Studies on Paraguay at the Institute of Latin American and Caribbean Research (UBA). Paraguay Fortunato Mallimaci has a PhD in sociology from the École des hautes études en sciences sociales (EHESS) in Paris and is Professor at the Faculty of Social Sciences of the University of Buenos Aires. He is Senior Researcher at Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (CONICET; National Scientific and Technical Research Council – Argentina) and Director of the Society, Culture and Religion Programme at CONICET’s Centro de Estudios e Investigaciones Laborales (CEIL). Argentina Néstor O. Míguez is Professor Emeritus of New Testament and Systematic Theology at the Instituto Universitario ISEDET (Instituto Superior Evangélico de Estudios Teológicos), Buenos Aires, and President of the Argentinian Federation of Evangelical Churches. He is a retired pastor of the Argentine Methodist Evangelical Church. Theology Fernando Torres Millán is General Coordinator of Kairos Educational. He holds degrees in philosophy and literature from the Universidad Santo Tomás (Bogotá) and in theology from the Universidad Bíblica Latinoamericana (San

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Contributors  xix

José, Costa Rica). He specialises in coordination, planning, execution and systematisation of popular education projects with urban populations. Martyrdom and Persecution Pablo Moreno is President of the Universidad Bautista in Cali, Colombia. He has been a Baptist pastor, theologian and historian. He is the author of Por momentos hacia atrás … por momentos hacia adelante and Una historia del protestantismo en Colombia 1825–1945 (Universidad de San Buenaventura, ­ 2010). He is also the author of several articles on the history of Christianity and Protestantism in Colombia and Latin America. Protestants Matilde Moros, PhD, is Assistant Professor of Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies at Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Virginia, USA. An elder in the Presbyterian Church, USA, she has authored various chapters and articles regarding Christian social ethics. She participates in the Hispanic Summer Program and other theological graduate summer programmes, teaching on the topics of decolonial sexualities and the constructions of race and gender in the Americas. Venezuela Claire Nevache is a PhD candidate in political science at the Free University of Brussels. She is associated with the International Center for Political and Social Studies in Panama. Panama Yves Bernardo Roger Solis Nicot has a PhD in social and cultural history from the Universidad Autónoma del Estado de Morelos (Mexico). He specialises in religion in contemporary Mexico, Catholic diversity and religion in social networks. He is a researcher at Prepa Ibero, Mexico City, and a member of the Mexican National Research system. Mexico Eloy Nolivos holds a PhD in global Christianity from Regent University, Virginia Beach, USA, and a Master of Divinity from the Pentecostal Theological Seminary, Cleveland, USA. Currently he is Adjunct Professor at Wesley Seminary of Indiana Wesleyan University, Marion, Indiana, USA. He is an ordained minister of the Foursquare Gospel Church. Ecuador Susana Nuin is Director of the Centro de Estudios del Consejo Episcopal Latinoamericano (CELAM). She has a doctorate in social sciences with a specialis­ation in communications. She is an analyst in social communication, specialising in alternative communication. Catholics

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xx  Contributors Bibiana Ortega is Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Political Science and Inter­national Relations at the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana. She is the author of the paper ‘Political Participation of Evangelicals in Colombia 1990–2017’ (Politics and Religion Journal). Social and Political Context Santiago Otero fms has been working in Guatemala for more than 45 years and is dedicated to the pastoral accompaniment of dioceses and parishes. He teaches classes in the faculties of theology at the Landívar University and Mesoamerican University in Guatemala. He has conducted various field investigations on the historical memory and the legacy of the martyrs in the Church of Guatemala. Guatemala Joyce Overdijk-Francis graduated in law from the University of Amsterdam. She was legal adviser for the city of Amsterdam; the Ministers of Justice, Integration and Social Affairs, for the Council of the Judiciary and for the Antillean community in the Netherlands. She was decorated as Knight of the Order of Orange-Nassau. Curaçao, Aruba, Bonaire, Sint Maarten, Sint Eustatius and Saba Cristián G. Parker is Professor of Sociology at the Catholic University of Louvain. He graduated in sociology from the Catholic University of Chile. He has been Vice Rector at the University of Santiago de Chile and Principal Investigator at the Institute for Advanced Studies (IDEA) at the Universidad de Santiago de Chile. He has collaborated on more than 20 books and participated in conferences in Chile and internationally. Chile William Elvis Plata is a tenured professor at the Industrial University of Santander, Bucaramanga, Colombia. He specialises in the history of Christianity in Colombia and Latin America. He is the author of Vida y muerte de un convento: Dominicos y sociedad en Nueva Granada, siglos XV–XX (San Esteban, 2012) and Resistir a la violencia y construir desde la Fe: El caso de El Garzal, Colombia (UIS, 2018). Colombia Luz Jiménez Quispe is an anthropologist and postgraduate research professor at the Universidad Mayor de San Simón, Cochabamba, Bolivia. She is an Old Testament scholar and for the last 10 years she has conducted research on inter­cultural bilingual education in Indigenous territories. Bolivia Sofía Chipana Quispe is a Bolivian theologian. She is a member of the Indigenous Community of Sages and Theologians, Abya Yala. Currently she is working on an Andean study programme concerned with theological and

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Contributors  xxi

pastoral engagement in Peru, Argentina and Bolivia. She is the author of Apocalíptica: Relatos para la recreación de la vida (Instituto Superior Ecuménico Andino de Ideología, 2012). Indigenous Populations Darío López Rodríguez earned his PhD at the Oxford Centre for Mission Studies through the Open University in the UK. He is a pastor of the Church of God of Peru in Villa María del Triunfo Lima-Peru, professor at various theological education centres in Latin America and the Spanish-speaking Caribbean, and author of several books and articles on Pentecostalism, Evangelicals and politics, comprehensive mission, and the New Testament. Evangelicals Hugo Garibay Rodriguez is a professor at the Universidad de Zamora (Michoacán). He has a degree in Hispanic language and literatures from Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México and a master’s degree in theology and the contemporary world from the Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City. Mexico Catalina Romero-Cevallos is Professor at the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru. She has a PhD in sociology and her fields of research are religion, culture and politics. Her recent publications are on religion and public space, religious diversity in Peru, and lived religion. Peru Kenneth R. Ross is Professor of Theology and Dean of Postgraduate Studies at Zomba Theological College, Malawi, and Associate Minister of Bemvu Parish, Church of Central Africa Presbyterian. His most recent book, co-authored with Klaus Fiedler, is A Malawi Church History 1860–2020 (Mzuni Press, 2020). He serves as a series editor for the Edinburgh Companions to Global Christianity (Edinburgh University Press). Falkland Islands Nicolas Iglesias Schneider is a social worker, researcher and media columnist on religion, politics and society. He leads the project and documentary film ‘Fe en la Resistencia’ and the website ‘Los dioses están locos’ (http://dioseslocos. org). Pentecostals/Charismatics Ana Lourdes Suárez is Full Professor in the Department of Social Science of the Catholic University of Argentina. She coordinates the research programme Religion and Living Condition. She is the author of Creer En Las Villas: Devociones Y Prácticas Religiosas En Los Barrios Precarios De La Ciudad De Buenos Aires (Editorial Biblos, 2015). Gender

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xxii  Contributors Ignacio Telesca has degrees in history from the University of Oxford and a PhD in history from the Universidad Torcuato di Tella-Argentina. He is a researcher at Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (CONICET; National Scientific and Technical Research Council – Argentina) and professor at the Universidad Nacional de Formosa-Argentina. Paraguay Luis Eduardo Aguilar Vásquez is a Salvadorean political scientist and sociologist who specialises in issues of religion and public policy. El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua Austreberto Martínez Villegas is a professor at the Universidad Pan­ americana and the Universidad Anáhuac in Mexico City. He has a doctorate in modern and contemporary history from the Dr José María Luis Mora Research Institute, Mexico City, and is a specialist in the development of conservative and traditionalist Catholicism in Mexico, as well as in the history of Russia and in the presence of Orthodox Christianity in Latin America. Orthodox Alejandro E. Williams-Becker is full-time faculty at Universidad Austral in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He is a lawyer and a PhD student in political science. He is Executive Director of the Interreligious Dialogue Institute in Argentina. Inter-religious Relations Gina A. Zurlo is Co-Director of the Center for the Study of Global Christi­anity at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary (South Hamilton, Massachusetts, USA). She is co-author of the World Christian Encyclopedia, 3rd edition (Edinburgh University Press, 2019) and co-editor of the World Christian Database (Brill). A Demographic Profile of Christianity in Latin America and the Caribbean; Methodology and Sources of Christian and Religious Affiliation

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Introduction

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A Demographic Profile of Christianity in Latin America and the Caribbean Gina A. Zurlo Majority Religion by Province, 2020

MAJORITY RELIGION

Christians

50% 75%

Hindus

50% 75%

Muslims

50% 75%

Latin America has been a majority-Christian continent for over 500 years due to European colonisation and the importation of Catholicism. The continent’s religious makeup changed little between 1970 and 2020, dropping only slightly in its Christian percentage. Atheists and agnostics had some of the fastest growth rates over this period and together represented about 4% of the population in 2020. Religions in Latin America, 1970 and 2020 Religion Christians Agnostics Spiritists Ethnic religionists Atheists New religionists Other Total

1970 Adherents 271,568,000 6,040,000 4,613,000 1,870,000 1,265,000 208,000 2,154,000 288,077,000

% 94.3 2.1 1.6 0.6 0.4 0.1 0.9 100.0

2020 Adherents 611,964,000 23,725,000 14,410,000 3,912,000 3,456,000 1,900,000 3,306,850 664,474,000

% 92.1 3.6 2.2 0.6 0.5 0.3 0.5 100.0

Source: Todd M. Johnson and Gina A. Zurlo (eds), World Christian Database (Leiden/Boston: Brill), accessed January 2021. Figures do not add to 100% due to rounding.

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4  Gina A. Zurlo

Christianity in Latin America, 1970–2020 Christians by Country, 2020 612 Million Christians, 92.1% of Population % Christian

3% 10% 50% 75%

On the surface, it appears that religion has changed very little in Latin America, since the continent was 94% Christian in 1970 and 92% in 2020. However, its internal diversity has changed quite dramatically. Latin America has been majority Catholic since the sixteenth century. While Catholicism remains the largest tradition and arguably the most influential, Protestants (evangélicos), Pentecostals, Charismatics and Independents have grown rapidly across the continent. There is significant overlap between these categories and it is difficult to distinguish nonPentecostal Evangelicals from Pentecostals since the Evangelical movement has become Pentecostalised in many countries. Nevertheless, it is widely reported that the Catholic Church is declining with the growth of these new churches. Together, Protestants and Independents were 7.7% of the population (22 million) in 1970 and in 2020 represented 18.2% (121 million).

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A Demographic Profile of Christianity in Latin America and the Caribbean  5



1970 272 Anglican Catholic Independent Orthodox Protestant

252m

2020 63m

All Christians

58m

Population (millions)

612

Major Christian traditions Catholics are the majority Christian tradition in most countries of Latin America, especially in Central and South America, where in many countries they are more than 80% of the population. Protestants grew by over 9% per year between 1970 and 2020 and are now the second-largest Christian tradition. Independents grew at 8.8% per year.

508m

% Christian

75% 50% 25% 0%

2020

2010

2000

1990

1980

1970

Christians over time Christianity in Latin America has been in only a very gradual decline since 1970, from 94% of the population to 92% in 2020. The countries with the lowest percentage share of Christians are Suriname (51%), Guyana (54%) and Uruguay (62%).

% of regional population

100%

Year

94.3%

92.1%

Christians

2.1%

3.6%

Agnostics

1.6%

2.2%

Spiritists

0.6%

0.6%

Ethnic religionists

0.4%

0.5%

Atheists

1970

2020

% of regional population

Religious affiliation Latin America is home to small populations of Spiritists, who are followers of Afro-Brazilian, Afro-Cuban and other African religious traditions that mix Catholicism with other traditional religions. The largest populations are in Brazil, Cuba and Colombia. Non-religion is on the rise, but mostly in urban areas.

Note: Traditions will not add up to total Christians in each region because of double affiliation and the unaffiliated.

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6  Gina A. Zurlo

Major Christian Traditions, 1970 and 2020 Christians 1970

272 million

% of country population

3% 10% 50% 75%

2020

612 million

Latin America’s Christian percentage changed very little from 1970 to 2020, though the overall population grew from 272 million to 612 million. Of the continent’s 50 countries, 32 are more than 90% Christian. Christians constitute the largest share of the population in Guatemala (97%), Peru (96%) and El Salvador (96%).

Anglicans 1970

2020

775,000

976,000

% of Christian population

3% 10% 50% 75%

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Anglicans in Latin America are a minority tradition, with fewer than 1 million adherents in 2020. Most countries in the region were not impacted by British colonialisation, which has minimised the tradition’s influence. The highest percentages of Anglicans (of all Christians) are found in Saint Kitts and Nevis (34%), Montserrat (29%) and Saint Vincent (18%).

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A Demographic Profile of Christianity in Latin America and the Caribbean  7



Catholics 1970

252 million

% of Christian population

3% 10% 50% 75%

Independents 1970

9.8 million

% of Christian population

3% 10% 50% 75%

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2020

508 million

Catholicism is the largest Christian tradition in most countries except for: Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Jamaica, Montserrat, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Vincent, and Turks and Caicos Islands. Catholics’ share of all Christians is declining with the growth in the number of evangélicos. 2020

58 million

Independent Christianity grew very quickly between 1970 and 2020. Though only 9.5% of all Christians in the region are Independents, the continent is home to some very large Independent traditions, particularly in Brazil and Mexico. One of the largest is the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God, which has 7.5 million members in Brazil alone.

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8  Gina A. Zurlo

Major Christian Traditions, 1970 and 2020 Orthodox 1970

401,000

% of Christian population

3% 10% 50% 75%

2020

1.3 million

Orthodox Christianity is a minority tradition in Latin America, with 1.3 million members in 2020. Chile and Guyana have the highest percentage share of Orthodox among all Christians (2.5% and 2.6%, respectively). For Chile, they are Greek Orthodox from Palestine and Greece; for Guyana, the Ethiopian Orthodox Church.

Protestants 1970

2020

12 million

62 million

% of Christian population

3% 10% 50% 75%

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Protestants (evangélicos) grew tremendously in number from 1970 to 2020. Of all Christians in Latin America, 10% are now Protestant. The largest Protestant denomination is the Assemblies of God, with large populations in Brazil (17.7 million), Mexico (550,000) and Venezuela (695,000).

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A Demographic Profile of Christianity in Latin America and the Caribbean  9



Evangelicals 1970

9 million

% of Christian population

3% 10% 50% 75%

Renewalists 1970

13 million

% of Christian population

3% 10% 50% 75%

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2020

51 million

Evangelicalism is growing in Latin America, although it is more prominent in the Caribbean. Of all Christians in the Caribbean in 2020, 10% were Evangelical. The countries with the highest Evangelical percentage shares of all Christians are Barbados (42%), Bahamas (36%), British Virgin Islands (32%) and Dominica (31%).

2020

195 million

Pentecostal and Charismatic Christianity grew three times as fast as Evangelicalism in Latin America from 1970 to 2020 and now represents nearly 32% of the region’s Christian population. In many countries, Christians are more than 40% Pentecostal/Charismatic: Brazil (56%), Guatemala (52%), Puerto Rico (47%), Guyana (42%) and Chile (40%).

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10  Gina A. Zurlo

Christianity in the Caribbean, 1970–2020 Christians by Country, 2020 37.7 Million Christians, 84.4% of Population

% Christian

3% 10% 50% 75%

BAHAMAS 93% TURKS & CAICOS ISLANDS 91%

CUBA 62% CAYMAN ISLANDS 81%

DOMINICAN PUERTO U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS 94% REPUBLIC RICO BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS 82% ANGUILLA 89% 95% 96%

JAMAICA 85%

SINT MAARTEN 89% SAINT KITTS & NEVIS 94% ANTIGUA & BARBUDA 93% GUADELOUPE 95% MONTSERRAT 90% DOMINICA 94% MARTINIQUE 96% SAINT LUCIA 96% SAINT VINCENT BARBADOS 95% ARUBA 96% CURACAO 93% 89% GRENADA 96% CARIBBEAN NETHERLANDS TRINIDAD & TOBAGO 64% 91%

HAITI 94%

Although still the majority Christian tradition, the Caribbean has less of a Catholic presence (60%) than Central and South America. It is home to significant ethnic and cultural diversity due to the region’s history of European colonisation (Spain, France, the Netherlands, Britain) and the legacy of the slave trade. In many of these island nations, such as Anguilla, and Antigua and Barbuda, African slaves and their descendants now outnumber white settlers. Besides the major European languages spoken there (Spanish, French, English and Dutch), the region has many unique creole languages, such as Haitian Creole and Papiamento (the official language of Aruba, Bonaire and Curaçao). The diversity of the region is reflected in the diversity of its Christian presence. While Catholicism is the largest tradition in many countries (Dominican Republic, Haiti, Cuba), several Protestant and Independent groups are widespread throughout the region, such as Seventh-day Adventists and Jehovah’s Witnesses.

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A Demographic Profile of Christianity in Latin America and the Caribbean  11



1970 2m

20 16m

2020

All Christians

3m 6m

Anglican Catholic Independent Orthodox Protestant Population (millions)

38

Major Christian traditions In 2020, Christianity in the Caribbean was largely Catholic (71% of all Christians) and Protestant (15% of all Christians). Independents are growing quickly, such as the Jehovah’s Witnesses, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and Church of God in Christ.

27m

75%

% Christian

50% 25% 0%

2020

2010

2000

1990

1980

1970

Christians over time Christianity in the Caribbean increased from 78% of the population in 1970 to 84% in 2020, an average of 1.3% growth per year. The countries with the most Christians in 2020 were Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Cuba and Puerto Rico.

% of regional population

100%

Year

84.4%

Christians

11.0%

6.5%

Agnostics

7.3%

6.4%

Spiritists

2.0%

1.2%

Atheists

0.9%

0.9%

Hindus

1970

2020

78.2%

Religious affiliation The share of atheists and agnostics together in the Caribbean fell from 13% in 1970 to 7.7%, due to a decline in Cuba, where the non-religious fell from 36% in 1970 to 21% in 2020. Spiritists’ share declined, but these religions are still prominent throughout the region.

% of regional population

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12  Gina A. Zurlo

Christianity in Central America, 1970–2020 Christians by Country, 2020 176.3 Million Christians, 95.7% of Population

MEXICO 96%

BELIZE 93% HONDURAS 96% % Christian

3% 10% 50% 75%

GUATEMALA 97% NICARAGUA 95% EL SALVADOR 96% COSTA RICA 95% PANAMA 90%

The sixteenth-century Spanish conquest of Central America resulted in a cultural and numeric dominance of the Catholic Church that has remained until today. Protestantism arrived in the nineteenth century via Western missionaries, and by the 1920s Pentecostal/Charismatic Christianity had also appeared and begun to grow. The Catholic Church in the eight countries of Central America has been challenged over the course of the twentieth century: on the one hand losing members to new Independent and Protestant expressions of Christianity, but on the other hand redefining and strengthening what it means to be Catholic in the modern world. The region also experienced significant social and political upheaval in the twentieth century, from the Mexican Revolution in 1910 to the dictatorships of the 1970s, ’80s and ’90s. Christianity remained an important piece of the societal landscape during this time, with churches on both sides of conflicts but also acting as prophetic voices of peace.

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A Demographic Profile of Christianity in Latin America and the Caribbean  13



1970 68 Anglican Catholic Independent Orthodox Protestant

62m

2020 13m 14m

All Christians

Major Christian traditions Catholics remained the largest Christian tradition in 2020 but continue to lose members to newer churches. Protestant and Independent Christi­ anity are growing quickly and together represented 15% of the region (and of all Christians) in 2020.

Population (millions)

176 151m

Agnostics

0.7%

0.9%

Ethnic religionists

0.0%

0.2%

Atheists

0.0%

0.1%

Spiritists

1970

2020

2020

2.7%

2010

1.3%

0% 2000

Christians

25%

1990

95.7%

50%

1980

97.6%

% Christian

75%

1970

Christians over time Christianity in Central America remained mostly steady between 1970 and 2020, declining only two percentage points (95% in 2020). Every country in the region experienced a proportional decline in its Christian percentage, but only roughly two percentage points each.

% of regional population

100%

Year

Religious affiliation The non-religious (atheists and agnostics together) are the largest nonChristian tradition and grew from 1.3% in 1970 to 2.8% in 2020. Most of this growth was in urban areas.

% of regional population

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14  Gina A. Zurlo

Christianity in South America, 1970–2020 Christians by Country, 2020 397.9 million Christians, 91.3% of Population

VENEZUELA 92% GUYANA 54% SURINAME 51% FRENCH GUIANA 85% COLOMBIA 95% ECUADOR 95% PERU 96%

BRAZIL 91% BOLIVIA 93% PARAGUAY 95%

% Christian

3% 10% 50% 75%

CHILE 88%

URUGUAY 62% ARGENTINA 89%

FALKLAND ISLANDS 80% The Catholic Church was the only church allowed to operate during the colonial era, and in many South American countries it continues to hold a place of privilege. As in the rest of Latin America, Catholicism in South America was never homogeneous; it was, and continues to be, influenced by Amerindian, African and Iberian non-Christian religious traditions. Catholicism is ‘popular’: that is, many South Americans continue in traditional devotions not accepted by the Catholic Church, such as Brazilian Candomblé and Umbanda. Protestants in South America were initially European immigrants and their descendants, such as Lutherans, Methodists and Seventh-day Adventists. Today, Protestants make up nearly 10% of the population and are growing. The first Pentecostal church formed in 1909 in Chile, a breakoff from a missionary-founded Methodist group. It quickly indigenised and set an example for other Protestant (evangélico) groups to encourage indigenous leadership. The most substantial of these newer Christian expressions is the Catholic Charismatic movement, which has a huge following in Brazil and Colombia.

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A Demographic Profile of Christianity in Latin America and the Caribbean  15

1970 183 Anglican Catholic Independent Orthodox Protestant

174m

2020 43m

All Christians

42m

Population (millions)

398 330m

100%

% Christian

75% 50% 25% 0%

2020

2010

2000

1990

1980

1970

Christians over time South America was 95% Christian in 1970; the region is now 91% Christian and continues a very slow decline. Yet, every country in South America was more than 90% Christian in 2020. Both Evangelicals and Pentecostal/Charismatics have grown much faster than the general population, at 3.3% and 5.6%, respectively.

Major Christian traditions Catholic percentages have declined substantially due to the growth of Protestant and Independent Christianity. Protestants and Independents represented 8.8% of the population in 1970; by 2020, this was up to nearly 20%. Nine of the 10 largest non-­Catholic denominations in South America are in Brazil, including Assemblies of God, Universal Church of the Kingdom of God, Congregationalists and Baptists.

% of regional population



Year

95.2%

91.3%

Christians

1.2%

3.7%

Agnostics

1.4%

2.6%

Spiritists

0.4%

0.6%

Atheists

0.7%

0.5%

Ethnic religionists

1970

2020

Religious affiliation Together, atheists and agnostics represented only 1.6% of South America’s population in 1970; this grew to 4.3% in 2020. Uruguay has the highest proportion of non-religious in Latin America, at 37%. Spiritists increased proportionally, mostly due to practitioners in Brazil.

% of regional population

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16  Gina A. Zurlo

Future of Christianity in Latin America, 2020–2050

2020 58m 63m

612 Anglican Catholic Independent Orthodox Protestant

508m

2050

All Christians

85m 87m

Major Christian traditions Catholicism in Latin America is likely to continue its proportional decline as people continue to switch to Protestant and Independent churches. By 2050, an estimated 90% of Latin Americans will be Christian – 69% Catholic and 22% Protestant/Independent.

Population (millions)

703 538m

% of regional population

100%

% Christian

75% 50% 25% 0%

2050

2040

2030

2020

2010

2000

1970

Christians over time Latin America is poised to be majority Christian for many generations into the future. Catholicism is both declining in power and influence and changing internally, becoming increasingly Charis­matic in nature. The Charismatic movement within the Catholic Church continues to grow in Brazil, Mexico, Colombia, Chile, Argentina and else­ where.

Year

92.1%

90.2%

Christians

3.6%

5.5%

Agnostics

2.2%

2.0%

Spiritists

0.6%

0.5%

Ethnic religionists

0.5%

0.6%

Atheists

2020

2050

% of regional population

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Religious affiliation The religious makeup of Latin America is expected to change very little into the future. The number of non-religious is likely to increase slightly with some secularisation in large cities like Buenos Aires and São Paolo. It is expected that ethnic religions will continue their proportional decline as many Independent churches work in indigenous areas.

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Christianity in Latin America and the Caribbean Ana María Bidegain

The face of contemporary Latin American and Caribbean Christianity is that of an emigrant and displaced Christianity. Since the middle of the twentieth century, there has been a significant change in Latin American Christianity, whose historical subject is the population that – forced by circumstances – left the rural world to move to the big cities of their own countries or across borders. On the margins or in marginal areas of the cities, in the ‘misery belts’, among the poor, a transformation of Christianity has taken place. It is a response to the psychosocial needs of these populations, whose traditional structures do not enable them to integrate into the urban world and find a new meaning to their lives. This religious change, advanced primarily by the urban poor, produced both the so-called Pentecostal explosion and the Church of the Poor, the subject of Liberation Theology. Therefore, the cover image we have chosen for our volume depicts the Holy Family as Latin American migrants. It is a reproduction of the mural at the Catholic Parish Church of San José in Cochabamba, Bolivia, painted in 2002 by the artist Maximino Cerezo Barrada, to whom we are immensely grateful for his generosity. In the pages of this book, we want to expose the face and diversity of Latin American and Caribbean Christianity, intertwined with and a product of the context in which it was made flesh. The authors of this collective work were selected for their specialisation in the development of the subject matter, bringing professionals with long careers and international prestige together with excellent young colleagues who are gaining notice in their countries for developing cuttingedge research. It is a work that represents the voices of researchers from different churches and recognised tendencies in the continent. In other words, the work has an eminently ecumenical character. The authors also represent the great ethnic, age and gender diversity of the region. Longstanding academics, together with young researchers, from all corners of the immense geography of Latin America and the Caribbean, from various social and human disciplines, contributed to the knowledge of specific problems and realities. It is, therefore, a volume written from the heart

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18  Ana María Bidegain of the region, by authors who have been challenged by the huge demonstrations of social protest that have erupted in various countries, showing the same difficulties and anguish that have been stifling the continent for decades. The writings are pierced by the pain produced by the coronavirus pandemic of 2020–1, as a result of which some authors or their relatives suffered in their own humanity – a pandemic that, functioning like an x-ray, has shown us the enormous social inequalities and the immense imbalances produced by the neoliberal model implemented since the 1980s thanks to the path opened by military dictatorships and paper democracies based on the ‘national security’ doctrine. We arrive at the twenty-first century without having healed the wounds produced by the dictatorships of the twentieth century and now we have to confront the inequalities produced by neo-liberal policies. Christianity in Latin America and the Caribbean has been present for five centuries, taking root in diverse contexts and intermittently nourished by new Christian and non-Christian developments. For this reason, its face is not uniform, but undoubtedly this religious reality is the force that has most definitively marked the culture and history of the region. It is the Christian region par excellence, with adherence exceeding 90%. It is a Christianity in which the present and the future do not break with the past, and the former can only be explained by the latter, which amalgamates them and is the source of its own identity. It is mainly Roman Catholic, with a long and close relationship with European Catholicism, but from the beginning it has had its own imprint, derived from the ethnic and cultural hybridisation between the character of the conquering world and that of the nations established for millennia in the immense territory that makes up the region. To survive, the Iberians had to learn from the Indigenous tradition that provided them with the necessary knowledge of nature. The native women who became wives against their will, concubines or slaves were the ones who had to teach the Europeans new eating habits and hygienic recipes adapted to the climate, the use of natural elements in domestic organisation and the use of medicinal plants to deal with tropical diseases. Soon after, the elements brought by enslaved Africans and some other Europeans – who arrived as pirates or colonisers, or through concessions and agreements with the crown – were incorporated. That original creativity persists in Latin American and Caribbean customs and traditions, in the culinary culture, in crafts, in the artistic creativity, in the music. That is why the mixed race, the Latin American and Caribbean hybridity, is not only biological but also, and above all, cultural. It is in this context of complex and unequal exchanges that

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Christianity in Latin America and the Caribbean  19

the Latin American and Caribbean culture, full of diversity, inequality and nuances, has been shaped. But it was in its interstices that ancestral cultures managed to survive. It is where evangelisation took root and women re-created for centuries this so-called ‘popular Catholicism’ and were protagonists in the history of Latin American and Caribbean Christianity, although for centuries they were invisible to historiography and theological reflections. This hybrid world, however, was not only the product of violence and the domination of Amerindian women. In the first half of the sixteenth century, an attempt was made to establish an Indian church that, in dialogue with local cultures, could transmit the gospel. The missionaries fostered religious hybridity by appropriating the sacred spaces of the Indians. Several of them also became their protectors in the face of colonial abuses and won their adherence. The early Latin American church fathers laid the foundations of an original Christianity, which was quickly disavowed by the Spanish authorities because it was not conducive to their colonial project. The system of Christianity was imposed so that the Christianity articulated as part of the colonial project would give it legitimacy. This close relationship between church and state has marked the history of Christianity until now, as we shall see. More recently, other Christian churches have sought closer ties with the state as well, while still others have raised the banner of religious freedom. It was not only Catholicism that came along. Already in the sixteenth century, before the arrival of Protestants in North America, the Spanish crown had authorised the arrival of Lutherans in Venezuela. In the seventeenth century, the Dutch seized north-eastern Brazil from the Portuguese and brought the Reformation. Rejected by the Portuguese, they settled on islands in the Caribbean. By the eighteenth century, Moravians were on the Central American coasts and Baptist, Methodist and Congregational missions in the Caribbean islands and the Guianas under British and Dutch protection. With them, groups of Jews also arrived and established the first synagogue in the Caribbean. Meanwhile, the enslaved African populations brought with them not only their customs, knowledge and ancestral religions, but also Islam. The Latin American and Caribbean religious landscape has always been diverse, but it gradually transformed and developed its own identity because of the hybridisation of many components and historical contexts and moments. During the 300 years of Spanish and Portuguese colonisation, governmental and Inquisitorial regulations prohibited the entry of other religions or even other versions of Christianity. They succeeded in establishing a solid ecclesiastical structure and in conveying a religious culture steeped in the baroque. But when the independent republics were established, the

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20  Ana María Bidegain situation changed. The Inquisitorial system was abolished outright and the enlightened Catholics themselves opened the door to the arrival of Protestant missionaries and the spread of Bible-study groups. In several states, with the establishment of liberalism, the new authorities not only allowed the arrival of Protestant groups but actually invited them to settle to confront the power of Catholicism. But the great contribution of Christian diversity in the nineteenth century was brought by migratory movements to Brazil, the Southern Cone and Mexico. Gradually, new legal systems were established that opened space for religious tolerance, and in the twentieth century religious freedom was constitutionally consolidated in most of the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean. Therefore, to understand the diversity and presence of Christianity in Latin America and the Caribbean during the twenty-first century, it is pertinent to look at the particular experiences of each country with its national multiplicity, its ethnic and cultural diversity, its splendid and generous geography. We must also consider the role that Christianity has played in the national construction of each country, the presence of different churches, and the role played in its conformation, derived from the internal and international migratory waves resulting from diverse events and national and international policies. The Caribbean region shows the greatest religious diversity as well as a growing percentage of non-Catholic Christians. The studies on and from Catholic, Anglican, Protestant, Evangelical, Pentecostal, Orthodox, Independent and Indigenous Christian churches allow us to understand the particularity of the recent demographic transformation of Latin American and Caribbean Christianity. But above all, these investigations allow us to talk about the great transformations with their particularities, their social and political impact, and their relations with Christianity in the USA and Europe. While Catholicism has seen a significant decrease in the proportion of the population identifying as Catholics, studies show a high process of secularisation of its followers: not only a change in membership, but also an increase in the Charismatic experience among its own ranks. Both ‘Protestants’ and ‘Evangelicals’ are terms used generically to describe both Pentecostal and Independent churches and those influenced by the sixteenth-century Reformation, such as Lutherans, Anglicans, Methodists, Presbyterians and Baptists, many of whom trace their history in Latin America back to the nineteenth century. The growth of the ‘Evangelicals’ is due to the fact that they are gaining adherents not only among former baptised Catholics, but also very strongly among sectors of historic Protestantism. Many Pentecostal churches originate from a split from a long Protestant tradition, such as the Presbyterians in Colombia.

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Christianity in Latin America and the Caribbean  21

Within the changing religious landscape we also see significant growth among non-denominational believers, agnostics and non-believers. Agnostics, according to our statistics, are the group with the second fastest growth. It is significant that the countries with the lowest rate of Christian adherence are those that did not suffer Spanish colonialism, such as Suriname, the Guianas and Uruguay, which was colonised very late and where secularisation is particularly consolidated and secularism is affirmed. When speaking of Catholics, however, we cannot speak only of a decline. Since the middle of the twentieth century, a gradual transformation has occurred – accelerated by the reception of the Second Vatican Council, which produced pastoral-theological movements such as liberation theology. Accompanied by sectors of historic Protestantism, this movement has had great international influence. It promoted a strong movement of returning to the origins of the faith, constituting and strengthening of basic ecclesial communities, and promoting the reading of the Bible, giving birth and development to ‘the church of the poor’. It was criticised, condemned and persecuted by all and sundry, but in 2013 a Latin American Pope was elected – Jorge Bergoglio, from Argentina – and one of his first declarations was that he wanted ‘a poor church and for the poor’. In 2016 the General Congregation of the Society of Jesus, the largest and most influential religious order in the Church, appointed Arturo Sosa Abascal, a Venezuelan priest, as its Superior General. In 1985 the World Council of Churches appointed Emilio Castro, a Methodist pastor of Uruguayan nationality, as its General Secretary, the first Latin American to occupy a position as a world-level Christian religious leader. Once considered a ‘missionary land’, Latin America is now recognised as a territory capable of producing world-class religious leaders. This enormous turbulence and transformation in Latin American and Caribbean Christianity deserves an explanation. On the one hand are nonreligious aspects that have to do with profound changes in the historical context in which this Christianity is rooted and which have determined its course. On the other are internal transformations derived from the history of the Christian churches in the second half of the twentieth century, which explain the transformations in the twenty-first century. As the figures in this Introduction show, the growth of Evangelicals, which started slowly at the beginning of the twentieth century and consolidated between the 1950s and 1970s, has continued to such a degree that it has been perceived as the end of the Catholic monopoly. Nevertheless, by the twentieth century the Catholic Church had become a powerful institution, with a multiplicity of parish organisations,

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22  Ana María Bidegain social assistance, catechesis and liturgical participation. Well organised lay movements under Catholic Action and an important contingent of religious, local and foreign, regular and secular clergy were present, serving in Latin America and the Caribbean. The Church had an established diocesan and parish structure throughout the continent and one continental organisation of the episcopate, Latin American Episcopal Council (CELAM, created in 1955). The religious orders and congregations brought together some 150,000 men and women through the Confederación Latinoamericana de Religiosos (CLAR; Latin American Conference of Religious), founded in 1959. The Catholic laity was also well organised and involved in national movements, with continental coordination related to the ecclesiastical structures. Behind this apparent strength lay two aspects of the same problem: the lack of priests – an average of one priest for every 5,000 baptised for the continent as a whole – and the fact that they are concentrated mostly in urban areas. In Catholicism, religious practice is articulated around the sacraments, which are administered only by priests in the parish, but the transmission of the faith runs through many other social and cultural channels. As a result, there is, on the one hand, a large mass of baptised people described as ‘nominal Catholics’ and, on the other, a Catholicism of those who practise and are closely articulated to the life of the diocesan church. This gap, which has always existed, became more evident in the mid-twentieth century. Various solutions were sought to the shortage of clergy. The Vatican, from the papacies of Pius XI to Paul VI, encouraged the formation of an elite laity organised in different branches within Catholic Action, so that, in consonance with the episcopate and by means of a mandate, the laity could participate in the hierarchical apostolate, carrying forward the process of evangelisation. On the other hand, Pius XII, faced with the enormous task assumed by the women’s religious communities, requested that the sisters be trained in theology as well as in various professions in Catholic or public universities. He also accepted a proposal made by some bishops and put them at the head of some parishes where the shortage of clergy was more pressing, for example in Brazil and Uruguay. But the greatest effort was concentrated on sending European and North American priests, facilitated by the availability of an important group of missionaries who had been expelled from Asia, Africa and Oceania. Pius XII appealed to the churches of the rich countries to help those in the so-called ‘Third World’. This aid included scholarships to European universities and seminaries for Latin American and Caribbean priests, nuns and lay people committed to the development of their countries and their churches, which resulted in the formation of a Latin American and Caribbean intellectual elite of

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Christianity in Latin America and the Caribbean  23

Catholicism. This group of clergy and lay people, following the lead of the bishops who participated in the Second Vatican Council (1962–5), were instrumental in the preparation of the second conference of the Latin American Episcopal Council (CELAM), held in Medellín, Colombia, in 1968, and in promoting reception of the findings of the Council. Despite all these efforts, the problem of the lack of priests to care for thousands of nominal Catholics was not solved. No matter how hard they tried, and although the number of dioceses and parishes increased, the number of priests was not sufficient to serve a population that was multiplying even faster. The population of Latin America and the Caribbean grew from 60 million in 1900 to 207 million in 1960, more than tripling in just 60 years. By the mid-twentieth century, the Church had overcome its long confrontation with the liberal states and finally had achieved a reintegration with the welfare states, with which it developed a series of agreements to advance social work in the health and education sectors, giving the Catholic Church great social pre-eminence. However, it was unable to attend, either socially or religiously, to a population that continued to grow and to live in poverty. In 1950 an estimated 60% (approximately 92 million) of the Latin American population were living in poverty, half of whom lived in rural areas. Despite efforts to reduce poverty rates, population growth caused the number of poor people to increase. Most Andean, Central American and Caribbean countries were mainly agricultural and had not experienced the processes of internal migration and urban development that had taken place in the Southern Cone countries, Brazil and Mexico, where a process of industrialisation linked to the expansion of agricultural exports had occurred. Land tenure, in the hands of a few families or agro-industrial companies, was seen as a central aspect of inequality. It led to major national and international social and political conflicts during the Cold War, provoking large-scale displacements of peasant and Indigenous populations, accompanied in some countries by processes of extreme violence. At the same time, the development of agrarian systems for export and industrialisation deepened in the 1960s with the entry of multinational capital, which allowed a five-fold increase in urban activities. But it accelerated the dizzying process of rural migration and the disproportionate growth of cities and the concentration of huge poverty belts in urban areas. Poverty migrated with peasant families who were violently displaced or had to migrate by force of circumstance. These migrant families then left the interior of the states for the cities in search of work and a place to live. Sometimes it was necessary to cross the borders between the same Latin American and Caribbean states to

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24  Ana María Bidegain escape situations of high violence and/or persecution, and sometimes it was migration from impoverished areas such as the Brazilian north-east to the industrial region of São Paulo or Minas Gerais. Conditions in this agrarian world – with little or no technology and with almost unchanged social and cultural structures, mostly baptised Catholics, and little pastoral care – were abysmal in comparison with the urban world. Along with the process of industrialisation, the urban world benefited from technological changes and access to health, education and comfort, as well as the possibility of consumption of local or foreign industrialised products. Inhabitants of cities, particularly capital cities, came to have a standard of living similar in many respects to that in cities in developed countries. The gap between the rural and urban worlds widened, especially for women. While all had achieved civil and then political rights in the first half of the twentieth century, urban women were more educated, and had access to universities, which provided greater autonomy and entry into the professional labour market. In addition, the rural and urban worlds were differentiated because, since the arrival of the Europeans, this division had been racialised, derived from the implementation of a caste system. The rural population was made up of Indigenous people, Afro-descendants and mestizos. The urban population was also mestizo, but the economic and cultural elite was predominantly white or whitened by the European civilising processes. Even if they owned the land, the elite always lived in the urban centres. Therefore, the journey from the rural to the urban world was an immense cultural and historical leap. In a few hours, these migrants underwent an experience that in other societies had taken centuries. At their point of origin, the agrarian world from which these Indigenous and Afro-descendant peasant families and individuals were expelled was a world of references and values determined by their relationship with nature, with their ancestral religious practices inherited from colonial Christianity, but when they arrived in cities with economies inserted in the international market, they had to face another world, one determined by the rationality of the city and the logic of capitalism. The relatively coherent universe of the agrarian world had provided them with the elements required to integrate into it by working the land, knowing what their role was and how to deal with calamities. But they no longer had the same points of reference, or these elements no longer served them; the migrants lost their cultural roots that had allowed them to develop and thus had to look for others that would allow them to find meaning in a society that did not integrate them or give them a sense of belonging. Most of these people were illiterate and not well equipped to

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Christianity in Latin America and the Caribbean  25

integrate into the production system. But they were also racially distinct in racially and culturally stratified societies. They were part of the Indigenous, Afro-descendant and mestizo population, traditionally marginalised from educational processes and social acceptance in white or ‘whitewashed’ cities. The only certainty they had in the new reality was that, to survive, they must work and obey. Not knowing the logic and meaning of the new culture, they lived in enormous cultural uncertainty. This uncertainty and uprooting led people to reorganise their new urban spaces in relation to their origins, preserving the only things they could bring with them, their beliefs and their worldview. That is why it is not unusual to find in cities large lower-class neighbourhoods with people from the same region, who reproduce the symbolic representations, their central devotions and their patron saint festivals, because they use them to appropriate the space and find a minimum sense of belonging. Their religious world is mostly what is described as popular Catholicism: a Christianity inherited from the first Hispanic and Lusitanian colonial missionary effort which, through varied and complex religious re-­ elaborations, fusions and inclusions of Amerindian, African and European religious practices, gave rise to a particular experience of Catholicism. In some cases, priests, religious and lay people linked to specialised Catholic Action came out to meet them: the slogan of many Catholic university couples was ‘You have to go to the people’, and of religious women was ‘You have to insert yourself into the world’. Many members of the educated middle and upper classes, who constituted the elite that immediately welcomed the Second Vatican Council, left the comforts of their class and settled in the periphery, in the working-class neighbourhoods, to support the mission of the Church, and began to organise small base ecclesial communities (BECs; or communicado ecclesia de base, CEBs). They used the life review method, which, starting from the experience and needs of the community itself, put biblical reflection at the centre to empower them and seek solutions. They found inspiration and theological support in the Second Vatican Council and the Medellín conference, as well as in the social doctrine of the Church, to develop the church of the poor and to inspire theology. This led to the emergence of a new Latin American theology that systematised many experiences of how faith in God was lived in this common reality of poverty and inequality in the region. In this quest they were often accompanied by members of the Protestant churches. At the same time, these religious leaders questioned the close collaboration of sectors of the Church with the power of the state and its closeness to the economic powers because they considered that this limited its mission and prevented it from understanding the growing world of the poor.

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26  Ana María Bidegain In these great waves of rural-to-urban migration, converts from the Pentecostal missions, which in the first half of the twentieth century had settled in rural areas, also travelled. Now several of their members became leaders of their communities because of their Charismatic abilities as healers, counsellors, teachers and speakers. These communities recognised their special capacity as a manifestation of the Holy Spirit, as long as the leadership was effective. Their followers grew in number, and the experience multiplied. For them, this was at the same time a proof of the authority of the pastors and of the divine will. Spontaneity and the need to respond to basic psychosocial needs forged churches that responded not to Catholic, Episcopalian, Presbyterian or Congregationalist polity, but to the pastor who led and served them. Their simplified liturgical forms, with the adoption of symbols and languages of their own, as well as the use of music, provided a space for encounter and emotional support and the building of social support networks, so necessary in the circumstances of the newcomers. The focus of religious activities was the reading of the Bible interpreted by the pastor, who considered the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit, which can come by means of a dream or visions, by signs of all kinds, to be sufficient. The religious basis of these populations is, as we have said, popular Catholicism, which is why the new experiences mix expressions of this religious substratum with elements of North American Evangelicalism and, depending on the region, elements of the ancestral Indigenous tradition or traditions of African religions. Therefore, the magical elements and the hope and belief in miracles have been central, for which they have developed a repertoire of rites that help them to confront illness, poverty and other evils that they often see as the product of witchcraft and the devil himself, to whom they frequently refer to explain the situation they are suffering. This pastoral decentralisation and the emergence of religious leaders who recovered the wealth of traditional religiosity and emerged from the communities themselves was decisive for the rooting of this Latin American Protestant-style Christianity. By then, as had happened with the Catholics, many missionaries had arrived, especially North Americans, expelled by political conflicts from Asia, Oceania and Africa, who were ready to support the new churches or to found others, promoting the Evangelical movement, organising national coordination structures and linking them with US Evangelicalism. This articulation, however, did not prevent the continued growth of Pentecostalism and Independent churches well rooted in local cultures. After the important Panama Congress of 1916, the Protestant churches considered it necessary to channel their mission work through education and sought ways to take root in the Latin American reality and unify various

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Christianity in Latin America and the Caribbean  27

synods and congregations. In addition to the national coordinations, a continental unification effort emerged in 1982 with the establishment of the Latin American Council of Churches (CLAI) and the Latin American Theological Fraternity (Fraternidad Teológica Latinoamericana). In the face of exponential population growth and the threat posed to the countries of the North by the immigration of these growing populations living in precarious conditions due to the limited development in the South, huge birth control campaigns were unleashed with the introduction of the contraceptive pill and other methods to regulate births. They sparked intense debate among politicians and bishops and led to the issuing of the 1968 encyclical Humanae Vitae. Although the encyclical condemned so-called artificial methods, it recommended responsible parenthood. It was a debate from which women were excluded despite being the ones who were primarily affected. However, the contraceptive campaigns were successful and the people started using the new methods. This process, along with divorce laws, which were gradually beginning to be recognised, had a double impact on women’s lives and family structure. At that time, Evangelicals did not enter the debate, but there was lively discussion in Catholic circles. Many women, especially in the new urban areas, feeling unwelcome in the face of the problems presented by responsible motherhood and often abandonment and poor treatment in marriage, found refuge in the new religious communities. In fact, in these areas women were often prominent in the initial formation of Christian communities, which, once established, were led by male pastors. At the same time, values seemingly unrelated to any religion or ideology, such as social climbing through consumption, had been transmitted through the media, and all other values became subordinate to those. Wellbeing came to be measured by consumption and plurality of options, strengthening a more individualistic and consumerist culture. These processes of formation of new models of Catholic and Protestant churches, which were transforming Latin American and Caribbean Christianity, took place in the context of the Cold War, which in Latin America politicised social conflict and the entire surrounding reality and had a great impact on religious experiences and churches. The exhaustion of the welfare states and the developmentalist model, together with the triumph of the Cuban revolution (1959), radicalised positions. Between 1964 and 1985, South America saw coups d’état, bloody dictatorships and governments of limited democracy, inspired by the doctrine of national security. In Central America and the Caribbean, old and new dictatorships dominated. In the 1970s and 1980s, war left a trail of displaced and migrant populations marked by the martyrdom of both religious leaders and lay faithful, who became pastoral agents.

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28  Ana María Bidegain Christianity did not escape the conflict, and the polarisation affected Catholicism and historic Protestantism in particular, and to a lesser extent Pentecostals, Independents and Evangelicals, because their leaders maintained a position of apparent non-intervention in world affairs but supported the status quo and the dictatorial regimes they accepted as divine will. A group of Catholic bishops held similar positions, followed by sections of the Catholic and conservative Protestant faithful. Another group of Catholics and Protestants wanted reforms but maintained the capitalist framework, as was the case with the Christian democrat groups inspired by the social doctrine of the Church. A third group, comprising Catholics, historic Protestants and some Pentecostals, advocated a profound and radical change in society. A minority within this third group openly supported radical transformation through armed revolution, while the majority adopted peaceful methods to advocate profound and long-term change, especially through the transformation of the political culture and the education of traditionally marginalised labour, social, political and cultural sectors – the entire conglomerate of ‘the poor’ in urban slums and rural areas. Concomitantly, the 1990–2020 period was also marked by the ensuing struggle for the defence of human rights and the legitimisation of the republican political system and the quest for democracy. During the period of the dictatorships many ecumenical experiences responded to the harsh reality, from ecumenical celebrations in Uruguayan prisons (whenever allowed) to the joint actions of Catholic and Protestant bishops who became spokespersons and defenders of the human rights of the repressed, for example in São Paulo, Brazil, or the Vicaria de la Solidaridad in Santiago, Chile. Although liberation theology was anchored in lower-class neighbourhoods and had achieved the formation of communities among the middle classes, encouraged by a significant number of bishops who had participated in CELAM and theologians who were beginning to gain international recognition, conservative sectors within and outside the Church began to view it with suspicion. Both locally on the part of the dictatorships and internationally, particularly in some sectors of US politics, conservatives considered that both the social and the organisational impact that the pastoral work articulated by the base ecclesial communities was having, as well as the theological reflection, meant that this sector of Catholicism and historic Protestantism was first viewed with suspicion and then accused of being an attack on national security. They were soon subjected to political repression, including asylum, prison, torture and death. In 1982, with a change in the leadership of CELAM, an internal dispute began, which deepened during the pontificates of John Paul II and Benedict

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Christianity in Latin America and the Caribbean  29

XVI. Those bishops, priests, men and women religious and lay people who were key participants in the CELAM conference of 1968 and the liberation movements faced real marginalisation and even open opposition. The youth and adult Catholic Action movements were discouraged, and, in their place, John Paul II supported new conservative lay movements such as Opus Dei, Legionaries of Christ and the Sodalitium Christianae Vitae. Such conservative movements sought to re-establish the traditional relationship with power, above all by revitalising the relationship between Catholicism and nationalism as the giver of national identity. A new value was given to traditional forms of religiosity, which are the ones that most allow these movements to reach and reconnect with mass or nominal Catholicism, through the revitalisation of pilgrimages, sanctuaries, veneration of images and all kinds of popular devotion, including large gatherings of the faithful, even worldwide, such as World Youth Day. The Latin American Conference of Religious (CLAR) became an important space of resistance and reflection in this period. But it also became a site of confrontation and was subject to Vatican surveillance. CELAM lost its relative autonomy, as became clear during the fourth CELAM conference, in Santo Domingo in 1992. A different reading of the Second Vatican Council proposed by John Paul II and Benedict XVI, together with the nomination of a new conservative episcopate, reoriented the pastoral ministry; the prophetic character of previous decades was silenced and some suffered political repression, exile or martyrdom. Many priests, religious men and women and lay people working in the barrios were forced to leave their pastoral work due to the political and religious circumstances. These spaces were taken over by other Christian leaders, mostly Pentecostals and Independents, but this did not mean the end of liberation theology. The World Council of Churches supported many Latin American pastors and theologians, including Catholic human rights and ecumenical dialogue advocates, and supported Latin American Catholics suffering persecution. Contrary to what was reported in the press and by some analysts, liberation theology was not a dialogue with Marxism, nor the legitimisation of socialism. The essential thing was to derive a policy not from a theological synthesis, but from the analysis of reality, of the context in which the religious experience must be lived, illuminated by a fresh reading of the Bible, in the heart of the community in which the action of Christians must emerge. This approach allows a process of awareness-raising and the search for solutions, including to social, ethnic, cultural and possibly political problems, which leads to the development of social organisations and the formation of popular leaders. Individuals and groups related to both theological production and the liberation movement suffered greatly

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30  Ana María Bidegain from the persecution, and this undoubtedly affected them, but they continue to work even in seminaries, pastoral centres and thematic and continental ecumenical networks such as Amerindia. In even the most important public universities in several countries, historically closed to the study of religious or religion-related problems, they opened centres for research and study. That is why liberation theology, instead of disappearing, continued its process of maturation and growth with reflections that emerged from diverse realities such as the theology of the people, feminist theology, ecofeminist theology, Indian theology, black theology, the ecological realities and the experience of migration. The period of dictatorships, in addition to impeding the advance of communism and leaving a trail of pain in the civilian population, had consequences that facilitated the entrenchment of the so-called neoliberal model facilitated by the collapse of the Soviet Union. To solve the debt crisis they had left behind and generate growth, the governments of the 1990s, following the agreements of the so-called Washington consensus, established financial and economic adjustment measures, focused on the dismantling of the welfare state, regulations and protectionism, which they believed prevented the entry of foreign investment and the development of the private sector. The market was imposed as the great regulator and state enterprises providing essential public services such as drinking water, electricity, health, education, social security and communications were privatised and concentrated in the hands of local and international private capital. Control of political institutions regulating labour relations was removed and, therefore, workers lost many social protections, such as pensions and health care for themselves and their families. Mega-projects in agriculture, livestock, forestry, mining, energy and communications were developed. Highly technical projects had a strong impact on labour relations, and the expulsion of the rural population to the cities continued. To gain access to the international market for local products, Latin American and Caribbean economies had no choice but to open and globalise, which only accentuated the consumer society and individualism. This has been accelerated since the year 2000 by the advent of new technologies and the development of new forms of information through social networks. The production of wealth grew, but the governments of the time did not pay attention to its distribution and the increase in poverty, which in the first decade of the twenty-first century facilitated the rise of progressive governments. The latter, although they tackled the problems of poverty, did not make major structural changes, nor did they avoid the old practices of corruption when theyd granted concessions to telecommunications or road infrastructure companies in exchange for financing

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Christianity in Latin America and the Caribbean  31

their parties. The result has been that they have favoured the growth of mining exports, infrastructure, the modernisation of agro-industrial businesses and the food and telecommunications industries, and thereby the enrichment of those who were already immensely rich. Today, some Latin Americans are listed as being among the world’s richest people, but this has not meant wealth for all. On the contrary, it has produced more displacement of peasant, Indigenous and Afro-descendant populations, some voluntarily, but most under coercion and violence, as has happened in Brazil and Colombia. As the market generated excesses and problems such as extreme poverty or environmental destruction, the birth and development of nongovernmental organisations was encouraged to help create programmes to address these social and environmental problems. Religious organisations (mostly Christian) have created many of them, receiving support from private entities as well as national and international governmental bodies. States fund faith-based organisations, mainly Catholic, but also other Christian denominations to address the needs of those who face extreme vulnerability (the poor, the elderly without families, people who are mentally ill). The contamination of water by the exploitation of oil companies and legal and illegal mining companies has sparked conflict between local people and companies to which states grant rights without consider­ing the opinion of those people. These conflicts have required many years of struggle, pain and even the death of many social leaders fighting against environmental degradation and social injustice, through new social movements, often supported by pastoral agents. With the establishment of national constitutions, religious freedom and the secular state were consolidated along with the rights of freedom of conscience and expression, as well as the recognition of the rights of Indigenous communities and Afro-descendants, by declaring the multi-ethnic and multicultural character of the states and opening the space for new legal frameworks on human sexuality. The growing religious minorities that had been courted by the dictatorships in search of legitimacy and were motivated by the preaching of North American tele-evangelists saw the opportunity to participate politically and seek a closer relationship with power in order to obtain the privileges that the Catholic Church had enjoyed. In this context, in the 1980s and 1990s a series of ‘evangelical’ political parties emerged that have reached new agreements with the state and have obtained privileges and perks that they previously criticised. Of course, the new circumstances favoured the strengthening and development of the Evangelical movement. It entered a new phase characterised by the ability to integrate

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32  Ana María Bidegain the traditional beliefs and values of the working-class neighbourhoods with modern means of communication, the consumer society, and the emergence of inter-culturality fuelled by a continuous migratory process from the countryside to the city, but now also by the influences coming from outside in totally globalised societies. The economic transformations referred to above have brought with them social and cultural transformations. Neoliberalism accentuated individualism, but above all the loss of values that are not subordinated to social ascent through consumption, since the logic of the market is what dominates. The state ceased to be the great regulator, and this allowed the break-up of the Catholic monopoly. As religion was less regulated, com­ petition and the growth of religious diversity became possible. Globalisation and the logic of the market allowed some Pentecostal and Independent churches, above all, to become large companies that use their methods to market and distribute their religious goods and propositions. These goods are the result of the juxtaposition of popular Catholicism (rooted in the first evangelisation and the religious components of the Indigenous populations), North American Evangelical preaching and other religious traditions such as millenarianism, which, amalgamated and using diverse means of communication, allow them to find more followers. The number, as we said, is what gives credibility and legitimacy to both the pastor and the congregation and is a sign of divine endorsement. If not, it is a sign that the Holy Spirit has abandoned the pastor, who no longer has the authority to guide them. Hence the importance of quantifying and measuring growth, including growth in the consumption of material items in line with the current cultural approach, which has been augmented by neoliberalism. In this third phase of Evangelical growth, the churches are made up not only of the urban and suburban poor, but also of university students of lower-class or professional origin and some sectors of the middle classes, although not the dominant sectors of Latin American and Caribbean societies. Evangelicalism has also grown among Indigenous sectors not integrated into the market economy, such as the Mayas in Mexico, the Tobas in Argentina, the Mapuches in Chile, the Paeces and Guambianos in Colombia and the Quechuas in Ecuador. In the following pages it will be possible to unravel the nature of this process in each country, the impact on the various Christian churches and the way in which Latin American and Caribbean Christianity in the twenty-first century has engaged with a variety of challenges and new realities.

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Christianity in Latin America and the Caribbean  33

Bibliography

Beltrán, William and Sonia Larrota, Diversidad Religiosa, valores y participación política en Colombia. Resultados de la Encuensta Nacional sobre Diversidad Religiosa en 2019 (Bogotá: Universidad Nacional de Colombia, 2020). De Roux Lopez, Rodolfo, ‘Los inciertos parajes de una nueva geografía religiosa en América Latina’, L’ordinaire latino-americain, 200–1 (2005), 61–70. Mallimaci, Fortunato, Veronica Giménez Beliveau and Juan Cruz Esquivel (eds), Second National Survey on Religious Beliefs and Attitudes in Argentina: Society and Religion in Transformation (Buenos Aires: CEIL-CONICET, 2019). Parker, Cristián (ed.), Religión, Política y Cultura en América Latina. Nuevas miradas (Santiago de Chile: Instituto de Estudios Avanzados de la Universidad de Santiago de Chile, 2012). Pérez Guadalupe, José Luis and Sebastian Grundberger (eds), Evangélicos y poder en América Latina (Lima: Instituto de Estudios Social Cristianos, 2018).

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Countries

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Chile Cristián G. Parker

During the twenty-first century, Christianity in Chile has been shaped by the social and religious transformations in the country. These are characterised by an advancing democratising process within the framework of a crisis of socio-political representation and a crisis of the current neoliberal development model. Likewise, in the religious field, a crisis is observed in the churches, especially the Catholic Church. Greater Evangelical presence and a growth in the number of non-believers has effected much change in the religious adherence of Chileans. These trends were already evident in the twentieth century, particularly due to the links of Christian movements with social and political processes, as well as the missionary activity of the Evangelical churches in Chilean society. A characteristic note of the evolution of Christianity in Chile in the twenty-first century is the change in religious adherence and the decline of trust in religious institutions in the face of secularising trends. However, a culture of Christian identity persists that in various quarters inspires a deep-rooted spirituality. The contemporary religious culture of Chileans is mostly related to Western Christian traditions. In the 2012 national census, in which a religion question was asked, 66.7% declared themselves Catholic, 16.4% Evangelical or Protestant and 0.04% Orthodox. Jehovah’s Witnesses reached 0.98% and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints 0.77%. On the other hand, 11.5% declared ‘no religion’ and 2.2% ignored the religion question. Finally, non-Christian religious adherents were few in number: Judaism (0.13%), Indigenous religions (0.1%), Buddhism (0.09%) and Islam (0.025%). The Institute of Statistics estimated a population of 19 million inhabitants in 2019. The main phenomenon that manifests itself in the change of religious adherence has to do with the ostensible decline of Catholicism: from 81% in the 1970 national census to 67% in 2012. On the other hand, surveys by the Center for Public Studies (CEP) show no significant variation in the number of people who consider themselves Evangelical: 17% in 2008 and 16% in 2018. However, the trust in and prestige of churches and religious organisations have plummeted. In a 2018 international survey conducted by the International Social Survey Programme (ISSP), 28% of Chilean respondents declared a high level of trust and 39.1% little or no trust in

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38  Cristián G. Parker religious organisations. Coincidentally, the 2018 CEP survey recorded a sharp drop in trust in churches and religious organisations, from 51% in 1998 to only 13% in 2018. Of course, this figure is still high in comparison with other institutions, such as commerce and industry (12%), the judicial system (7%) and Congress (5%). In April 2021, the CEP reported that only 17% of those surveyed had confidence in religious institutions.

Religious Change

Sociological studies have observed that, beyond declining formal adherence to religious institutions, de-institutionalised beliefs are increasing. The so-called ‘Catholics my way’ can be almost half of those who identify with Catholicism; ‘believers without religion’ might be a notable percentage of those who claim not to adhere to any confession. Thus, rather than an increase in non-belief, there seems to be an increase in selfmanaged believers whose heterodox and diffuse beliefs tend to change the entire religious spectrum. According to the 2018 CEP national survey on spirituality and religion, 80% claimed to believe in God, 56% said they believe in the Virgin and 45% said they believe in reincarnation, while 9% said that they had never believed or had stopped believing in God. The National Bicentennial Survey of the Catholic University, for its part, noted that those who affirm ‘I believe in God and I have no doubts’ oscillated between 76% and 77% between 2016 and 2019, having fallen from 94% in 2006. Beyond official Christianity – of the Catholic or Evangelical churches – the various forms of popular religion must be highlighted and constitute an important dimension when evaluating the presence and weight of Christianity in the culture and development of the country. In the 2018 CEP survey, 61% of Chileans stated that they believe in the ‘evil eye’, an

Christianity in Chile, 1970 and 2020 Tradition Christians  Anglicans  Independents  Orthodox  Protestants  Catholics Evangelicals Pentecostals/Charismatics Total population

1970 Population

%

2020 Population

%

8,861,000 4,000 1,437,000 21,000 173,000 7,794,000 146,000 1,495,000 9,564,000

92.7% 0.0% 15.0% 0.2% 1.8% 81.5% 1.5% 15.6% 100.0%

16,203,000 23,500 4,675,000 400,000 455,000 12,900,000 520,000 6,500,000 18,473,000

87.7% 0.1% 25.3% 2.2% 2.5% 69.8% 2.8% 35.2% 100.0%

Average annual growth rate (%), 1970–2020 1.2% 3.6% 2.4% 6.1% 2.0% 1.0% 2.6% 3.0% 1.3%

Source: Todd M. Johnson and Gina A. Zurlo (eds), World Christian Database (Leiden/Boston: Brill), accessed January 2021.

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Chile  39

ingrained superstition of traditional culture. Furthermore, 54% of the participants claimed to believe in spiritual energy in mountains, lakes or crystals, 52% believed in the saints and 51% in the supernatural powers ‘of our dead ancestors’. Popular beliefs and rituals in Chile are expressions of a massive faith and Catholicism. Several of them are forms of piety that date back to the time of the conquest and colony, and have maintained forms, colours and syncretisms of ancient local and regional traditions and cultures. Most of the religious festivals, ritual expressions, pilgrimages and votive offerings are to the Virgin or other saints. All these vital ex­pressions of the national cultural and religious heritage are present in the long geography of the country, from the northern desert to the cold southern Patagonia. In these festive and crowded events, identity is expressed and its own cultural traits are manifested through music, dance, gastronomy and community ties. Hundreds of popular religious festivals and pilgrimages are celebrated in the north of the country, where religious dance brotherhoods play a central role, in honour of the Virgen de la Tirana, Las Peñas, Ayquina, la Candelaria and Andacollo. In the central valley is the Fiesta de Cuasimodo with the brotherhoods of horse riders and their Huasa culture, who escort the priest who brings communion to the sick. Equally present are the multitudinous processions to the Virgin Mary (del Carmen, de la Merced) and the Cristo de Mayo in the metropolis of Santiago. In the south, the San Sebastián de Yumbel Sanctuary and the celebration of the Nazareno de Caguach stand out, where people from the different islands of the Chiloé archipelago come in boats. On 8 December 2018, despite the depths of the crisis of the Catholic Church due to abuse perpetrated by paedophile clergy, more than a million faithful attended the pilgrimage to the Virgin of Lo Vásquez on the route that links two mega-cities: Santiago and Valparaíso. Young pilgrims replicated the Marian devotion of their grandparents. Many cycled and self-organised through social networks. Its religious expression simultaneously demonstrated both religious and ecological commitment to the future. According to the 2019 Bicentennial Survey, on a national sample, Catholics maintain the Marian faith (44% attend a shrine annually) and popular traditions, such as celebrating the Day of the Dead and entrusting themselves to a saint (57% of Catholics). Multiculturalism and migratory phenomena in Chilean society have also been reflected in the emergence of new churches and services of worship. Thus, for example, churches linked to immigrant communities and Indigenous groups that claim their rights have begun to emerge. The language barrier is overcome in new communities – one of which is the Iglesia Evangélica Haitiana de Chile, which speaks Creole – and in numerous Catholic or Evangelical worship services in Indigenous media

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40  Cristián G. Parker that are beginning to be celebrated in the Mapuzungun, Aymara and Rapa Nui languages. In recent decades, Indigenous religions have been revalued. This has been in two forms: either by the recovery of ancestral traditions claimed as legitimate expressions of spirituality, or as syncretic expressions of Aymara, Rapa Nui, Mapuche and Huilliche Indigenous Catholicism. The active missionary presence of Evangelicals in Indigenous groups has generated some friction within the communities since Pentecostal groups condemn the so-called ancestral idolatries. In Chilean Christianity, the globalisation of Pentecostalism is evident, though the country has its own Pentecostal history dating back to an autochthonous revival of 1909, motivated by the work of American mission­ ary Willis Hoover. Indeed, the shocking spiritual awakening that the Evangelical Church in Chile had, in little more than 100 years of history, marked the autonomous evolution in a great diversity of organis­ ational and liturgical forms. Pentecostalism today is distributed in more than 4,000 different organisations, the most numerous and representative being the Pentecostal Methodist Church of Chile and the Pentecostal Evangelical Church. This Pentecostal Christianity, characteristic of the Christian culture of Chile, has been a historically popular phenomenon, because it has spread massively and mainly among the lower classes, although during the twenty-first century this has varied due to the access of its members and leaders to higher levels of education and by the interaction with the modernisation of Chilean society. The influence of the Charismatic movement in the country is unmistakable in the early decades of the twenty-first century. A significant percentage of Chileans declare that they have been committed to beliefs and practices associated with the ‘gifts of the Holy Spirit’, including healing miracles. A 2014 Pew Research Center Latin American study reported for Chile that 82% of Evangelicals and 19% of Catholics said they had witnessed speaking in tongues, praying for miracles and prophesying, at least occasionally. These percentages, when applied to the total believing population, indicate that about 30% declared this Charismatic experience. The first decades of the twenty-first century have been marked in Chile by a greater institutionalisation and social legitimacy of the thousands of existing Evangelical churches. Of the nearly 5,500 religious organisations registered with the Ministry of Justice in 2020, according to an authorised source, about 90% belong to Evangelical churches, mainly Pentecostals. A report from the same body indicated that between 2014 and 2016 a total of 675 churches had been established as legal entities in Chile. Chilean Creole Pentecostalism has received influences from global Pente­ costalism, the media and the processes of social modernisation

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but, given its imprint and local and national history, its own traits have prevailed. This has limited the sphere of influence of Evangelical missionaries from North America or Brazil. The expansion of churches such as the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God, Assemblies of God, God is Love and other so-called neo-Pentecostal or tele-evangelism expressions has also been limited. Nevertheless, the proliferation of Evangelical churches has accentuated Christian religious diversity in contexts of multiple modernisation where South American and Chilean culture mark local evangelism. The presence in public institutions has also been a concern. The service of Evangelical chaplains was legalised in the armed forces, hospitals and prisons, an area in which the Catholic Church historically had a monopoly. Pentecostalism has grown and been renewed in a context of democratisation and economic growth, but also in a context of persistent social insecurities, growing individualism and consumerism, and in a context of political crisis where apathy is widespread. Over the past several decades, the growth of Pentecostalism has paralleled the growth of a Catholic Charismatic movement, an Indigenous renaissance, and the growing popularity of New Age spiritual movements. There is here a phenomenon that can be interpreted as a dialectic between political disenchantment and religious re-enchantment. Loss of faith in politics creates room for new narratives and spiritual attachments. However, the greater incidence of Evangelicals in Chilean society, and especially of Pentecostals, is more a qualitative than a quantitative phenomenon. The periodic National Bicentennial Survey registered 14% of the population as Evangelicals in 2006, and from 2010 onward until 2019 the percentage of people who adhere to Evangelicalism ranged between 16% and 18% without a clear upward trend. The proliferation of Pentecostal churches does not increase the total number of faithful but, rather, affects the atomisation of the Evangelical world. There is no doubt that the modernising processes, the increase in schooling, the overcoming of poverty, the emerging middle classes and modern communication technologies, together with the liberal culture of the democratising process, have contributed to encouraging transformation from traditional religious forms and simultaneously secularising tendencies. Non-adherents to any religion and atheists in the aforementioned Bicentennial Surveys reached 12% of the population in 2006, 22% in 2014 and 32% in 2019. Qualitative studies indicate that these figures do not reflect widespread irreligious attitudes but do mark a departure from institutional religion. Christianity also has been affected by this phenomenon, increasing the number of Christians (of Catholic or Evangelical origin) who do not recognise any denomination, and in some cases there are new

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42  Cristián G. Parker forms, such as the ‘self-secularisation’ of Christianity by which some communities have modified their religious language in order to stay current, leaving aside dogmatic-doctrinal elements. Internet and social networks, widely disseminated in Chilean society, for their part offer a wide range of possibilities to self-construct syncretic, heterodox, gnostic, millenarian, postmodern, esoteric and quite personalised beliefs and practices, of a type so diffuse that little of Christianity remains. The secularist and anti-clerical tendencies, long established in the history of republican Chile, had abated towards the second half of the twentieth century. With the collapse of the Berlin Wall and the relevance of the Christian struggle for human rights (which marked the decades from the 1970s to the 1990s), the attack on religion as ‘opium of the people’ had lost its validity. However, the recent conservative restoration and Evangelical conservatism have rekindled anti-religious tendencies, especially in extremist and neo-anarchist groups fighting against the established order. This brings us to the analysis of the relationship between Christianity and politics in Chile in recent decades.

Christianity and Politics

In Chile, since the 1925 Constitution, religion and the state have been officially separated. The current Constitution, of 1980, guarantees freedom of conscience and worship. The law prohibits religious discrimination and provides support for victims of discrimination. The National Office of Religious Affairs, a government agency, handles communications between religious communities and the government and ensures the protection of the rights of religious minorities. In this legal framework, the action of the churches is carried out, which has taken new forms in the new century. From a very prominent presence of the Catholic Church in society due to its clear position in defence of human rights under the Pinochet military dictatorship (1973–90), there has been a greater presence of the Evangelical churches in the political sphere and a ‘re-clericalisation’ of the Catholic sectors, all oriented towards the ‘value agenda’ that is paramount for conservative Christians in relation to such issues as divorce and abortion. Towards the end of the twentieth century and the beginning of the twenty-first, the institutional dynamics of the Evangelical churches have had growing impact in the public sphere, which has been endorsed by state recognition of this situation. The new century began with Law No. 19,638 (of 1999) that regulates the legal constitution of religious groups. For the first time, Christian churches, outside the Catholic and Orthodox Churches, had a legal status as a legal person under public law. This is a milestone for the Evangelical churches, since they now have the same legal status that the Catholic Church has had for

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centuries. Law No. 20,299 (2008) established the National Day of Evangelical and Protestant Churches on 31 October, Luther’s anniversary, and represents further recognition by the Chilean state. Participation of Evangelicals in politics has increased markedly since the 2000s. In the 1999 presidential election, Evangelicals began to organise, promoting an Evangelical candidate, although it was an electoral failure. From those years on, the different political tendencies began to take account of the Evangelical electorate. Although the political orientations of Evangelicals cover a wide spectrum, in recent years conservative leaders have taken on greater media profiles and managed to elect three parliamentarians as the self-styled ‘Evangelical Group’. This sector has sought to stop the development of reforms that aim at the decriminalisation and legalisation of abortion. The platform has not been without controversy, particularly due to the accusations of corruption around the Evangelical bishop Eduardo Durán, father of the deputy of the same name. This crisis would finally cause the dissolution of the platform. Towards the end of the 2010s the most progressive sectors of the Evangelical field re-organised around the struggle for a new political constitution for Chile, grouping themselves into ‘Evangelicals for Approval’ in the 2020 plebiscite and proposing candidates for the Constitutional Convention. In general, social Christianity has lost relevance in the framework of Chilean society. The balance in the relationship between Christianity and politics in the decades leading up to the twenty-first century indicates a shift from clear positions in favour of social Christianity to moderate and conservative positions, as in the case of the Catholic Church and influential Pentecostal churches. Under Pinochet, the Catholic Church and a few Evangelical confessions were committed to the defence of human rights. Later they were decisive in the negotiations for the democratic opening and collaborated with the transitional justice commissions that emerged after the military regime. However, the more recent emphasis on spiritual life and privileged positions of the Charismatic and intra-ecclesial worship between Catholics and Evangelicals has diminished the strength and momentum of the socio-political commitment of Christians. At the parish level, in the Catholic field the spiritual and Charismatic movements have gained ground, and the presence of communities and parishes that practise a liberating Christianity and spirituality has diminished. In the Evangelical field the churches led by conservative pastors have prevailed, even when the Protestant and Pentecostal sectors that practise a democratic and social Christianity remain. The Christian groups that were inspired by liberation theology during the twentieth century have diversified their efforts and approaches, which now include feminist, biblical, Indigenous and inter-cultural theologies.

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44  Cristián G. Parker In this century, the battle of the churches for issues related to the moral agenda has claimed centre stage. The Catholic Church and the main Evangelical churches have opposed liberalising laws. The Catholic hierarchy has maintained its closed stance in defence of life and against abortion, as well as its preaching of a strict morality that rejects divorce and homosexuality. This continues despite the acceptance of divorce by the vast majority of Catholics in the country (84% according to the 2014 Latin American survey by the Pew Research Center). In addition to the battle against divorce and abortion – lost by the churches – in the face of secular powers, the aforementioned discrediting of ecclesial institutions has been added. The result has been that in the social protest movements that have emerged in Chile and that have been accentuated since the 2010s, churches and religious symbols have been the target of attack. On the occasion of the outbreak of social unrest in October 2019 and the mobilis­ations of 2020, sanctuaries have been burned and crucifixes have been removed to be set on fire on public roads. In the south – where the ethnic movement advocates the rights of the Mapuche people – many Evangelical and Catholic sanctuaries have been burned down in the past decade as symbols of the neocolonial status quo. In total about 70 sanctuaries have been burned. The Catholic and Evangelical members, in general, share the general scepticism about politics, viewing it as estranged from the people and corrupt. Among Evangelicals, scepticism towards politics comes from seeing it as distanced from Evangelical principles. The possibility of Christian candidates being elected can bring moral integrity, but they see the decadence of the political system prevailing. According to this vision, the moral transformation of the country will not come from politics, which encourages Christians to adopt an apolitical stance. In the Catholic field, political positions span the entire spectrum and the hierarchy has lost influence on its laity, who have gained autonomy and even organise to criticise the Church for its moral inconsistency. This brings us to the analysis of the crisis in the churches.

The Crisis in the Churches

The twenty-first century has been marked, especially for the Catholic Church in Chile, by the scandal arising from sexual abuse perpetrated by members of the clergy. The complaints, which had been proliferating since 2004, accumulated and exploded with the visit of Pope Francis to Chile in 2018. The participation of important members of the curia in the cover-up of the facts was evidenced, undermining the prestige and trust that Chilean society had towards the Catholic Church. In 2003 for the first time a priest was defrocked for sexual crimes and sentenced by a civil court. The following year complaints were made against Fernando Karadima, a

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prominent cleric close to the national elite and linked to political power. The scandal had a high profile in the media in 2010, when victims made the facts public. The public learned from the media that cardinals and bishops were involved in obstructing the judicial processes, as well as in covering up for Karadima. Although Karadima was found guilty in 2011, those who protected him continued to occupy a privileged place in the Catholic hierarchy. This had adverse effects during Pope Francis’s visit to Chile in January 2018, when one of the topics most addressed by the press was ecclesial abuses. The crisis culminated when the pontiff defended Bishop Juan Barros, one of Karadima’s main collaborators, provoking rejection by Catholic parishioners. Better informed, almost immediately, the Pope retracted his statements and summoned an investigative commission led by Bishop Charles Scicluna, which produced a report that has served as the basis for hundreds of judicial processes, both civil and canonical. The failure of Pope Francis’s visit to Chile revealed the Church’s lack of transparency and its inability to adapt to the information society of the twenty-first century, where the truth or falsity of statements is much more openly discussed. Many Evangelical pastors for their part have also been accused of sexual abuse. In addition, several churches that are known for preaching a ‘prosperity theology’ message have been denounced for acts of economic corruption on the part of some pastors. The general lack of trust in the institutions is part of the crisis of the Chilean democratic system, but the discredit of the churches is also due to their double discourse. On the one hand, Christian leaders preach strict morality and conservative sectors are strongly opposed to divorce, abortion and homosexuality. On the other hand, sexual crimes and economic corruption are sheltered and protected, which results in a general distrust in religious institutions. This crisis has demonstrated the absence of women’s participation in ecclesial structures, the lack of appreciation of the feminine and the reproduction of a clerical and patriarchal power on the part of the Catholic hierarchy. The same thing happens in many Evangelical churches. In general, surveys indicate that the religiosity of women is greater than that of men, and it is they who take a more active role in animating communities and congregations. This gender gap is evidenced, for example, in the 2016 Pew Research Center survey, which found the proportion of those who pray daily is much greater than for women than it is for men. This difference for Chile is 23 percentage points, while the mean difference from the international survey is only 8 points. Despite everything, churches today are still ruled by male leaders. The ordination of women to the priesthood is supported by the majority of the population, but this role is still reserved for men. Patriarchy is in force in the vast majority

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46  Cristián G. Parker of Christian churches. However, pressured by the Chilean culture and society being much more open to changes aimed at gender equality, the churches welcome an opening for greater female participation, although the time has not yet come for doctrinal and structural change. For this reason and in the face of the increase in feminist movements in the country, the sexual abuse of the clergy and its cover-up and impunity are critically observed as a serious inconsistency in Catholicism. The contradiction of a Church that preaches the Marian faith and proclaims herself as Mother has been exposed: an institution that does not take care of, that does not attend to its faithful as a mother but rather lets its pastors abuse them and does not protect them. Beyond this, it is possible to affirm that the ecclesial institutionality, its governance and its relationship with power exploded in a crisis of unsuspected proportions. When Pope Francis took action in the scandal, he called all the Chilean bishops to the Vatican and they resigned en masse. He later appointed an investigative commission and gradually replaced all the bishops, including Cardinal Ezzati, who was succeeded by Bishop Aós as Archbishop of Santiago, later elevated to become a Cardinal. The crisis due to sexual abuse in the Catholic Church not only meant the loss of prestige of the local clergy, but also redefined the role of the laity, who came to take a greater public role. Throughout the decade of the 2010s, criticism of the ecclesial handling of the scandals grew and lay public opinion was generated in the Church. In January 2019, Catholic laity gathered in a self-convened synodal assembly to ‘rebuild a church ravaged by sins’ and encourage greater participation and inclusion. In January 2020, the second lay synod met to encourage the struggle for dignity and justice in the framework of ‘a Chile that awakened’. Also in 2020, a group of Christians published a book on shame for the abuses in the Catholic Church.

Ecumenism, Justice and Culture

The sociocultural weight of Christianity has diminished. In the fields of music, art and architecture, religious manifestations occupy a secondary place. Religious music, which during the time of the dictatorship mixed indistinctly with secular music in the general public, has returned to its niche in places of worship. In general, the Christian liturgy in its various forms continues to encourage rituals within churches, parishes and congregations with marked vitality. However, except for the manifestations of popular religiosity, there are no longer massive expressions of public worship headed by priests or pastors. Despite this, the presence of the Catholic and Evangelical churches is observed even in the most remote locations. In the regions, Catholic

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sanctuaries are prominent in the architecture of the main cities and towns. The thousands of Evangelical sanctuaries, on the other hand, especially the Pentecostal ones, tend to be lower key in terms of architecture, often modest constructions in the midst of vulnerable populations. The relevant presence of the churches in society and culture is maintained by Sunday Mass and sacramental ministry in the case of Catholic parishes and by worship and missionary activity in the case of Evangelical congregations. In this context, the ecumenical activities of the Catholic Church and historic Protestant churches are significant, although occasional and sporadic. They have less expression on the part of the Pentecostal churches. The ecumenical Te Deum celebrated on the occasion of the national holidays by Catholics and Protestants is still celebrated. The ‘Evangelical’ Te Deum, celebrated the Sunday before on the occasion of the same national holidays, summons Pentecostals but not historic Protestants. The initiatives of social ecumenism, which brings together Catholics and Protestants and some Pentecostal churches, are important and cover the area of human rights and social development. The presence of Christian churches in the field of education in Chile has been historically relevant and has been even more so in recent decades. Thousands of educational establishments promoted by the churches are active not only at the pre-basic, basic and secondary levels but also at the level of higher education. The contribution of important Catholic universities in the country stands out. The Adventist University of Chile is the only denominational Protestant university that is at the level of the Catholic ones. In schools, legislation has liberalised religion classes – which previously were taught by Catholic teachers – including the option for parents to request Evangelical religion classes in non-denominational schools or simply the option of being excused from them. No less important is the social action of the churches throughout the country, especially focused on overcoming poverty and caring for vulnerable and marginalised sectors of society. The social action of the churches is, due to its extension and coverage, of a magnitude without comparison, being the main contribution of non-profit organisations to protection and social promotion, beyond the organs of the state. This presence of the churches extends to activities in defence of human rights, in education, in the media, in health centres, in prisons and homes, and in works of social development. The social engagement of Christians in the country amounts to a contribution of enormous weight and relevance. In recent years, pastoral and social work has increased in support of Indigenous groups, the elderly and especially immigrants, not to mention the solidarity work in the midst of the general crisis caused throughout the country by the COVID-19 pandemic during 2020 and 2021.

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48  Cristián G. Parker

Bibliography

Del Rio, Carolina (ed.), Vergüenza, abusos en la Iglesia Católica (Santiago: UAH Ediciones, 2020). Fediakova, Evguenia, Evangélicos, política y sociedad en Chile: dejando ‘el refugio de las masas’ (Santiago: IDEA-CEEP, 2013). Lindhardt, Martin, ‘Pentecostalism and Politics in Neoliberal Chile’, Iberoamericana. Nordic Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Studies, 42: 1–2, (2012), 59–83. Mansilla, Miguel Ángel and Mariela Mosqueira (eds), Sociología del pentecostalismo en América Latina (Santiago: CEIL-UNAP-RIL, 2020). Parker, Cristián and José Miguel Pérez-Valdivia, ‘The Failed Visit of Francis to Chile and the Catholic Church Crisis’, Research in the Social Scientific Study of Religion, 30 (2019), 394–416.

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Argentina Fortunato Mallimaci

In the nineteenth century and for most of the twentieth, Catholics and Protestants between them claimed the allegiance of the vast majority of the population in Argentina. Most Argentinians have been Catholics, but a strong minority was formed by churches that drew on the ideas and principles of the Lutheran, Calvinist and Anglican reformations. The great religious mutation of the last quarter of the twentieth century was effected by numerous and rapidly growing Pentecostal churches. Their culture of glossolalia; healing; pastoral practice of proximity; a theology of individual, family and community strengthening; a literal reading of the Bible; and a call to the Spirit has captured the imagination of many. Along with these new forms of Christianity, the Catholic Church stands out and is distinguished not only as a hierarchical religious movement but also as the non-state social organisation with the greatest historical presence in Argentina. It finds expression through its culture, its symbols in the public and state space, its memories, its influence in the public and private spheres, and its network of parishes, sanctuaries, schools, movements, community radios, soup kitchens, non-governmental organis­ ations and non-social services. Not only are these influential throughout the whole country; they also mould and reconfigure – until today – the rest of the religious actors. The Catholic liturgy permeates and reproduces itself in civics and politics. Concepts, ideas, imagery, scenery, aesthetics, visions of the Christian Catholic world are resignified in political parties and social movements. They are a source that contributed and continues to contribute, militantly, in the arenas of civil society, political life and the institution of the state. Turning to the historical background, we can identify three great religious-historical periods: a first one of the constitution of a ‘modern’ state in the nineteenth century, with influences of liberalism and liberal Catholicism and Protestantism; a second from the mid-twentieth century until the end of the civic-military dictatorships in 1983, when the ‘Catholic Argentina’ emerged, massively nucleating the sons and daughters of migrants who, at the same time as they were nationalised and became citizens, also became Catholicised; and a third, that of the ‘new democratis­ ation’ born at the end of the twentieth century and that has continued to

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50  Fortunato Mallimaci the present day, where the defence and expansion of human rights faces neoliberal economic, financial and religious projects from the basis of a new and broad Christian and cultural diversity.

Integral Catholicism and Growing Protestantism

By the mid-nineteenth century, the old colonial Christianity and its culture had ended, bonds with the Vatican had to be formed, and a modern bourgeois state emerged that sought to exercise its domination and legitimis­ation in new ways. The new ruling classes – Catholic, Galician and bourgeois – did not want religion to occupy the public space. They wanted Catholicism to legitimise, support and consolidate their domination. A battery of laws and symbols were introduced to guarantee that negotiated domination. The Constitution of 1853 stated in its second article that the federal government supports the Catholic, Apostolic and Roman worship. In addition, it was required that the President be a Catholic who would convene the Board of Trustees which had the right to appoint bishops, until these powers were removed in 1966. The Civil Code created in 1871 recognised the national, provincial and municipal state, the church and establishments of public, religious or pious utility, banks, schools and universities as public legal persons. During the late nineteenth century, the liberal Catholicism of notables and defensive bourgeoisie was replaced by what can be called ‘integral Catholicism’, which is Roman, social and intransigent. For this, there was – with strong Vatican support – a short- and long-term strategy. It first disputed the public space, beginning to establish itself in the cities, accompanying and giving religious citizenship to the millions of overseas migrants who ‘Argentineanised’ and ‘Catholicised’ at the same time. In the long term it was aiming to delegitimise the liberal vision on the basis of Catholic social teaching. Christianity in Argentina, 1970 and 2020 Tradition

1970 Population

%

2020 Population

%

Christians  Anglicans  Independents  Orthodox  Protestants  Catholics Evangelicals Pentecostals/Charismatics Total population

22,937,000 13,200 376,000 122,000 542,000 22,232,000 306,000 366,000 23,973,000

95.7% 0.1% 1.6% 0.5% 2.3% 92.7% 1.3% 1.5% 100.0%

40,431,000 25,100 2,604,000 170,000 2,440,000 35,500,000 2,000,000 9,300,000 45,510,000

88.8% 0.1% 5.7% 0.4% 5.4% 78.0% 4.4% 20.4% 100.0%

Average annual growth rate (%), 1970–2020 1.1% 1.3% 3.9% 0.7% 3.1% 0.9% 3.8% 6.7% 1.3%

Source: Todd M. Johnson and Gina A. Zurlo (eds), World Christian Database (Leiden/Boston: Brill), accessed January 2021.

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With the economic crisis of the inter-war period, there emerged a new socio-religious vision and a national identity associated with what was called Catholic Argentina. This gained ground by questioning the liberal consensus, fighting the communist movement and inserting itself into the poor, working classes. An institutional church was built and strengthened so that it could adopt an offensive posture in contesting the attempted hegemony of radical (1916–30), Perónist (1945–55) and developmentalist (1960–74) regimes. The fight against other forms of Christianity also strengthened. The ‘Masonic, Protestant and communist heresies’ were denounced while defending ‘Catholic Spain’ from the communist threat. At that time, numerous Protestant and Evangelical groups were organised, by now also drawn from North American Evangelicalism. The Evangelical Association of the Rio de la Plata was born, which later continued as the River Plate (Rio de la Plata) District of the Committee on Cooperation in Latin America (1925–37). Its purpose was to plan a common strategy for Evangelical missionary churches in Latin America. The Confederation of Evangelical Churches of the River Plate was organised in 1938. The Bible societies and the Baptist churches were also expanding at this time. Meanwhile, Catholicism in the 1930s was marked by an intransigent and anti-liberal doctrinal Thomism mixed with a cultural and social sensitivity that demanded solidarity, social justice and employment to give answers to thousands of impoverished and unemployed people as a result of the economic crisis. Thus, an anti-liberal and anti-communist Catholic modernity was created. A plebeian Catholicism was born. It was men from migrant families – especially Italians – who led. In 1934, after the International Eucharistic Congress, with millions of people on the streets of Buenos Aires, a Catholic colonisation of the public and state space of the country was consolidated. The names of the cardinals chosen by the Vatican are an expression of this movement: Copello, Caggiano, Fassolino, Primatesta, Aramburu, Pironio, Quarraccino, Sandri, Karlich, Bergoglio and finally Poli in 2013 show an overwhelming presence of the children of (mostly Italian) migrants. Cardinals are not ‘heirs’ of great families of money or prestige but children of migrant families who owe all their power to the ecclesiastical career and to Rome. Catholic Action, a great mass movement created in 1930, rapidly extended its influence in parishes, schools, the armed forces, unions, universities and government institutions. The proposal of this integral Catholi­cism was not that all should become Catholic but that Catholics should lead these organisations. This Catholic movement fought against capitalist modernity as well as against communist modernity; against the white Anglo-Saxon Protestant culture as well as against the

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52  Fortunato Mallimaci atheist-communist movement. Its aim was not to return to an idyllic past but to build a third position from the people and against the political parties and individualism. Its long-term strategy was to Catholicise society and the state and strengthen the Catholic homeland, particularly through educational institutions and ‘penetration’ into the state. The rise of Perónism with its massive support from the popular and working sectors between 1945 and 1955 impacted both Catholics and Protestants. Perónism defined itself as humanistic and Christian and established religious/Catholic education in state schools. The 1949 national Constitution legitimised the modern welfare state; recognised the rights of the family, the workers and the elderly; and delegitimised private property – among other issues – based on the teaching of Thomas Aquinas, the social doctrine of the Church and the social constitutionalism in vogue at that time. Perónism and Catholicism combined and impacted each other. At the same time, the religious and mystical effervescence of Perónism created new sacred places, allowing Evangelical pastors to carry out great revivals in crowded stadiums. The redistribution of wealth was a primary objective of the Perónist government, a policy that attracted opposition. In June 1955, military aircraft, their wings painted with Christus Vincit insignia, bombed the government house and the main plaza of the city of Buenos Aires in order to assassinate President Perón. Thousands of people demonstrated their support for the government, and more than 350 were killed and thousands wounded by these bombs. That same night, in response, dozens of Catholic churches were burned in the main cities of the country. In September 1955, the democratic government was overthrown by a civic, military and religious coup. The internal divisions of both Catholics and Protestants were deepening.

Liberation Theology and Political Dictatorship

The 1960s in Argentina, as in other Latin American countries, was a period of youthful effervescence, which included Christian groups demanding reforms, renewal and other revolutions in society and in Christian institutions. The triumph of the first socialist and guerrilla revolution in Cuba in 1960 awakened a new consciousness throughout Latin America. The Second Vatican Council in 1964, with its innovative spirit and questioning of the religious, theological and pastoral structures of the Catholic Church, had a profound influence on and in Latin America. Ecumenism was advancing: Argentinian Methodist pastor José Míguez Bonino participated in Vatican II. It is notable that 23 women were invited to the Council, including Margarita Moyano Llerena from Argentina. Liturgies were transformed and the Church was called to analyse ‘the signs of

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the times’ as a basis for its proclamation of God’s Kingdom. These ideas were influential at the second conference of the Latin American Episcopal Council held at Medellín, Colombia, in 1968. The conference collected experiences from the continent, continued the innovative effort of Vatican II and sought new ‘incarnational’ perspectives from those who suffer and are also sons and daughters of God. It marked the transition from the paradigm of develop­ment to that of liberation, based on the experiences of people who are poor and believers at the same time and suffer injustices and inequalities. In Argentina, the Medellín experience went one step further with the publication in 1969 of the Document of San Miguel, which applied the new thinking to the realities of the country. This new movement was spearheaded by the Movement of Priests for the Third World (MSTM) and brought together about 550 priests, 10% of all the Catholic clergy in the country. Liberationist Catholicism emerged, made up of the MSTM and numerous networks and groups throughout the country. There, liberation theology in Argentina was nurtured, integrating the people of God with the Argentinian people and affirming that there are not two stories. The priests Lucio Gera, Rafael Tello and Orlando Yorio were emblematic figures of this new theology in which the people and poor act as the liberating subject. Remembrance, forgetfulness or denial of these events marks the trajectories followed by Christian people and institutions until today. The Catholic networks interacted with Protestant ones that were also in ferment, including the Christian Student Movement and the Higher Institute of Theology Studies (ISEDET), which from 1970 became the main space for the formation of pastors and Protestant leaders from all of Latin America and the Caribbean. It offered high-quality academic and theological formation but closed in 2015 due to lack of students, crisis of the mission models and lack of local budget. In 1957 the Argentine Federation of Evangelical Churches (FAIE) was born. Another significant actor was the Latin American Theological Fraternity, with its contextualised theology and its national and international Protestant networks. Meanwhile the USA – also from dominant Christian conceptions – once again opted to support military dictatorships, culminating in a systematic plan of state terrorism against those who confronted it from the popular sectors between 1974 and 1983. Those were the years of greatest repression in contemporary Argentinian history. Some 30,000 detainees disappeared, hundreds of mothers accused of subversion were murdered by the armed forces and their babies delivered as spoils of war, and thousands upon thousands suffered torture, imprisonment and exile. This period was character­ ised by the collaboration, complicity and active participation of broad sectors of Catholic and Evangelical institutions in repressive

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54  Fortunato Mallimaci policies and crimes against humanity. The fight against the ‘subversives’ included the annihilation of liberationist Christianity. At the same time, funding was expanded for Catholic schools. The armed forces thus gained the support of numerous Catholic bishops while meeting opposition from just a few – Hesayne, Novak and De Nevares stand out. Base communities were decimated; hundreds of leaders, militants and religious from liberation­ ist Catholicism were detained or disappeared. Twenty-two priests were assassinated and/or kidnapped and disappeared between 1974 and 1980, while two bishops who denounced the crimes of the armed forces – Angelleli and Ponce de León – died in accidents. In the Angelleli case, the courts showed that it was caused by the armed forces. Pope Francis has recognised him as a ‘martyr of the faith’ and named him ‘blessed’ in 2019. A similar process was experienced in Protestantism. Some institutions of the FAIE, which is the nucleus of historical Protestant churches, engaged in the liberating processes, had an active critical participation in opposition to the dictatorship and resisted its violation of human rights. They were joined by the Anglican Church, which is not a member of the FAIE, and in early 1978 they founded the Advisory Council of Churches (COCO). The other Evangelical churches stayed on the sidelines. The Ecumenical Movement of Human Rights, created in February 1976, highlighted the disappearance of 40 members of Pentecostal, Baptist and other Evangelical churches during the military dictatorship of 1976–83.

Democracy, Plurality and Memory

From 1983 to date is the longest period of democracy the country has experienced. While state terrorism has generated greater fragmentation and social vulnerability, at the same time there is an active market for salvation goods, especially Pentecostal. The 1980s and 1990s saw new offers of commitment and spirituality in a society that was no longer the homogeneous and politicised one of the 1960s and 1970s. A significant development was the formation in 1982 of the Christian Alliance of Evangelical Churches in Argentina (ACIERA), an alliance of churches and mostly Pentecostal entities ‘accepting the Holy Scriptures as a source and guide of Christian faith and conduct’ and committed to ‘the defense of heritage spirituality of the independent institutions that profess the Christian Evangelical faith in Argentina’. Another important association is the Evangelical Baptist Convention of Argentina (CEBA), founded in 1909. In the twenty-first century, its International Baptist Theological Seminary in Buenos Aires stands out as a place of academic recognition ‘of integral evangelisation’. The Pentecostal movement has been expanding from its initial base in peripheral neighbourhoods and the old movie theatres of cities that have

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now become centres of prayer and praise. The ‘religious specialists’ leading this movement are shepherds from the neighbourhoods themselves, with the same culture, vocabulary and habitus. They have no need of academic formation since charisma is the all-important requirement. Crusades of ‘spiritual revival’ and interior liberation throughout the territory consolidate the movement. Over time they have extended their concerns beyond ecclesial life to social policy and then – some of them – to partisan politics. If anything complicates the picture, it is that the growing Pentecostal and Evangelical movement does not ask for separation of religion and state, but to share the privileges historically enjoyed by the Catholics. In the wider society, the mothers and grandmothers of Plaza de Mayo appear as the main ethical references in the search for truth, justice and memory. The commitment ‘never again’ to allow genocide is a culture that is nourished and built up day by day. At the same time, few Christian groups have adopted this commitment to memory. While the FAIE and Catholics who identify with the option for the poor explicitly join in, the Argentine Episcopal Conference (CEA) and ACIERA remain distant. Christian mobilisation for public events in the street summons millions of people throughout the country. The annual Catholic youth pilgrimage – with more than 500,000 people in the streets – to the Lujan sanctuary is the largest mobilisation in the country and has continued every year since 1974. The celebrations in the Catholic parish of San Cayetano (Patron of Labour) in Buenos Aires, with thousands of people, are politico-religious in nature. These attract families, the poor and trade unionists asking for ‘Bread, Peace and Work’. Christian rock brings together thousands of young Evangelicals. The Evangelicals regularly protest against abortion, with thousands of people on the main avenues. The earlier idea of hegemonic Catholicism has lost much ground. Today, few are convinced that the Catholic communities should not leave any free space and that by themselves they can satisfy all the social, political, educational, communal and spiritual needs of society. The Catholic Church is no longer the centre of the spiritual scene, nor does it have an infinite supply of goods, pastoral agents, leaders and projects. It is no longer possible to imagine an ‘omnipotent and omnipresent’ Catholicism dominating the entire society. Hegemonic Catholicism has given way to a plurality and diversity of minority Catholicisms. The Charismatic renewal and new movements of spirituality – Legionaries of Christ, Institute of the Incarnate Word, Neo Catechumens – promoted from Rome are the privileged instruments for ‘restoration’ and ‘a new order’. They also discover a new ecumenism with the neo-Pentecostal Evangelical world at the same time that they compete for the allegiance of the same well-to-do and upwardly mobile

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56  Fortunato Mallimaci social sectors. In addition, completing the panorama, the Inter-religious Dialogue of Catholics, Evangelicals, Jews and Muslims is gaining greater intensity through its institutions; Cardinal Bergoglio, as Archbishop of Buenos Aires, was its great promoter. In recent years, Argentine Catholicism has been convulsing again, not because of political commitment but because of cases of abuse of power and sexual abuse. Priests are denounced for paedophilia and at first there was no opportunity for victims to be heard. The culture of cover-up, of defending the institution and of not bringing the perpetrators to justice, reveals complicities that are supported neither in global society nor among believers themselves. The tension and conflict between concentration of economic power and expanding social rights; between proposals for neoliberal adjustments and expansion of the internal market and decent work for all; between strengthening the state at the service of the citizen majority and giving freedom to the deregulated market; and between maintaining patriarchal legitimations and redistributing recognition rights to women and to movements of sexual diversity, continue to challenge the Christian world. In this moment of ‘structural adjustment’, the Catholic Church appears as the main social organisation to accompany the state in responding to the needs of the poor and excluded. A single system of public financing for education provides for both state-managed and privately managed schools, which are mainly Catholic. The deep terminal social, cultural, ethical and economic crisis that engulfed Argentina in 2001 brought profound challenges to all of society and the state. The Christian churches were called to act more as a social than as a religious reference. The ‘Dialogue Table’ was created, bringing together social and religious actors. An agreement for pacification and democratic continuity was signed in a Catholic convent in January 2002 between a representative of the United Nations, the President of the Republic and bishops of the CEA. The Evangelical movement – which was not invited to this event – was also beginning to come under pressure to intervene in solving social issues related to hunger, poverty, drug addiction and health. It became clear that if Christianity were to inspire attempts to remake the social fabric ‘from below’, these would be multidenominational in nature. Meanwhile, social legislation was enacted that demonstrated a move away from traditional Christian standards. Examples include the divorce laws of 1987 (not forgetting that many of the parliamentarians who voted for these laws were driven out from the Catholic Church); the equal marriage law of 2010, described by Cardinal Bergoglio as ‘a destructive claim to the Plan of God, a move of the devil’; and the right to gender

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identity in 2012, with the granting of the right to register according to one’s self-perceived identity, notwithstanding the resistance to ‘gender ideology’ from many Christian groups. In 2019, the legal termination of pregnancy was debated in the Argentine Parliament as a public health problem and an extension of rights for women to decide whether or not to have children. Pro-life groups and Catholic and Pentecostal anti-rights groups were widely mobilised, identifying themselves with ‘celestial headscarves’ and demanding the repeal. The law was approved by deputies but vetoed in the Senate, while millions of women – the so-called daughter revolution – demonstrated in favour of the law. The legal interruption of pregnancy was approved in 2020 by Parliament, showing the strength of the women’s movement in the country. On the other hand, the privileges granted by the last dictatorship to the Catholic Church are still in force: subsidies for working Catholic bishops and retirees; subsidies to seminarians and superiors of religious orders; subsidies to border parishes; and the mandatory implementation in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, International Trade and Worship of a Registry of Worship only for non-Catholics. Under the 2015 reform of the Civil Code, the Catholic Church continues to be recognised by public law along with the national, provincial and municipal governments, a privilege it has enjoyed since 1869. There are pending issues, however, with many arguing on democratic grounds that there is need to separate religious groups from the state, to annul laws and decrees of the last civic-military dictatorship and to reaffirm religious equality for all. The election of an Argentinian cardinal as Pope in 2013 was un­ prece­dented, and has had a variety of repercussions for Christianity in the country. In Argentina, Pope Francis is also the ambivalent figure of Cardinal Bergoglio. His social sensitivity towards the poor and workers; his questions about the current world economy; his denunciations of wars, xenophobia and the ecological destruction of the planet; as well as his ecclesial policy of mercy, have positioned him as one of the few leaders worldwide who question the current capitalist globalisation of the deregulated market. In a world where hegemonic political parties have ceased to care for the poor and have exploited and rejected the millions of migrants who seek to save their lives by going to other countries, Francis’s positions appear unique. His commitment and action to strengthen Catholic identities and spiritualities ‘that are born of the poor people’ within Latin America is a gigantic challenge in the current regional situation of the advance of conservative governments that destroy rights. His meetings and prayers together with Orthodox, Protestant, Islamic and Jewish leaders have made the Vatican a powerful presence on the world stage. Such occasions demonstrate that religions themselves are

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58  Fortunato Mallimaci not violent but too often are manipulated to serve the malign purposes of the great world financial and economic powers. At the same time, Francis has opened few possibilities for reform in the internal life of the Catholic Church.

Parishes, Sanctuaries and Movements

The parish life that characterised and shaped the Christian presence in Europe and the USA for centuries is unknown in Latin America. For one thing, the region lacked the massive numbers of priests and pastors who gave expression to institutional Christianity in these societies. For another, most believers do not have in their ethos or habitus the ex­perience of going to church to consult the religious specialist and accept institutional Christian regulation of their lives and hopes. That is why it is so important to know the movements, organisations, subjectivities and sociabilities generated by Christian movements in and together with civil society and the state. These sometimes linked with the life of local parishes and sometimes acted against it. The reports of the official churches on the deChristianisation or not true Christianisation of the Latin American peoples have been repeated for centuries and do not correspond to daily life. Deinstitutionalisation is not synonymous with not being a believer or a spiritual person. In Latin America the sacred and the secular live together in families and individuals. The two spaces that are still vital to experience of the sacred are birth and death. In the Catholic Church in Argentina in 1961, there were 1,353 parishes with 2,243 diocesan priests and 3,741 male religious figures (5,984 in total) and 12,944 both male and female religious for 20,000,000 people and 3,000,000 km2 of territory. In 2000, there were 2,674 parishes and 5,648 priests and 9,133 religious for 36,800,000 inhabitants. The 2009 Argentine Ecclesiastical Guide indicates that in that year there were a total of 5,408 priests and 8,768 religious in the country. Among Evangelicals, there was a transition from ‘ethnic’ sanctuaries in areas of historical migrants to the remarkable growth in the twenty-first century of Pentecostal sanctuaries/spaces in the lower-class neighbourhoods of towns and cities. The conceptual error of comparing sanctuaries and parishes or pastors and priests and of inferring symbolic, social, religious or political power must be avoided. Interpretation communities such as religious ones have stories, presences and memories that are not just numbers. Catholic parishes – especially in poor districts and in small and medium-sized cities – have become meeting and reflection centres of social movements, neighbourhood leaders and state and nongovernmental agents. In other words, they are autonomous, recognised and indispensable social and political actors.

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Here the process is accompanied by a growing presence in the educational world. From Catholic private schools, through public schools where religion is taught during school hours, to the current model of a single public educational system divided into state and private management (mostly religious and Catholic) in which the state funds teachers and administrators, it shows a continuous growth of the Catholic educational enterprise. In the city of Buenos Aires in 2019, the students who attended private establishments, the vast majority Catholic, at pre-school, primary and secondary levels, were more than half of the total population of those ages. However, only a tiny proportion of these young people and their families participate in Catholic parish life on a daily basis. Since each parish has its privately run public school, the parish priests receive a salary as directors of those schools. The Higher Council of Catholic Education (CONSUDEC) is the official Catholic body in charge of the issue.

Mobilised Actors and Social Sectors

The Catholic institutional presence in the parish was celebrated with more or less enthusiasm until the early 1960s. Since then, the forms and historical contents have cracked and the old certainties have become vital uncertainties. A way of being a ‘central priest’ or ‘central parish’ enters into crisis when faced with the question of the meaning of pastoral action. A European Catholic cultural and dogmatic universal authority no longer gives meaning to Catholic pastoral actors. Among many leaders, movements, religious and priests in Argentina, this approach is regarded as ‘European’, ‘colonising’, ‘enlightened’, ‘Marxist’ and/or ‘liberal’. Many draw a distinction between the life of the parish and the religi­osity of the people who affirm themselves as Catholics. The identification of the ordinary people, particularly the poor, with the people of God raises further questions. Between the idea of the holy people who ‘never make mistakes’ and that of the just people who ‘can make mistakes and who must choose’, theologies and pastoral practices are developed. The epistemo­logical and hermeneutic rupture is deepened by building a theology that affirms that there are not two stories, one of God and the other of the world. Rather, there is one long history of the people of God that leads towards liberation, where the privileged of God are the poor and the humble and ‘the Kingdom is manifested but is not yet concluded’. It is the so-called Specialised Catholic Action Movements of young people such as Catholic Worker Youth (JOC), Catholic Student Youth, Catholic University Student Youth (JUC) and Catholic Agrarian Youth (JAC) that produced an epistemological and hermen­eutical rupture in the Catholic institution. The method is called ‘See, Judge, Act’. Their first act is to begin with the life of the community, especially of the poor and

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60  Fortunato Mallimaci dominated. From this starting point they reflect on the historical experience from the gospel and the history of the Christian community. Finally, they act in solidarity with the victims to eliminate injustices and build ‘the Kingdom of God’. Together with their numerous advisers, priests and nuns, they insist more on solidarity and shared commitment with the people of God, with lay movements and base communities rather than with ‘a perfect institution that organises worship’ outside of which there is no salvation. As seen above, as a result of this theological, pastoral, social, symbolic and group rupture, the MSTM emerged. These priests have taken a critical stance and remain in tension with their episcopal and religious authorities. Liberationist Catholicism emerged, made up of the MSTM and numerous networks and groups throughout the country. As advocates of liberation theology in Argentina, they have stood for the ‘theology of culture and of the people’, for an integration of the ‘people of God with the Argentinian people’ and for the affirmation that there are not ‘two stories’. These options in the 1960s and 1970s occurred in contexts of profound social, military, economic, political, symbolic, theological and ecclesial violence. National and international economic and symbolic powers responded to this threat with fierce repression. However, those who wished to build the people of God remained committed to be together with the persecuted, condemned and forgotten of history and from there to read the Bible and build community. It is in this key that what has been called popular Catholicism, or popular religiosity, the theology of the people and the poor that characterised Argentinian Catholicism, began and consolidated itself. From the MSTM in the 1960s to present-day priests and nuns opting for the poor and living in poor neighbourhoods there is a long continuity. Within the life of these groups is found the popular belief and practice that give expression to the religiosity and spirituality of the people. These popular religious beliefs, rather than exhausting themselves in the numerous limitations and daily difficulties, become a fundamental resource when it comes to finding meaning, considering even the apparently impossible possible and maintaining hope in some way. These beliefs constitute a substantive part of their social life, where there appear both manifestations linked to tradition and collective memory as well as recompositions and new ways of believing in the framework of new religious identities. Their beliefs and practices thus become an essential resource in their daily life, both sustaining them in moments of anguish and also mobilising them and leading them to resist. In the Argentinian case, opting for the poor, expressing solidarity with the workers, inculturating oneself in their social, trade-union and cultural

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movements involves an encounter with the diffuse and widespread Perónist culture. This is a culture that vindicates the poor, the welfare state, social democracy and party politics, the universal right to work, education, health and the family with strong anti-liberal content. It has strong affinities with a social and intransigent Catholicism that also opts for the poor and for the people.

Twenty-first-century Transformations

The last national measurements of religious adherence were those of the national censuses of 1947 and 1960, when Catholics represented 93.6% and 90.05% of the total population respectively; the Protestants, 2% and 2.62%; and those without religion, 1.5% and 1.63%. A study conducted in 2019 showed the continuous decrease in Catholic numbers – down from 76.5% in 2008 to 62.9% in 2019; the increase in the numbers of people ‘without religion’ – up from 11.3% to 18.9% (3.2% agnostics, 6% atheists and 9.7% no religion); and the growth of the Evangelicals from 9% to 15.3% (13% Pentecostals and 2.3% other Evangelicals). In addition, 1.4% of the population was affiliated with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latterday Saints and Jehovah’s Witnesses and 1.3% with other religions (Second National Survey, 2019). Individualisation, communitarisation, transit and deinstitutionalisation are central processes of the current Christian secularisation and recomposition. Furthermore, there are various types of Catholicism and Evangelicalism. In 2008, 91.1% believed in God, but by 2019 this had dropped to 81.9%. The important thing is to analyse how and where those who continue believing relate to God. If we compare 2008 with 2019, we see that daily worship attendance dropped from 8.4% to 6.2%; once a week worship from 15.4% to 11.2%; and once or twice a month from 11.4% to 9.6%. ‘Occasionally’ rose from 37.7% to 43.3% and ‘never’ from 26.8% to 29.6%. Comparing the difference between Catholic and Evangelical constituencies in 2019, we see that 1.7% of Catholics and 29.4% of Evangelicals attended daily worship; once a week, 11.2% of Catholics and 23.7% of Evangelicals; once or twice a month, 12.7% of Catholics and 8.9% of Evangelicals; on special occasions, 53.9% of Catholics and 20.5% of Evangelicals; and never, 20.4% of Catholics and 17.5% of Evangelicals. Comparing the official data from the 2010 and 2017 yearbooks, the decline in Catholic religious specialists continues: priests numbered 5,632 in 2010 and 5,606 in 2017; religious declined from 8,014 to 7,358; and seminarians from 987 to 938.

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Bibliography

Bresci, Domingo, MSTM. Historia de un compromiso (Buenos Aires: Grupo Editorial Sur, 2018). Mallimaci, Fortunato (ed.), Atlas de las creencias religiosas en la Argentina (Buenos Aires: Biblos, 2013). Mallimaci, Fortunato, El mito de la Argentina laica – Catolicismo, política y estado (Buenos Aires: Capital Intelectual, 2015). Second National Survey on Religious Beliefs and Attitudes in Argentina: Society and Religion in Transformation (Buenos Aires: CEIL/CONICET, 2019). Wynarczyk, Hilario, Ciudadanos de dos mundos (Buenos Aires: UNSAM Edita, 2009).

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The Falkland Islands Kenneth R. Ross

Known in Spanish as las Islas Malvinas, the Falkland Islands are an archipelago in the Atlantic Ocean some 483 km off the coast of Argentina. Besides the two main islands of East Falkland and West Falkland there are 776 smaller islands. As a British overseas territory, the Falklands are self-governing internally, while the UK takes responsibility for defence and foreign affairs. Argentina claims sovereignty over the islands, and a long-running dispute with the UK on this issue remains unresolved. In a 2013 referendum, 99.8% of the votes cast by the Falkland Islanders, who are mostly of British descent, were in favour of continuing their status as a British overseas territory. The majority of the small population live in Stanley, the capital, located on East Falkland. In the 2006 census, some two-thirds of the population identified themselves as Christians. With no Indigenous people, religious life in the Falklands since the seventeenth-century settlement has been shaped by the Christianity of Europeans: first the Spanish and French, then for the past 250 years the British. Somewhat like parts of rural England, a mild Anglicanism permeates community life, though formal religious practice plays a minor role for most. Practising Anglicans worship at Christ Church Cathedral in Stanley (the southernmost Anglican cathedral in the world). A small but determined non-conformist community have made their mark since Charles Spurgeon, the London-based Baptist preacher, sent one

Christianity in the Falkland Islands, 1970 and 2020 Tradition Christians  Anglicans  Independents  Protestants  Catholics Evangelicals Pentecostals/Charismatics Total population

1970 Population

%

2020 Population

%

1,900 1,000 10 500 200 320 0 2,000

93.0% 50.0% 0.5% 25.0% 10.0% 16.1% 0.0% 100.0%

2,300 770 15 540 730 370 300 2,900

80.0% 26.3% 0.5% 18.5% 25.0% 12.6% 10.3% 100.0%

Average annual growth rate (%), 1970–2020 0.5% –0.5% 0.8% 0.2% 2.6% 0.3% 7.0% 0.8%

Source: Todd M. Johnson and Gina A. Zurlo (eds), World Christian Database (Leiden/Boston: Brill), accessed January 2021.

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64  Kenneth R. Ross of his kit churches, known as tin tabernacles, in the 1880s. The Scottish Presby­terian tradition also has a presence, in the form of the Tabernacle United Free Church. The Revd Forrest McWhan, minister of the Tabernacle from 1934 until his death in 1965, was an influential figure in shaping the Christian history of the islands. The life of the small Catholic community is centred on St Mary’s Church in Stanley. Very small numbers of Greek Orthodox, Seventh-day Adventists, Jehovah’s Witnesses and members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are present as well. There is no formal ecumenical body but relations between the different churches are cordial.

Bibliography

Agreiter, Anton, ‘The Catholic Church on the Falkland Islands’, Falkland Islands Journal, 6:1 (1992), 6–9. Cannan, Edward, Churches of the South Atlantic Islands, 1502–1991 (Oswestry: Anthony Nelson, 1992). Gerry-Hoppé, J. F., ‘The History of the Non-conformist Church in the Falkland Islands’, Falkland Islands Journal, 6:1 (1992), 17–25. Macdonald, John A., ‘Dioceses Extra-provincial to Canterbury (Bermuda, the Lusitanian Church, the Reformed Episcopal Church of Spain, and Falkland Islands)’, in J. Barney Hawkins (ed.), The Wiley-Blackwell Companion to the Anglican Communion (Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell, 2013), 465–73. Murphy, Gerry, Christ Church Cathedral, the Falkland Islands: Its Life and Times 1892 to 1992 (Stanley: Lance Bidwell, 1991).

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Uruguay Carolina Greising

The presence of Christianity in Uruguay began prior to its establishment as an independent country in 1830. As in the rest of the continent, the first manifestations occurred through the processes of conquest and colonisation, to which immigration later was added. Under the Constitution of 18 July 1830, Catholicism was the official religion of the new state. From that moment on, the prerogatives (such as appointing church officials and managing church funds) of the Patronato, later called the Patronato Nacional, were the object of state administration. In this framework of relations with the Catholic Church, the cordial ties between the two sets of institutions did not last more than 30 years.

Church and State

Conflicts between church and state began in the 1860s. The secular impulse led by the state deepened when the country began to ‘breathe in’ a liberal and positivist atmosphere, which was joined by the entry of atheists, socialists and Freemasons to the legislative body, as well as to certain government positions within the state, among which some presidents stood out. This new scenario led the Catholic Church to start a ‘salvific’ campaign in defence of its interests and public spaces, setting up strong debates between the opposing parties. During the laicisation process, an attempt was made to take away from the Catholic religion the authority that had hitherto covered all aspects of life and replace it with a new secular morality. It was also the objective of the governments, especially those of José Batlle y Ordóñez (1903–7 and 1911–15), to separate it from the spaces it traditionally occupied. The church, for its part, alluding to the confessional character that the state maintained, tried to defend its place as a moralising agent of society. On 1 March 1919, the second Constitution came into effect and established the separation of church and state. From then on, Uruguayan Catholicism assumed the task of reorganising and strengthening it. During the decade of the 1920s and the beginning of the 1930s, the new ecclesiastical authorities and the militant laity carried out intense work that kept them visible and in competition with other forces, no longer exclusively the liberals, but also the socialists and anarchists among others. From the

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66  Carolina Greising point of view of the organisation of the militant laity, in that period the structure recommended by Pope Pius X (the social union, the economic union and the civic union) was maintained until 1934, the year in which the Catholic Action began. Towards the middle of the 1960s, with the Second Vatican Council and the Medellín conference of 1968, the road towards a liturgical, cate­chetical and biblical renewal involving clergy and laity began in the country, as well as in the rest of the continent, with a close look at Latin America. The political processes experienced on the continent also permeated this new expression of Catholicism. In this context, some sectors of Catholicism assumed radical positions, as members of groups, political parties or revolutionary armed groups with preaching that led to persecution of its members.

Immigration and Diversification

The development of other Christian currents in the country was due to immigration. The arrival of the Protestant churches in Uruguay began in the nineteenth century, initially to tend to the spiritual needs of the English-speaking population. In 1844, Anglicans settled in the country and obtained authorisation to build a sanctuary. They limited their outreach to immigrants who adhered to that con­fession and the same happened later when they settled – between 1869 and 1890 – in the cities of Fray Bentos and Salto, as well as in the Conchillas colony. The first Waldensians to arrive in the country settled in the Florida area. However, because of difficulties that arose with some Catholic elements, in 1858 they emigrated to the Rincón del Rey area, Colonia department. In the late 1870s, they began a successful experience of colonising expansion in that department and in neighbouring Soriano. In 1861–2, Swiss, German

Christianity in Uruguay, 1970 and 2020 Tradition Christians  Anglicans  Independents  Orthodox  Protestants  Catholics Evangelicals Pentecostals/Charismatics Total population

1970 Population

%

2020 Population

%

1,904,000 1,000 48,700 19,500 53,100 1,787,000 27,400 42,500 2,810,000

67.8% 0.0% 1.7% 0.7% 1.9% 63.6% 1.0% 1.5% 100.0%

2,174,000 1,700 210,000 42,000 118,000 1,850,000 80,000 360,000 3,494,000

62.2% 0.0% 6.0% 1.2% 3.4% 52.9% 2.3% 10.3% 100.0%

Average annual growth rate (%), 1970–2020 0.3% 1.1% 3.0% 1.5% 1.6% 0.1% 2.2% 4.4% 0.4%

Source: Todd M. Johnson and Gina A. Zurlo (eds), World Christian Database (Leiden/Boston: Brill), accessed January 2021.

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and Austrian settlers established themselves in the same area, among whom Lutherans were the most prominent denomination. In 1877, the Revd Thomas Wood, a Methodist minister, founded a newspaper, The Evangelist. It became the unofficial platform for Uruguayan Protestantism for the next 10 years. His concern for education led to the establishment in Montevideo of more than 10 free schools for laity. He also collaborated decisively in the foundation, in 1888, of the Evangelical Lyceum of the Valdense Colony, the first in rural areas. Towards the end of the nineteenth century, other Protestant movements, such as the Salvation Army (1891), and some missionaries from Bible societies, like Baptist Pablo Bessón and the ‘Free Brother’ Juan Ewen (1882), began their work in Uruguay. In the first decades of the twentieth century, other ­missionary-oriented denominations were established. In June 1908, the First Christian Evangelical, colloquially known as Free Brothers, estab­ lished a presence. In 1911, the Evangelical Baptist Church did likewise. Also, around 1906 there is the first record of Adventist Protestants, living in the Colonia Suiza area. Its proselytising expansion started only in the 1930s, however. Finally, 1909 saw the advent of the Christian Youth Association of Montevideo, which by 1913 already had 600 members. Although it did not define itself as Protestant but as Christian, many of the leading cadres at the local level were Protestants. Another group of immigrants of German and Swiss origin founded the New Apostolic Church in Montevideo in the early twentieth century. This church quickly extended into the department of Colonia, mainly in the towns of Juan Lacaze, Colonia Valdense, Carmelo and Riachuelo. Some years later, members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) arrived in the country. They consolidated their presence in the territory to the point that some 100,000 Uruguayans are part of this church and approximately 200 young people go out to mission around the world each year. In 2000, they inaugurated their large sanctuary in Montevideo, which can be accessed only by people baptised in that faith, a place they also consider sacred. In 1928 Jehovah’s Witnesses arrived from the USA and spread throughout the country. Today they comprise more than 150 congregations and around 12,000 evangelisers. Also from the USA, but a few years later, missionary Raymond de Vito and his family arrived in Montevideo from Texas to launch the (Pentecostal) Assemblies of God. A special feature of their work was their dissemination of their message through their radio station, ‘The Voice of Truth’, the first such programme outside the USA, which lasted for more than 25 years. It also spread rapidly through various parts of the country and was nourished by several Pentecostals who arrived from Russia.

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Twentieth-century Developments

Beginning in the 1950s and especially in the 1960s, Uruguayan Protestantism underwent a profound transformation. New missionary denominations, mostly of North American origin, appeared or expanded, from which the so-called neo-Pentecostal groups emerged, whose inclusion within the Protestant movement has aroused considerable controversy. Today, neo-Pentecostalism of Brazilian origin, especially the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God, has a marked presence in the country. In the same way that the Catholic Church underwent a profound process of renewal with the Second Vatican Council and the Medellín conference, Uruguayan Protestantism travelled a similar path. Towards the end of the 1940s, the ideas of a new group of European and North American theo­logians (Barth, Brunner, Tillich, Niebuhr, Bonhoeffer) began to enter Latin America. This tendency questioned and transcended the proposals of the ‘Social Gospel’ and ‘pietistic fundamentalism’ (which does not mean that in many respects they have not survived in several Protestant churches) through a revision and renewal of biblical interpretation and ecclesiology. Its influence on the generations of pastors who were shaped at the time proved to be decisive. Thus, renewal was not the exclusive position of one group within a particular church but was supported by an entire continental movement. In 1961, the ISAL movement (Iglesia y Sociedad en América Latina; Church and Society in Latin America) was born, which proposed the insertion of the church in the Latin American world, not only as an observer of the changes but fundamentally as a participant in them. There are several associations in the country that make up a good part of these Protestant churches to express and stimulate belonging and, in recent times, to distinguish themselves from other churches that are also identified as Protestant. One of them is the Federation of Evangelical Churches of Uruguay, founded in 1956; another is the Council of Christian Churches, founded in 1998. As a result of immigration, other Christian-based churches developed in Uruguay. For example, the Greek Orthodox Church was founded in the early years of the twentieth century, linked to an institution called the Hellenic Collective of Uruguay, since one of its primary purposes was the development of the Greek national worship, in addition to promoting culture and language. For its part, the Russian Orthodox Church settled in the country at the hands of the first immigrants who arrived at the beginning of the twentieth century and from a group that in 1913 founded a colony in a district of Río Negro called San Javier. These immigrants belonged to the New Israel religious current – a movement that emerged

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as a split from the Russian Orthodox Church and in opposition to the prevailing Tsarism. In the middle of the twentieth century, the parish and the sanctuary of the Russian Orthodox Church abroad were founded in Montevideo. By a decree in May 2013, the Bishop of the Diocese of Caracas and South America appointed Archpriest Alexey Demidov as Parish Priest of the Temple of the Resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ in Montevideo, with the mission ‘to achieve the return of said parish, its parishioners and its sanctuary, to the canonical Russian Orthodox Church abroad’. The same course in terms of immigration leading to a new church presence can be seen with Armenian Christianity. After the signing of the Lausanne Treaty (1923) – which established the borders of modern Turkey – a group of 6,000 Armenians arrived in Uruguay, escaping from the obligation to Islamise and Turkify themselves. Most belonged to the Holy Armenian Apostolic Church, with which the Armenian nation is strongly identified. However, there were also Armenians who belonged to Catholic or Protestant churches. The Armenian Rite Catholic Church officially began its activity in Montevideo from 1948. The Protestant Armenians who arrived in the country from 1923 also developed their worship. They founded the Armenian Evangelical Church of Uruguay and the Armenian Evangelical Church of the Brotherhood. These four ex­ pressions of Armenian Christianity are still in full development today.

Contemporary Uruguay: Diversity and Laicity

To these Christian religious currents, still in force in the country, during the 1980s, movements of Afro-Brazilian origin and neo-Pentecostal ism were added, which have forced Uruguayans to rethink Protestant­ their traditional links with secularism. In this sense, although today it is not disputed that secularism is an identity trait of Uruguayan society, the latest research has focused on identifying some changes in the perception of religion in the country, marked by flexibility and inclusion, that would move away from that traditional conception of radical secularism. Several examples allow us to illustrate such developments. The paradigmatic case of this was the installation of the so-called Cross of the Pope and dates to 1987, when, on the first visit of a Pope to Uruguay, a large altar was erected in a public space in Montevideo, on whose side a cross over 30 metres high was installed. After the papal visit ended and the altar was dismantled, the President of the Republic, a declared agnostic, proposed that the cross could be installed in that place as a memory of that first visit of a Pope, who, in his words, had united all Uruguayans in a common feeling of tolerance and respect, affirming that the old concept of a free church in a free state in Uruguay was not a proposal but a freely assumed coexistence. This presidential proposal generated intense debates

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70  Carolina Greising in the legislative and municipal chambers and among the general public, in which the focus of discussion was the validity of secularism. Finally, Parliament sanctioned by majority vote the permanence of the cross. A few years later, the cross again provoked public debate. On this occasion, the public authorities authorised the transfer to that place of a statue of Pope John Paul II from a nearby sanctuary. The novelty came not only from the public visibility of the statue of the leader of Catholicism at the crossing of one of the most important avenues of the city. On the day of the inauguration of the statue in its new location, a commemorative plaque was unveiled by the Archbishop of Montevideo and the devout Catholic wife of the President of the Republic (who is a Freemason and belongs to a left-wing political party). Some years after this debate, the local government of Montevideo decided to erect a statue of Iemanjá (devotion developed by the Evangelical Spiritual Church Association Umbandista Menino Deus) in a public space, following the initiative of a group of paes and teachers. The statue did not generate public debates or concern like the one generated by the papal cross, even though it was in a highly valued space in the city of Monte­video: the Rambla de Parque Rodó. Even its main festival, on 2 February, was given official recognition as a matter of cultural interest in the city. Another unprecedented event for the country which has called into question the so-called secularism of ‘the Uruguay way’ has been the presence of religious leaders in Parliament. Such was the case of the first Afro-descendant Umbandista woman deputy for the Frente Amplio left-wing party, as well as other Evangelical leaders, one of them a neoPentecostal pastor and the other a leader of the Baptist Church. Despite these debates and the undoubted repositioning of religion in the public sphere, the Latin American survey conducted by the Pew Forum on Religion, titled Religion in Latin America (2014), revealed that Uruguay remains the most secular country in Latin America. For example, a total of 37% of Uruguayans responded that they did not have a particular religion or that they are atheists or agnostics. This figure acquires significance when compared with other Latin American countries, where the proportion of people without religious affiliation does not reach 20% of the population. The country also stands out for having the lowest levels of religious commitment. According to the same survey, less than a third of Uruguayans (28%) say that religion is very important in their lives; relatively few Uruguayans say they pray daily (29%) or attend religious services weekly (13%). As for social opinions and attitudes towards morality, Uruguay is constantly noted for its liberalism. It is the only country surveyed where most the public is in favour of allowing same-sex couples to legally marry

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(62%) and where half of adults (54%) say abortion should be legal in all cases or in most. Furthermore, it is the only country in the region where the majority (57%) say that religious leaders should have ‘no influence whatsoever’ on political matters. A new expression of the relationship between the links of Uruguayans with secularism was the enactment on 15 June 2018 of the law that established 19 March (the birthday of the exponent of secular, free and compulsory education, José Pedro Varela) as the ‘Day of Secularism’. This was approved by a unanimous vote of all the legislators of both houses. This indicates that, beyond diversity of visions and occasional confrontations, commitment to secularism in Uruguay is understood as the best guarantee of social coexistence, while its counterpart, the practice of religion, can have public and private space, although never associated with state policies.

Bibliography

Caetano, Gerardo and Roger Geymonat, Historia de la Secularización uruguaya (1859–1919). Catolicismo y privatización de lo religioso (Montevideo: Taurus, 1997). Colectividad helénica. Primeros 100 años, 1916–2016 (Montevideo, 2001). Da Costa, Néstor, ‘Religión en prisión. Cambios en el laico Uruguay Sociedad y Religión: Sociología’, Antropología e Historia de la Religión en el Cono Sur, 26:46 (2016), 224–38. Da Costa, Néstor and Mónica Maronna, Cien años de la laicidad en Uruguay. Debates y procesos (1934–2008) (Montevideo: Planeta, 2019). Guigou, Nicolás, Religión y producción del otro: mitologías, memorias y narrativas en la construcción identitaria de las corrientes inmigratorias rusas en Uruguay (Montevideo: Lucida Ediciones, 2011).

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Paraguay Ignacio Telesca and Magdalena López

According to the 2002 Paraguayan census, 89.6% of the people surveyed recognised themselves as Catholic. In other words, the pre-eminence of the Catholic Church remains very strong, which is perceived at the social level as well as the political. Christianity arrived in Paraguay, as in the rest of the region, with the European conquerors. The faith was transmitted by the missions of the religious orders. The secular clergy were scarce, and there were also bishop-governors who were more concerned with politics than with religion. In general, however, there was an absence of hierarchy because the province of Paraguay lacked gold and silver mines, was distant from the main centres and was economically weak. A special feature of colonial Paraguay was the presence of the Jesuit missions among the Guaraní. Created as the Jesuit Province of Paraguay in 1609, they were soon granted by the Spanish monarchy the privilege of being an encomienda of the crown, which meant that the natives of their missions did not have to serve the encomenderos of Asunción. In this way, they managed to create a unique society within their 30 missions. This arrangement ended in 1767 with the expulsion of the order from the Spanish empire. For their part, the Indigenous people, after a long period of Catholic religiosity and practice, began leaving the missions to intermingle with the rest of the population.

Independent Paraguay and the Churches

With the independence of Paraguay in 1811, the new state assumed the prerogatives of the old Patronato Real (royal patronage) and the clergy swore allegiance to the republic. For fear that the church would become a space opposed to independence and the new government, the seminary was closed in 1823, and the following year the religious orders were suppressed. Relations with the Vatican were restarted in 1842 with the appointment of a new bishop. The seminary was re-opened, new citizenpriests were ordained, the state took over church financing and new churches were built. The Catholic religion was considered the ‘only one of the State’ in the Constitution of 1844, which established the Political Administration of the Republic. However, a treaty that was signed with

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the British government in 1853 established the right of British citizens to conduct services of worship privately. Paraguay’s War of the Triple Alliance, against Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay (1864–70), orchestrated by the British ambassador in Argentina, left the country and the Catholic Church in ruins. No more than 30 priests survived, and the bishop was shot as a traitor during the war. The Church went through a period of much institutional anarchy until the consecration of Juan Sinforiano Bogarín as Bishop of Asunción in 1895. After the war, a new Constitution was introduced in 1870, following the juridical and legal forms of Argentina. Its third article established both that the state religion was Catholic and that the free exercise of any other religion could not be prohibited. The thirteenth article attributed to Congress the function ‘to provide for border security; to preserve peaceful treatment with the Indians and to promote their conversion to Christianity and civilisation’. This point is important, since the state was contacting different churches to work with Indigenous people. In this way, the South American Missionary Society of the Anglican Church arrived in Paraguay in 1888. Its first assignment was with the Enlhet people in the Paraguayan Chaco and they became the first non-Catholic Christian church to enter Paraguay. For the same purpose, the state also contacted Catholic religious congregations, such as the Salesians, who began their work at the end of the nineteenth century. Relations between Catholics and Anglicans were free of disputes, but there was no such harmony when the Disciples of Christ began educational activities with their International College in 1920. Sent from Indianapolis, they had arrived in Paraguay in 1918. In the 1920s, Mennonite communities settled in the Paraguayan Chaco. Ownership of this territory was disputed by Bolivia (which led to the Chaco War between 1932 and 1935). The Mennonite settlement was viewed with optimism by the Paraguayan state, which was very interested Christianity in Paraguay, 1970 and 2020 Tradition Christians  Anglicans  Independents  Orthodox  Protestants  Catholics Evangelicals Pentecostals/Charismatics Total population

1970 Population 2,424,000 3,000 7,700 4,000 38,600 2,282,000 33,000 8,100 2,474,000

%

2020 Population

%

98.0% 0.1% 0.3% 0.2% 1.6% 92.2% 1.3% 0.3% 100.0%

6,726,000 23,200 520,000 32,600 177,000 6,237,000 185,000 560,000 7,066,000

95.2% 0.3% 7.4% 0.5% 2.5% 88.3% 2.6% 7.9% 100.0%

Average annual growth rate (%), 1970–2020 2.1% 4.2% 8.8% 4.3% 3.1% 2.0% 3.5% 8.9% 2.1%

Source: Todd M. Johnson and Gina A. Zurlo (eds), World Christian Database (Leiden/Boston: Brill), accessed January 2021.

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74  Ignacio Telesca and Magdalena López in populating the Chaco, and, at the same time, by the Mennonite communities of Canada, who were seeking a territory where they could develop their religion freely. In 1921 they arrived in Paraguay to visit the Chaco territory and decided to settle there, if the state guaranteed them the freedoms they wanted. The latter moved quickly and, in that same year, enacted Law 514 guaranteeing the freedom to practise their religion and worship, exemption from compulsory military service, and permission to establish, manage and maintain schools and educational establishments where their religion and language were learned, among other facilities. A first group of 279 families from Canada arrived in Paraguay at the end of 1926 and created the Menno Colony. By 1932, there were 255 ranches, each occupying an area of between 80 and 200 hectares. Another group of 383 Mennonite families, this time from Russia, arrived in the Chaco in 1930, creating the Colonia Fernheim close to the previous one. A third group, also from Russia, settled in the Neuland Colony in 1947. In 1953, a group of former Mennonite students opened the Friendship Mission, an institution designed primarily to serve poor members of their own community, although later its would diversify its activities, working, for example, with Indigenous populations. It also played an important role in the creation of the Committee of Churches for Emergency Aid (CIPAE), an ecumenical organisation, together with the Catholic Church and the Evangelical Church of Río de la Plata (IERP). The Committee was formed in 1976 during the toughest and most repressive period of the totalitarian dictatorship of Alfredo Stroessner (1954–89). The IERP began its activities as a German Evangelical church, Lutheran in orientation, accompanying the German migrants who settled in Paraguay after the Second World War.

Catholicism in the Authoritarian Period

The Constitutions throughout the twentieth century, although giving primacy to the Catholic Church, also provided for religious freedom. The Catholic Church divided into sectors in favour of and against the ­Stroessner dictatorship, as occurred in other Latin American countries that suffered dictatorial regimes during the latter part of the twentieth century. Some bishops and priests proclaimed anti-communist messages and allowed the persecution of people and did not denounce the violation of human rights. Stroessner participated in religious events and was close to some sectors of the Catholic Church. In 1963, a law was passed that significantly benefited the Catholic Church regarding both religious matters and also economic benefits related to customs and tax prerogatives. The Episcopal Conference of Paraguay (CEP) – founded in 1956 as a continuation of the Venerable Paraguayan Episcopate – gradually

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increased its intervention in the public arena, gaining space to address not only religious matters but also political ones. Today the CEP recognises that from there it achieved independence from the state and improved ways of responding to the most urgent needs of society. Another important sector of the Church took a critical stance towards the Stroessner regime and joined forces with social movements to give them institutional support and build protest trajectories that would bring the dictatorship to an end. The impact of the Second Vatican Council and the conference of the Latin American Episcopal Council in Medellín in 1968 was very important for this sector of the Paraguayan church, which enabled a more open-minded and progressive vision in the face of a dictatorship that violated human, cultural, social, political and economic rights. In this line, it generated reports, academic papers, information, documents and political intervention, having created specific institutions for this purpose. These demands for political and social reforms were rejected, many times, on the grounds of the need to prevent the entry of communism. A group of young priests and bishops in touch with the grassroots were oriented in the opposite direction to the institutional hierarchy. Through their encouragement, the Christian Agrarian Leagues gathered strength and became more radical in their faith and social commitment. This sector confronted the regime. Even iconic educational institutions such as the Cristo Rey School were the target of repression and police intervention. During the dictatorship, the Committee of Churches for Emergency Aid (CIPAE) was active assisting the victims of repression and state violence, achieving joint ecumenical action, especially from the mid-1970s. In 1976 many believers and active participants in the churches were arrested by the regime. The CIPAE allied with the Paraguayan Human Rights Commission to support them. However, not all experiences of Christianity were enriching for Paraguayan society. In 1986, the Evangelical non-governmental organisation New Tribes Mission, which is dedicated to the conversion of Indigenous people, was involved in a massacre of members of the Ayoreo people. The perpetrators were never brought to justice and the incident has remained in the memory. The Mission, now known as Ethnos360, continues to work in Paraguay, although without control from the Paraguayan Indigenous Institute. The end of the 1970s saw a moderation in the actions of the Catholic Church with respect to the regime and a call for reflection. This led in the 1980s to a policy that demanded more democratisation. In May 1988, the visit of Pope John Paul II played a part in strengthening the Church’s growing confrontation with Stroessner, who would fall from power in less than a year.

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76  Ignacio Telesca and Magdalena López

Christianity in the Transition to Democracy

The Catholic Church of Paraguay demonstrated its support for Andrés Rodríguez Pedotti, the first President during the period of the transition, who was also the head of the coup that overthrew Stroessner. With the transition came the need to enact a new Constitution, which would leave behind the authoritarianism and concentration of power that characterised those of 1940 and 1967. The Catholic Church achieved a strong presence within the constituent debates, especially through its proximity to the peasant and Indigenous movements, around which they organised demands. The preamble no longer speaks of the Supreme Legislator God, as the one of 1940 did, but it does say that the people, through their legitimate representatives, invoke God to sanction the new Constitution. Article 24 recognises religious worship and freedom of thought, establishes that no confession will have an official character, ensures that the state and the Catholic Church will have relations of independence, cooperation and autonomy, and guarantees the independence and autonomy of other churches and religious confessions. In addition, Article 74 allows religious education to be given by the different churches. Although the Paraguayan state lost its explicit confession, it established a priority relationship with the Catholic Church. In the gradual process of democratisation, the Catholic Church maintained a central role, and broad sectors associated it with the defence of human rights. However, it has remained, until now, resistant to progress as regards the rights of women and sexual minorities, uniting with other conservative forces to fight against advances in this area. The political involvement of the Catholic Church continues. For decades during the week of celebration of the Virgin of Caacupé, patron saint of Paraguay, political pronouncements have been issued at religious events. In the homily of the central Mass, it has become an iconic moment when the celebrating bishop makes an evaluation of the political situation, affirming or confronting the President. The government, the media and society in general echo these speeches of approval or rejection. In addition, the liturgies have become the environment in which hierarchical Catholicism manages to impart its political expressions, pressuring the government, especially when there are possibilities of introducing rights or taking actions that threaten the religious status quo. The disorderly and massive pilgrimage of believers to Caacupé is opposed by a standardised, institutionalised and ritualised presentation by the Church. The presentations made there by the clergy and different sectors attract much media attention. The President feels obliged to be present and attend the celebration, in which the policies and action of the government are judged.

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Current Political Influence of the Churches

Although the Guaraní expression pa’ima he’i (‘the priest already said it’) no longer has the same force that it had during the Stroessner dictatorship, it still shows that the clergyman’s word is important and that his opinion can serve as social support, especially in rural or less populated areas. Despite the centrality of the Catholic Church, other religions have been building institutions and gaining parishioners, as well as expanding their presence geographically. An example of rapid expansion is the Family Worship Centre Church, founded by pastors Emilio and Bethany Abreu in 1985, which built a 12,000-seat sanctuary in 2009 and has developed 47 churches in Paraguayan territory and three abroad (one in Brazil and two in Argentina). Another case is that of the Evangelical Raices Mennonite Brethren Church, an extension of the Concordia Mennonite Brethren Church, whose popularity was achieved because Nicanor Duarte Frutos, the husband of one of its members, became President in 2003. Its relevance was not due to the number of people that made up its body of believers but because when one of its followers assumed the presidency, the institution, though local and small, gained a reputation at the national level. In this case, the media impact was not necessarily accompanied by a similar quantitative development. Duarte had some differences with the Catholic Church during his presidency (2003–8) because he was accused of ambivalence between the Catholic Church and the Evangelical Mennonite faith practised by his family and several of his most trusted advisers. The President did not attend homilies at Caacupé throughout his term, despite often being questioned about this. In addition to quantitative growth in Evangelical and especially Pentecostal circles, there is also a qualitative growth in terms of growing political impact. Unlike other countries in the region in which Evangelical politicians have grouped into the same party, in the case of Paraguay they have acquired seats in Congress representing different parties. Something similar happened with the Mennonites, whose members have achieved some important positions within the traditional parties, without the need to create their own platforms. This has guaranteed, on the one hand, the strengthening of existing parties, which manage to incorporate various creeds into their institution and thus centralize votes and support from various religious groups; and on the other hand, that non-Catholic churches that can position spokespersons in the public arena without the risk of forming their own groups and losing out in the electoral contest. Thus, Evangelical and Mennonite deputies and senators from various political parties have been elected in general elections alongside their Catholic peers, as well as ministers and

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78  Ignacio Telesca and Magdalena López members of the executive and legislative arms of the governorates. Some of them are even former Evangelical pastors, such as Mennonite descendant Arnoldo Wiens, Minister of Public Works in the government of Abdo Benítez, and former Senator Maria Eugenia Bajac, who lost her seat in the Chamber in 2020. The most striking case of access to a position of power from a religious career is that of former Catholic bishop Fernando Lugo Méndez. Both the case of the former pastors and that of Lugo have generated controversy due to the explicit breach of Article 235 of the 1992 Constitution, which prohibited clergy from standing for elective positions. Lugo managed to overcome these problems and capitalised on his belonging to the Church not only because of the followers he had there, but also through his use of a strongly Catholic discourse and his constant reference to biblical passages and religious iconography. Although this strategy is was not the monopoly of the ex-bishop, since all the Catholic Presidents of Paraguay make use of religious discourse and even quote Psalms, in the case of Lugo it became the central axis of his presidential campaign. In fact, his discursive sensitivity to the problems of society and his closeness to the experiences of the most economically disadvantaged people showed him to be the bearer of the discourse of the Catholic Church from the 1960s. Lugo’s campaign music declared that ‘God’s hand will rule’, former president Horacio Cartes (2013–18) stated that his political career was in ‘God’s hands’ and Cartes’s successor, Mario Abdo Benítez, ‘entrusts Paraguay’s road to God’. Paraguayan Presidents incorporate religious figures and challenge their followers and opponents based on the use of a set of religious signifiers and references. In this way, a language known to society extends to the political field. The political power achieved by religions can be perceived not only by observing the direct political-partisan participation of their parishioners and their role as public officials, but also through economic influence and the access to and reproduction of sustained economic and financial resources. One of the most successful communities at this point is the Mennonites, who have centralised agricultural, dairy and livestock production of great national importance. They function as a spearhead of productive technology in areas of the Chaco historically characterised by a precarious economic subsistence. In this way, the Mennonites have constituted a successful agricultural and livestock enclave and have enabled capitalist development, although to the detriment of other local productivity and with a very tense relationship with the Indigenous communities of the area.

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Bibliography

Carter, Miguel, El papel de la Iglesia en la caída de Stroessner (Asunción: RP ediciones, 1991). Estragó, Margarita Durán, Carlos Alberto Heyn Schupp and Ignacio Telesca, Historia de la Iglesia en Paraguay (Asunción: Tiempo de Historia, 2014). Kleinpenning, Jan M. G., The Mennonite Colonies in Paraguay: Origin and Development (Berlin: Ibero-Amerikanisches Institut, 2009). López, Magdalena, Transición y democracia en Paraguay (1989–2017). ‘El cambio no es una cuestión electoral’ (Buenos Aires: SB, 2019). Plett, Rudolf, El protestantismo en el Paraguay: su aporte cultural económico y espiritual (Asunción: Facultad Latinoamericana de Estudios Teológicos, 1988).

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Bolivia Luz Jiménez Quispe

A new legal framework has set the scene for the expression of the faith in the twenty-first century. Since the promulgation of a new Constitution in 2009 and the passing of the Law on Religious Freedom, Religious Organis­ ations and Spiritual Beliefs in 2019, the Bolivian state no longer has an official religion and has clarified the status of the various religious con­ fessions. In turn, religious freedom favours the development of Indigenous religions and spiritualities that are widely practised among the Bolivian population. However, census results demonstrate that the majority of Indigenous people also profess Christianity, mostly Catholic, but with a trend of Evangelical growth. This essay provides a description of the Christian confessions, which, in addition to carrying out spiritual work, develop social services, though in recent years these have gradually been assumed by the state. This scenario poses new challenges to Christianity, or to the various Christianities, providing space for future discussions on religious inter-culturality.

Legal Background

Bolivia was constituted as a republic on 6 August 1825 with an official religion, Catholicism. The first Political Constitution (1826) recognised the Catholic, Apostolic and Roman Church as the official religion, excluding all other public worship. The category of ‘other worship’ included Protestant religious organisations and religious manifestations of Indigenous people, which were treated as if they were nonexistent. However, in 1826 President Antonio José de Sucre invited immigrants to settle in Bolivia, offering to respect their civil liberties and promoting an attitude favourable to religious tolerance. In turn, Simón Bolívar declared himself in favour of a Constitution that did not prescribe a religious profession, on the grounds that religion was not included in civil and political rights, but rather in the dimensions of intimate conscience or intellectual morality. Despite constitutional restrictions, several daring Evangelists sought to enter various regions of Bolivia. The Protestants who managed to enter promoted an evangelisation different from the existing one, for example by promoting direct access to the Bible. Prominent figures included: the

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Scottish missionary Diego Thomson, who did not enter Bolivia but influenced Vicente Pasos Kanqui, theologian and politician, defender of the Peru–Bolivia Confederation; the British missionary Lucas Mathews (1827), who introduced the Spanish translation of the Bible, the Reina Valera Version of 1569 and 1602; Allen Gardiner (1846); Jose Manciardine (1879); Adolfo Henrikesen (1883); Francisco Penzotti (1883); and Andrés Milne. Some of the Protestant missionaries were killed by Catholic religious fanatics, while others were imprisoned, and several left the country out of fear. For decades, Catholicism was maintained as the official religion, exclusive of any other option. In 1871, a significant reform was carried out: the Bolivian immigration policy approved the entry of foreigners to the country to populate and develop remote areas. In that regard, immigration was authorised to those Protestant religious groups that had the possibility of maintaining their worship. Article 2 of the 1871 Constitution stated, ‘The State recognises and supports the Catholic, Apostolic, Roman religion. The public exercise of any other worship is prohibited, except in the colonies that are formed from now on’. This Article was suppressed in 1878 and restored in 1880. At the beginning of the twentieth century, freedom of worship was made possible. Permission to celebrate other beliefs publicly was granted in August 1906, without affecting the primacy of the Catholic Church. This decision once again aroused criticism from a small group of radicals, who affirmed that the theory of freedom of worship is absurd, since good and bad, sacred and profane are confused. In 1938, freedom of worship was definitively approved. Despite being in a preparatory period for the Second Vatican Council, the positions taken were far from the renewal intentions of the Council. In the 1960s, the debate heated up again when the Catholic Church argued that, given the fact that 98% of the population Christianity in Bolivia, 1970 and 2020 Tradition Christians  Anglicans  Independents  Orthodox  Protestants  Catholics Evangelicals Pentecostals/Charismatics Total population

1970 Population 4,279,000 200 44,100 2,000 166,000 3,963,000 127,000 55,500 4,506,000

%

2020 Population

%

95.0% 0.0% 1.0% 0.0% 3.7% 88.0% 2.8% 1.2% 100.0%

10,704,000 1,500 530,000 2,700 1,100,000 9,500,000 840,000 1,620,000 11,544,000

92.7% 0.0% 4.6% 0.0% 9.5% 82.3% 7.3% 14.0% 100.0%

Average annual growth rate (%), 1970–2020 1.9% 4.1% 5.1% 0.6% 3.9% 1.8% 3.9% 7.0% 1.9%

Source: Todd M. Johnson and Gina A. Zurlo (eds), World Christian Database (Leiden/Boston: Brill), accessed January 2021.

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82  Luz Jiménez Quispe was Catholic, the declaration of Catholicism as an official religion did not contradict the Constitution. In relation to the other religions, the bishops required simple ‘tolerance’. The bishops’ draft was included in the 1967 Constitution, which was in force until the 1995 Constitution. Article 3 of the 2004 Constitution reads: The State recognises and supports the Catholic, Apostolic and Roman religion. It guarantees the public exercise of all other worship. Relations with the Catholic Church will be governed by concordats and agreements between the Bolivian State and the Holy See.

Twenty-first Century: Freedom of Religion and Worship

The beginning of the new century was marked by the active emergence of a category of citizens that the state and society had excluded, the Indigenous people of the Andes and the Amazon. In the last decades of the previous century, Indigenous organisations were formed with their own agenda and agency. Two main milestones, among many, were the first Indigenous march for ‘Territory and Dignity’ and the commemoration of the 500 years of ‘conquest’ for some, ‘evangelisation’ for others. The march put the Indigenous movement of the Amazon in contact with the Indigenous movements of the Andes, which made an alliance for the defence of their territory and the dignity of being respected as human beings and citizens. The alliance was sealed with an offering ritual to the Pachamama (Mother Earth or Mother of Time and Space). In 1992, the arrival of the Spanish in 1492 was commemorated, called Abya Yala by the original Kuna people, who live in Colombia and Panama. Abya Yala can be translated as ‘Mature Earth’, ‘Life Earth’ or ‘Earth in Blooming’. Through these events Indigenous people, who had maintained their own beliefs clandestinely, publicly revived their ancestral religious practices. Added to the emergence of the Indigenous was the arrival of the internet in Bolivia, and with it a new openness to other currents of thought. The internet had two stages of development. The first was from 1989 to 1994, focused on academic use. The second stage was from 1995 to 2001, when its expansion and commercialisation on a national scale were prioritised. This medium allowed the youth to come into contact with worldviews beyond the local. Therefore, the entry into the new century was marked by a variety of active agents, each with their own vision of the world and political, religious, economic, cultural and social agendas. In the first decade of the twenty-first century, there were also structural changes in Bolivia caused by the various emerging forces on the political scene. The changes found

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Bolivia  83

expression in 2009 in a new Political Constitution of the Plurinational State. In reference to the religious issue, Article 4 the Constitution states, ‘The State respects and guarantees freedom of religion and spiritual beliefs, in accordance with its worldviews. The State is independent of religion.’ In this way, Bolivia entered a new scenario of religious plurality, without any of the confessions being officially recognised or receiving financial support. In this new political framework, the Law on Religious Freedom, Religious Organisations and Spiritual Beliefs (Law No. 1161 of 11 April 2019) was approved, with the aim of ‘Recognising and respecting freedom of religion and spiritual beliefs in accordance with their worldviews, of worship, conscience and thought, in order to promote the peaceful co­ existence of various religions and spiritual beliefs in the Plurinational State of Bolivia’ (Article 2). The reactions of the churches to the new law were diverse. Both the Catholic Church and the National Associ­ation of Evangelicals of Bolivia (ANDEB) agreed with the law because they considered that it would regulate the presence of various religious organisations and their activities, as well as guarantee the right of parents to choose the religious education for their children. By contrast, pastors of the more independent churches argued that the government sought to interfere in the particular life of the churches. Despite continuing tensions, the law is in force and regulates the actions of all churches and religious groups in the country. More than 200 churches are legalising their presence in Bolivia through official procedures at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Christianity in Figures

Statistical data on religion in Bolivia come from official sources such as the National Institute of Statistics (INE). The last national census in which a question on religious affiliation was included was the 1992 National Population and Housing Census. Later, and for the last time, in the Continuous Household Survey (INE, November 2001) a question on ‘religious affiliation’ was incorporated into the questionnaire. In the last National Population and Housing Census (2012), the question of religion was ignored. In the 1992 census, 79% of the population of Bolivia declared themselves Catholic; 10% claimed to belong to one of the Evangelical churches; 2.6% did not belong to any religion; 1% claimed to adhere to other religions; and, finally, those who professed to hold no religious beliefs were 6.6%. Almost 10 years later these percentages had changed somewhat. According to the Continuous Household Survey (2001), 77.63% of the population declared that they belonged to the Catholic religion and 16.64% to the Evangelical Protestant churches, while 3.26% claimed to be of another religion and

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84  Luz Jiménez Quispe 2.36% stated that they did not follow any religion. Based on the results, it can be affirmed that Bolivia is a predominantly Christian state. In 1992, 89% considered themselves Christian, while in 2001 this figure reached 94.27%, whether they were Catholic or Evangelical. The remainder comprise Muslims, Jews and others. In general, there is a very significant growth of Christian believers, particularly Evangelicals. Although Catholic Christians are still the majority in the country, a percentage decrease is perceived, in contrast to the Evangelical growth. In November 2019, the new President of Bolivia declared ‘the Bible returns to the palace’ and a spokesman for the process that led to the resignation of Evo Morales entered the Government Palace with the Bible in hand, declaring that ‘God would return to the government’. A final revealing study was carried out by the Vice Presidency of the Plurinational State, UNICEF, OXFAM and Citizenship in 2017. The sample was national, taking into account the criteria of the number of inhabitants and people over 18 years of age. According to the results, the majority of Bolivians (98%) believe in God. There is no data on what percentage of these believers are Christians; however, the indicator regarding tolerance is striking. In this regard, it is recorded that a large part (54%) consider that the only acceptable religion is their own. Although there is belief in God, the percentage of intolerance suggests something particular in the construction of religious identity that leads the population to reject worship other than their own. Neither official censuses nor alternative statistics studied the inter-culturality of spiritual practices. In some research, the notion of syncretism has been used to account for the mixture of Indigenous and Christian rituals. In the 2001 census, more than 3 million people self-identified with one of the five options for Indigenous people offered in the question (Aymara, Quechua, Guaraní, Chiquitano and Mojeño), representing 62% of the population over 15 years of age. The two towns with the majority population were Quechua and Aymara. On the other hand, in the 2012 census there was a fall, in absolute and relative terms, in the levels of self-identification. About 2.8 million people said they belonged to one of the Indigenous peoples that inhabit the country, 2.4 million in the Andes or Highlands and approximately 178,000 in Amazonia or Lowlands. The Amazon experienced population growth, particularly among minority Indigenous people. In some cases, there are no apparent reasons for growth, as occurred with the Araona, who went from 90 to 910, or the Guarasugwe, who from 9 became 42. Both peoples were at a high level of vulnerability to extinction pathways by different biological processes. To these are added the Afro-Bolivians, who were not included in previous censuses but in 2012 numbered 16,329 people over 15 years of age. Therefore, there are

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Indigenous people who preserve their own spiritual practices while recog­ nising themselves as Christians, whether they are Catholics or adhere to Evangelical confessions. The coexistence of two or more religious manifestations in a human group or even in the same person can be categorised as religious interculturality. By inter-culturality is understood the respectful relationship of mutual learning, without allowing any of the parts to be reduced or subjugated to a single religious pattern. Inter-culturality religiosity is, then, the creative encounter of various spiritual manifestations that enrich the community and the person. The notion of religious inter-culturality can help to understand Bolivian religious practices, where Christianity is permeated by the Indigenous world. It is possible to observe how people can transcend and use an axiological corpus made up of gospel principles and Indigenous tradition, without this implying any loss of spiritual integrity. There are multiple manifestations of religious inter-culturality in both the Highlands and Lowlands. For example, the Christian calendar, with the days of the saints and their festivities, intersects with the agricultural calendar, with rites to mark the change of seasons. In summary, the majority of the Bolivian population declares itself to be Christian, whether Catholic or Evangelical, but this includes many Indigenous people who combine Indigenous and Christian spiritualities, giving rise to an unregistered and little-studied religious inter-culturality.

Catholic Christianity

Catholic Christianity in Bolivia is a multifaceted reality due to the various roles it played at the end of the twentieth century. Among the main factors were the liberation theology of the 1960s and 1980s; the various relationships of the ecclesiastical hierarchy, whether with military dictatorships or with movements fighting for human rights; and, finally, the emergence of Indigenous religious movements with public display of primarily Andean religious traditions. The relationship to liberation theology had different currents. One was closely linked to urban, peripheral civil society, through the base ecclesial communities. The other was most committed to the situation of Indigenous peoples, especially Aymara and Quechua, giving rise to Andean theologies. Therefore, although the majority of the Bolivian population recognises itself as Catholic, this shared identity does not mean that there is a single experience and understanding of Christianity. At the start of the twenty-first century, the Catholic Church had a new Pope, Benedict XVI (2005), who took as the central purpose of his pontificate the overcoming of Western relativism, which he considered the new heresy to be contested. At the same time, Bolivia was going through

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86  Luz Jiménez Quispe a decade of structural changes that came to expression in a new Constitution that declared itself independent of religion. The relations between church and state became tense and impacted the privileges enjoyed by the Catholic Church. However, the election of Pope Francis had a positive impact on the government of Evo Morales. The new Pope was invited to Bolivia and, from that moment, the two heads of state were very close. In 2018, Toribio Ticona Porco, a bishop of Quechua origin who was considered a representative of the impoverished sectors of the community, was invested as cardinal by Pope Francis. President Morales attended the ceremony in the Vatican. In the midst of controversies, Cardinal Porco was unable to avoid clashes between the church and the government. Despite this political scenario, the existence of various groups of Catholic faithful persists, some closer to the institutional church, others closer to Indigenous-Catholic beliefs with emphasis on Marian traditions, others closer to Pentecostal movements, and others again identified with expressions related to the goddess Pachamama. Therefore, although the Catholic Church continues to be the majority Christian manifestation in Bolivia, various theological and political currents are present within it.

Main Protestant Denominations in Bolivia

The Protestant denominations in Bolivia mainly have two origins: European and North American. Those that came from Europe arrived in America with immigrant groups during the colonial period and during the first half of the nineteenth century. These are German Lutherans, Scottish Presbyterians, English Anglicans, Dutch and Swiss Reformed, and Mennonites. Those from the USA, although equally European in origin, are Anglicans, Episcopalians, Presbyterians, Reformed, Lutherans and Friends (Quakers). There are also free churches such as Methodists, Baptists, Disciples of Christ, Salvation Army and others, as well as Pentecostal, Evangelical and Neo-Pentecostal denominations. Among the significant churches are the following. The presence of Baptists in Bolivia dates back to 1898 and the arrival of the Canadian missionary Archibald B. Reekie, sent by the Canadian Baptist Mission. Four years later, the first Evangelical Baptist church in Bolivia was organised in the city of Oruro, with the name Evangelical Baptist Church of the Risen Christ. In 1904, El Prado Baptist Church was founded in La Paz, and the next year the First Baptist Church of Cochabamba was established. In 1936, the Baptists formed the Bolivian Baptist Union and, later, the Bolivian Baptist Convention, to which today all the Baptist churches of Bolivia are affiliated. The Baptists have developed activities in education and social outreach, creating schools, colleges, clinics and support centres for children. In addition to these works, the Baptist

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Church is known for its radio station, Cross of the South Radio, and the Theological Seminary of Cochabamba. The Evangelical Methodist Church has been in Bolivia since 1906, establishing itself in the main cities: La Paz, Cochabamba and Santa Cruz. It later expanded its coverage to the rural area of the Altiplano and north of Santa Cruz. Its greatest social contribution was in the field of education, by creating colleges and schools. It has stood out since the 1980s because of its courageous socio-political stance in favour of the poor. In the 1970s, the Church went through a process of indigenisation, particularly among the Aymara. In general, the Methodist Church stands out for its insistence on the life of godliness, social commitment and ecumenical openness. Today the Evangelical Methodist Church and the Free Methodist Church are present in Bolivia. The Lutheran Church arrived in Bolivia in 1920 to be present in the main cities and rural areas. It brings together various Lutheran denominations, among which are the League of Prayer in World Mission (LOMM, 1939), which is more present in the Aymara region; the Bolivian Evangelical Lutheran Church (IELB, 1957), which separated from the League and spread into the rural area of La Paz; the Latin American Lutheran Church, La Paz, a small, non-ecumenical, middle-class church; the Norwegian Lutheran Mission in Bolivia; the German-speaking Evangelical Lutheran Church in Bolivia (IELHA); the Amercanbol Christian Brotherhood; the Evangelical Lutheran Christian Church (ICEL); the Federation of Evangelical Lutheran Churches of Bolivia; and the Evangelical Lutheran Church ‘The Redeemer’. The following church movements are brought together in the Conversion Church: the Evangelical Christian Union (UCE, since 1950), being one of the most widespread in the country; the World Evangelical Church (1944), which originated within the Society of Friends (Quakers) and is present in the rural areas of Beni, Santa Cruz and North Yungas, dedicating itself to education and administering the Evangelical University in Bolivia; Open Brethren or Plymouth Brethren (1895), who do not have a hierarchy or centralised organisation, considering their beliefs simply biblical and Evangelical; and New Tribes Mission (1942), working among the Indigenous people of Tierras Bajas and considered controversial in some quarters. The first Pentecostals arrived from Sweden and the USA in the 1920s, with the greatest growth between the 1940s and 1960s. The Pentecostal movement is characterised by simple doctrine and practical experience, which gave it a presence in the impoverished popular sectors of the country, with less impact on the upper and middle classes. Pentecostalism has tended to fragment. Today, Pentecostal churches include: the

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88  Luz Jiménez Quispe Assemblies of God of Bolivia (1947), which is strongly established in the Aymara region and experiencing rapid growth; the National Pentecostal Evangelical Church; the United Pentecostal Church International; the Church of the Foursquare Gospel; and the Church of God in Bolivia. Pentecostal organisations from Europe include the Assemblies of God Norway and the Pentecostal Church in Bolivia, with Swedish origins. Those of Latin American origin include the Bolivian Assemblies of God Church (Brazil), the Brazilian Pentecostal Church, the Pentecostal Evangelical Church (Chile), the Pentecostal Methodist Church (Chile), Prophetic Christian Assembly (Argentina), the Christian and Missionary Movement (Argentina) and the United Pentecostal Church of Bolivia (Colombia). Neo-Pentecostal churches arose in the USA, and since the 1970s several have established their presence in Bolivia. These include Ekklesia Congregation, Christ is Coming–Interdenominational Evangelical Christian Work, Christian Congregation Ministry of the New Covenant ‘Power of God’ (God is Healing the Sick) and Christian Community of the Holy Spirit (Stop Suffering). The Holiness Church brings together the Church of the Nazarene, the Salvation Army and the Friends, or Quakers. Each of these traditions has a very particular history, theology, doctrine and liturgy. The Nazarene Church has been in Bolivia since 1946, particularly in the Altiplano, the Yungas, La Paz, Santa Cruz, Oruro and Tarija. The Salvation Army has been in Bolivia since 1940 in the districts of La Paz, Cochabamba, Santa Cruz, Oruro, Potosí and Tarija. Its main work is social, inspired by religious principles, such as night homes for men and women, nurseries, residences for students, dining rooms, workshops and schools. A typical example is the María Remedios Asín Children’s Home, which has been in operation since 1946. The Religious Society of Friends, or Quakers, originates in the USA. In Bolivia it finds expression through the Friends–INELA National Evangelical Church (1924) found in the cities of La Paz and Cochabamba and in the rural areas, the Evangelical Friends Church of Central Bolivia (1919), Bolivian Mission of Holiness Friends, Evangelical Friends Central Mission, Church of God Holiness, Evangelical Union Church of Bolivian Friends, Quakers National Holiness Church, National Evangelical Church of the Seminary, Friends Evangelical Mission and the Evangelical Bolivian Mission Church of the Holiness Friends. Non-white Indigenous denominations, usually Pentecostal, are found in the Aymara region of La Paz. These groups have broken with the Western and white character of the Christian tradition to organise their communities using the economic and cultural means of the Indigenous

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people. There are also fringe groups that originated in Christianity but no longer adhere to Christian orthodoxy. Such groups are often characterised by millenarianism, that is, the belief that Christ will come soon (second coming) to establish a ‘thousand year’ kingdom on earth before the final judgement. They tend to adopt a rigid, modern organisation and are effective in their proselytising. They collect personal ‘tithes’ that are invested in propaganda and their own media. The Seventh-day Adventists began their work in Bolivia in 1907, experiencing remarkable growth by 1920. They place major emphasis on health, social assistance and education. For 50 years, they directed the Chulumani Hospital (Sud Yungas) and created schools and colleges in rural areas and peri-urban centres, as well as a university in Cochabamba. The Jehovah’s Witnesses arrived in Bolivia in 1932. They are known for their aggressive proselytism, expressed through the sale of literature and home visits. They are less active in social and humanitarian work. They prohibit and condemn the participation of citizens in social organisations. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) began their activities in Bolivia in 1961. They appeal primarily to the rising middle class. They originate from three main branches: the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints–Salt Lake City (Utah headquarters); Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (headquarters in Independence, Missouri); and Christ Church, Temple Lot (headquarters in Bloomington, Illinois). Drawing on their North American origins, they promote a healthy lifestyle, the spirit of savings, sports and arts, all offered in splendid, luxurious and comfortable buildings.

Conclusion

In Bolivia, the twenty-first century began with the expansion of the freedom of religion and worship, as well as the declaration of a secular state. The Catholic Church, hegemonic since the Constitution of the state, today occupies a place among the other confessions in the country. However, on the evidence of census data, it continues to enjoy the allegi­ance of a majority of the population despite the growth of Evangelical movements. It is also evident that Christians are not exempt from participating politic­ ally in the struggles for power in the country. Christianity is not reduced to spiritual practice only but continues to carry out social work, meeting needs that the Bolivian state still cannot address because of limits to its political and financial resources. Therefore, the twenty-first century will be a challenging journey for those who want to follow the teachings of Jesus regarding spirituality and social commitment.

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90  Luz Jiménez Quispe

Bibliography

Damen, Franz, El Desafío de las Sectas, Serie Fe y Compromiso 13 (Oruro: Graficas Jauzel, 1992). Damen, Franz, ‘Grupos Religiosos en Bolivia’, Búsqueda Pastoral, No. 98, May–June 1989. Daza, F., Estado y religión – Bolivia: ¡una historia por…contar…! Análisis, desde la perspectiva cristiana-estado plurinacional indígena, neoliberal democrático de derecho … ¿Cual?, Centro de Estudios Estratégicos/Gedeón (La Paz: Publicaciones Cala, 2007). Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores y Culto, Sub-Secretaria de Culto, El fenómeno religioso no católico en Bolivia: Una primera aproximación (La Paz: Impresión Huellas SRL, 1996). Morales Mercado, Moises, Denominaciones Cristianas No Católicas en Bolivia (La Paz: Conferencia Episcopal Boliviana, 2002).

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Brazil Raimundo C. Barreto

Since the establishment of republican government in 1889, Brazil has been in theory a secular state. Until then, initially as a colony of Portugal and later as a monarchy, the country was basically a Catholic domain. The first public event upon the arrival of the Portuguese was a Catholic Mass on Easter Sunday, and the first name the Portuguese gave to Brazil was Ilha de Vera Cruz (Island of the True Cross), mistakenly thinking they had arrived on an island. Later they changed it to Terra de Santa Cruz, or Land of the Holy Cross. The prominence of brazilwood trees on the land led to the final and definitive name change to Brazil. Religion was thus at the front and centre in Brazil from the country’s very inception. Even today, Brazil remains a strongly religious country, with almost 90% of its population still identifying as Christian. But the religious configuration of the country has drastically changed, particularly in the past century. In this essay, I present an overview of how that scenario has changed, to give the reader a clear picture of the current religious landscape in Brazil, paying particular attention to the prominent but changing nature of contemporary Brazilian Christianity, while pointing to some challenges and promises in the journey ahead.

The Formation of Catholic Hegemony

The expansionism of the Iberian nations to the New World took place at the turn of the sixteenth century under the banner of the Roman Catholic Church. Among other things, the conquest and colonisation of Latin America was a missionary event. In the case of Brazil, although initially the Portuguese were concerned primarily with exploiting the riches of the newly ‘discovered’ lands, ultimately they turned their attention to the evangelisation of the natives. In the course of the three centuries of colonis­ation, the Church extended its reach to touch every aspect of life in the colony. Brazil, from its inception, was a multi-ethnic nation. When the Portuguese arrived in Brazil, an estimated 11 million Indigenous people, representing over 2,000 different tribes, lived on those lands. Despite the decimation they have experienced since, they have resiliently resisted oppression, reinventing themselves in ways that enable coexistence with

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92  Raimundo C. Barreto their oppressors. By 2010, only 800,000 Indigenous people in 225 ethnic groups had survived, although numerous other Brazilians have Indigenous ancestry and the Indigenous legacy in the formation of the country is widespread. The transatlantic slave trade began to bring Africans to Brazil at the beginning of the sixteenth century. Over time, Brazil became the most common destination for enslaved Africans, with around 4.9 million Africans arriving in the country in the course of more than three centuries. By the time slavery was abolished in 1888, more than half of the Brazilian population identified themselves as black or brown. With no clear separation between church and state, Roman Catholicism became the official religion of the colony in the sixteenth century and remained as such after Brazil declared independence from Portugal in 1822. Up to that point, the country had been hermetically closed to the influence of Protestantism and other world religions. Not surprisingly, Brazil ultimately became, and still is, the world’s largest Catholic country. Attempts by French Huguenots in the sixteenth century and Dutch Protestants up to the seventeenth century to establish a Protestant presence in Brazil were swiftly crushed. Jews who managed to come to the Portuguese colony did so as new converts, fearing the Inquisition. For the most part, the Islamic presence in Brazil up to the 1800s was found among Africans and did not get much attention until the Malê revolt in Bahia in 1835. Most of the almost half-million Muslims who live in Brazil today are the result of immigration, mainly from the Middle East and North Africa since the final decades of the twentieth century. By the first half of the seventeenth century, the religious monopoly of Roman Catholicism in Brazil was consolidated, under the control of the religious orders. In the eighteenth century the politico-economic power of the religious orders began to decline, particularly after the expulsion of the Christianity in Brazil, 1970 and 2020 Tradition

1970 Population

%

2020 Population

%

Christians  Anglicans  Independents  Orthodox  Protestants  Catholics Evangelicals Pentecostals/Charismatics Total population

90,739,000 45,000 5,278,000 134,000 7,249,000 85,107,000 5,804,000 7,142,000 95,327,000

95.2% 0.0% 5.5% 0.1% 7.6% 89.3% 6.1% 7.5% 100.0%

193,859,000 140,000 26,000,000 260,000 32,000,000 150,000,000 29,000,000 108,000,000 213,863,000

90.6% 0.1% 12.2% 0.1% 15.0% 70.1% 13.6% 50.5% 100.0%

Average annual growth rate (%), 1970–2020 1.5% 2.3% 3.2% 1.3% 3.0% 1.1% 3.3% 5.6% 1.6%

Source: Todd M. Johnson and Gina A. Zurlo (eds), World Christian Database (Leiden/Boston: Brill), accessed January 2021.

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Jesuits in 1759. The rupture between the Portuguese crown and the papal court that followed generated a crisis in the life of the Portuguese colony, accentuated by the spread of Enlightenment ideas among the elites.

The Rise of Brazilian Protestantism

Changes in Brazilian Catholicism intensified with the Napoleonic Wars at the beginning of the 1800s, which forced the Portuguese royal family to move to Brazil, where in 1810 they signed the Treaty of Alliance, Friendship and Commerce with England, granting freedom of conscience and worship to British citizens in Portuguese lands. With the opening of the Brazilian ports to the British in 1808, the first Anglicans arrived. The Protestant presence was furthered in 1819, when more than 2,000 Swiss immigrants established the town of Nova Friburgo. The arrival of Reformed Protestants in Brazil generated a debate about religious liberty, with impact on a number of issues such as marriage, children’s birth certificates and burials in public cemeteries. Encouraged by the Portuguese monarch João (John) VI, his son Pedro proclaimed independence in 1822, becoming Brazil’s first emperor (as Pedro I). The inaugural Brazilian Constitution (1824) extended the right of public worship to all Christian faiths, although forbidding proselytism. After the formation of a Reformed church in Nova Friburgo, a Lutheran church was organised in the state of Rio Grande do Sul in the same year. These and other events in the early nineteenth century began to create conditions that still inform the Brazilian religious situation. The arrival of non-proselytising Lutheran and Reformed immigrants in Brazil was followed later by the coming of Protestant missionaries, mostly from the USA. The US Foreign Mission Board of the Methodist Church despatched Fountain E. Pitts to Brazil in 1835. He was shortly followed by Justin Spaulding. In 1837, Daniel P. Kidder arrived in Brazil representing the American Bible Society. Despite those initial arrivals, it took almost two more decades for the first missionary Protestant church to be founded. In 1851, James C. Fletcher, also an American Bible Society missionary, was sent to Brazil as a diplomat. Three years later he published a book with Kidder about the Brazilian people, which caught the attention of future missionaries in the USA. Robert R. Kalley, a Scottish doctor and missionary, arrived in 1855 and organised the Igreja Evangélica, the first missionary Protestant church in Brazil, in 1858. Ashbel G. Simonton, a Princeton Theological Seminary graduate and the first Presbyterian missionary to Brazil, founded the First Presbyterian Church of Rio de Janeiro in 1862. After their defeat in the US Civil War, a number of Confederates were attracted by Emperor Dom Pedro II’s offer of land in a country that still tolerated slavery. Some

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94  Raimundo C. Barreto established themselves in Santa Bárbara do Oeste, São Paulo, where they founded several Protestant churches, including a Baptist congregation in 1871. The Southern Baptists had made an earlier, although brief, incursion into Brazil in 1860, when Thomas J. Bowen, a missionary who had learned Yoruba in West Africa, arrived in Rio de Janeiro. Bowen’s initiative to contact the Yorubas in Brazil in their native language raised suspicion among Brazilian authorities. Under political and financial pressure while also facing health problems, he and his wife left the country and returned to the USA in 1861. The English-speaking Baptist church in Santa Bárbara, like other churches of its kind, focused on attending to the needs of the immigrant community. The first Brazilian Baptist church was organised in the city of Salvador, Bahia, in 1882. William and Anne Bagby started the mission with newly arrived missionaries Zacharias and Kate Taylor and Antônio Teixeira de Albuquerque, a former Catholic priest who had come into contact with Baptist missionaries in Santa Bárbara. From that timid start, Brazilian Baptists experienced significant growth in the twentieth century, becoming the largest Protestant church of missionary origin in Brazil. The Baptist population in 2010 numbered 3,723,853. Presbyterians also welcomed with enthusiasm the conversion of a Catholic priest, José Manoel da Conceição, who became a Protestant minister and itinerant preacher. Conceição, though, was not interested in the establishment of a Protestant church transplanted from another culture. He wanted the Brazilian people to experience a reformation of their religious habits through the knowledge of the Bible, but on their own terms. He ended up adopting a life of apostolic poverty, without ever adhering to any particular ecclesiastical structure. By the end of the nineteenth century, Protestantism was established in Brazil. At that point, it largely reproduced the denominational differences of its originating churches in the USA. These churches, though, laid the foundation for a plural Brazilian Christianity, contributing mainly to lay education and allying themselves with liberal groups advocating for separa­tion between church and state. While the foundation of the Republic in 1889 would represent a victory for this and other enlightenment theses among the Brazilian elites, the Brazilian Catholic Church paradoxically placed itself increasingly in step with the decrees of the First Vatican Council. Dom Vital Maria de Oliveira (1844–78), a Capuchin friar and Bishop of Olinda, was a key player in the battle against liberalism in the nineteenth century. Among other things, he enforced an encyclical letter of Pope Pius IX requiring that all clergy and members of Catholic brotherhoods cut ties with Freemasonry and ex­ communicated priests who resisted his orders.

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In the opposite camp, Diogo Antônio Feijó (1784–1843), known as Father Feijó, represented the liberal face of Brazilian Catholicism in the first half of the nineteenth century. As Minister of Justice (1831), a senator (1834) and the solo regent of the Brazilian monarchy while Dom Pedro II was a minor (1835), he advanced liberal reforms, opposed slavery and proposed the abolition of clerical celibacy. Feijó failed, though, to end the African slave trade and came into conflict with Pope Gregory XVI over a proposal to allow civil marriage. He faced opposition also for his supposed sympathy for Protestantism, manifested in his desire to create an autonomous Brazilian Church in the mould of the Church of England.

From Christian Hegemony to Religious Pluralism

Brazil became a republic in 1889. Although the Constitution of 1891 secured separation of church and state, the first republican penal code, passed a year earlier, criminalised practices associated with Afro-Brazilian religions. At least until 1976, Candomblé houses, for instance, had to have police permission to celebrate public ceremonies. In 1970, 97% of the Brazilian population continued to identify as Christian. In other words, despite all the changes internal to Brazilian Christianity over the course of the twentieth century, very little changed in terms of Christian hegemony in the country. Between 1970 and 2010, however, the proportion of Christians decreased to 87%. Within those same four decades, Pentecostalism experienced tremendous growth. According to a Pew Forum report published in 2013, Roman Catholics, who in 1970 represented 92% of all Brazilians, had dropped to 65% by 2010. In contrast, Protestants, who were only 5% of the population in 1970, had increased to 22%. The attention scholars have given to Pentecostalism in recent decades is not unjustified. However, the fact that this same report points to a significant increase in the numbers of Brazilians without religious affiliation (from 1% in 1970 to 8% in 2010) and the growth of other religions does not often get the same level of attention. Brazil is becoming increasingly plural not only within the borders of Christianity but in terms of the more diverse religious practices of its population. More than conveying real-time religious change, the numbers in the Pew Forum report reflect an ongoing transformation in the political and cultural climate of the country, which have allowed for a greater number of people to feel freer to come out as non-Catholics, or even as non-Christians.

Popular Religion, Millenarianism and Pentecostalism

A major challenge Brazilian Catholicism has faced for centuries is the insufficient presence of clergy in many parts of the country. This irregular presence of priests is one of the reasons for the prominence of popular

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96  Raimundo C. Barreto religion, a religious expression that combines Catholicism with Indigenous and Afro-Brazilian religious beliefs and practices. Catholic brotherhoods and sisterhoods, for instance, became especially significant in the creation of spaces where black Brazilians were able to preserve their traditions. These irmandades allowed black Brazilians to reinterpret and embrace Catholic saints as their own, while associating those images and symbols with African deities and beliefs. During the colonial era, irmandades were self-organised spaces sanctioned by the Portuguese. In those spaces, black Brazilians celebrated annual festivals, mourned their dead and helped one another. The irmandades do rosário, in particular, were dominantly formed by black Brazilians. They functioned as cradles for the formation of racial consciousness. These spaces helped preserve African knowledges and traditions, contributing to the rise of Afro-Brazilian religions like Candomblé. Likewise, from the eighteenth century a number of messianic millenarian movements popped up in Brazil, including the Canudos millenarian community in Bahia. Towards the end of the nineteenth century, Antônio Conselheiro emerged as a pious itinerant preacher announcing the restora­ tion of the monarchy and the return of Dom Sebastian, the Portuguese king who disappeared in battle in 1578. The decline of Portugal after his death gave birth to the legend of his messianic return. Similar myths were at the heart of other Brazilian messianic movements. A benefactor of the poor, Conselheiro founded the village of Canudos in 1893. Its dwellers were formerly enslaved Africans, uprooted Amerindians and impoverished mestizos. This millenarian community created an egalitarian social system inspired by Catholic social doctrine. A threat to the establishment, Canudos was besieged three times, and its inhabitants were massacred by state troops in 1897. In Juazeiro, in the state of Ceará, another messianic movement was formed, inspired by the preaching of Padre Cícero, who gained fame as a holy man and a prophet. One of his followers founded the community of Caldeirão, ‘the land with no evil’. Caldeirão was, like Canudos, organised in a socialist fashion, and so attracted the hostility of conservative forces. Its messianic experiment also ended in a massacre, in 1937. In the southern state of Rio Grande do Sul, around 1867, German immigrant settler Jacobina Maurer claimed to be the incarnation of Christ and promised to establish a terrestrial paradise. Her followers, known as Muckers, cultivated their land collectively. In 1874, state troops destroyed their headquarters and killed dozens of men, women and children. Likewise, in 1912, in the region of Contestado, between the states of Santa Catarina and Paraná, José Maria de Santo Agostinho, an itinerant monk and healer, attracted followers among workers fired from the

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Brazilian Railway Company, creating a community where everything belonged to everyone and preaching the imminence of paradise. State troops ended up killing him and subduing the movement in 1916. Popular Catholicism and the messianic movements alike showcase the resilience and resistance of Indigenous peoples, Afro-Brazilians and impoverished mestizos pushed to the margins of a modernising Brazilian state. In continuation with a lingering Portuguese messianism, and inspired by egalitarian utopias and Catholic social doctrine, they created realities that not only allowed for survival and subsistence among the poor but which also renewed their hopes. Their existence, in all cases, became a threat to the modern order and was subdued by the power of the state, with support from the Church hierarchy. A less well-known movement was started by Agostinho José Pereira, a black Brazilian preacher, in 1841. His preaching led to the foundation of the Igreja do Divino Mestre (Church of the Divine Teacher) in Recife, ­Pernambuco, among formerly enslaved black men and women. Unlike the messianic movements, Pereira’s movement was Bible-centric. He taught his followers how to read and write so all could read the Bible. In particular, his teaching highlighted biblical passages that spoke of freedom. Protesting against official religion and claiming to be inspired by God, he was perceived by the local authorities as a threat. Fearing that Pereira was orchestrating a revolt, the police arrested him and another 15 members of his church. Among other things, the police allegedly found texts referring to the Haitian revolution when they searched his home. A forgotten movement, recovered by black authors, like Hernani da Silva, and the Black Evangelical Movement, Pereira’s church, although not having lasted long, can be considered the first independent Brazilian Protestant church. Brazilian Pentecostalism can also be seen as a type of popular religion. Its origins are traced to the Azusa Street Revival of 1906 in Los Angeles, USA. In 1910, Italian-American missionary Luigi Francesco left Chicago to found the Congregação Cristã do Brasil among Italians immigrants in São Paulo. Swedish missionaries Daniel Berg and Gunnar Vingren, also impacted by the Chicago wing of the Pentecostal movement in the USA, founded a Pentecostal church, initially called Apostolic Faith Mission, in 1911, after a year of activities in a Baptist church in Belém, an important city in the Amazon region. Beginning with that first congregation, the ­Assemblies of God (AD) expanded throughout the country in the following decades. Today it is the largest Brazilian Protestant church, with an estimated member­ship of more than 12 million. Since 1986, the AD has flexed its political muscles, amassing power and influence. The AD General Convention in Brazil claims to have 22 National Congress

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98  Raimundo C. Barreto representatives, 38 state legislative representatives and 1,010 city councillors in its ranks. Pentecostalism began to get more attention in Brazil in the second half of the twentieth century. In the early 1950s, Harold Williams and Raymond Boatright brought the Foursquare Gospel Church (FGC) to Brazil. With an emphasis on healing and exorcism, it attracted large crowds and provoked schisms in established Protestant denominations. During that period, new Brazilian Pentecostal churches such as the Brazil For Christ Church (1956) and the God Is Love Church (1962) emerged. The FGC’s spread was marked by the use of mass-media outreach strategies, which took the gospel beyond the walls of the church in a society experiencing rapid urbanisation. The second-wave Pentecostal churches of the 1950s followed through with that strategy. Brazil For Christ’s founder, Manoel de Mello e Silva, for instance, was a master in the use of mass media. This church was also the first Brazilian Pentecostal church to join the ecumenical movement, even if temporarily. It relaxed Pentecostal dress codes and was a pioneer in electing Pente­costal representatives to Congress, something which would become a marked feature of Brazilian Pentecostalism, starting in the mid-1980s. Mello e Silva, it is worth noting, was one of the few Pentecostal voices that criticised the military dictatorship which ruled the country between 1964 and 1985. In the early 1960s, ‘renewed’ or Charismatic churches emerged across denominational lines, creating Charismatic streams among Baptists, Methodists and Presbyterians, among others. In the early 1970s, the US-born Catholic Charismatic Renewal (CCR) began to spread to major cities throughout Latin America. The movement intended to revitalise the Latin American Catholic Church, which was continuously losing members to Pentecostalism. The CCR invited people to experience a new Catholicism through prayer groups, spirited songs, Bible reading, personal testimonies and healing prayers. The first adherents were middle-class Catholic women, many of whom had participated in the Cursilhos de Cristandade, an apostolic movement within the Roman Catholic Church which used three-day events to prepare lay leaders for the renewal of the Church. The CCR also functioned as a conservative alternative to the effervescent progressive base ecclesial communities. Whereas Pentecostal churches stress the healing of physical illnesses that plagued the poor, the CCR tends to emphasise the healing of painful memories and past psychological traumas. The CCR is also known for its mass rallies, revivals and healing marathons. One of the most appealing products of Catholicism in the surging competition with Pentecostalism, the CCR stands as one of the most dynamic contemporary movements in the Brazilian Catholic Church.

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In the late 1970s, a third Pentecostal wave swept the country, emphasising prosperity theology and spiritual warfare. One of the main representatives of this Neo-Pentecostalism was the Igreja Universal do Reino de Deus (IURD). Founded by Edir Bezerra Macedo in 1977 in Rio de Janeiro, the IURD rapidly spread throughout the Brazilian territory and to more than 100 countries. Functioning like a multinational empire, it owns a national television network, numerous radio stations and a recording company. In the midst of accusations of cultural appropriation, money laundering and charlatanism, the IURD has updated the relationship between Pentecostalism and Brazilian culture by developing a religiosity well adapted to the post-industrial world. The IURD is also known for its aggressive strategies to elect its bishops to public offices at all levels of government. Among them is Marcelo Crivella, the current mayor of Rio de Janeiro – the second-largest city in Brazil – who is an IURD bishop and Edir Macedo’s nephew. The IURD has put aside classical Pentecostal emphases such as the imminent return of Christ to focus instead on more immanent concerns such as financial bankruptcy, physical illnesses and psychological problems. Its slogan, Pare de Sofrer (Stop Suffering), appeals to the immediate needs of the poor. Instead of withdrawing from the world, the IURD wants to conquer it. In order to do that, it relies on a centralised organisational structure, anchored by a vigorous system of communications and mass media, using modern marketing techniques combined with the appropriation of popular religious symbols. To a significant extent, Pentecostalism appeals to the poor and marginalised in urban contexts. Like the Afro-Brazilian religions, Pentecostalism is a religion of the spirit emphasising bodily experiences. Despite apparent similarities, however, tensions are high between Pentecostal churches and Afro-Brazilian religions. The proselytising spirit of most Brazilian Pentecostals has been extrapolated into acts of religious intolerance against Afro-Brazilian religions. As a result, the latter are playing a leading role in campaigns against religious intolerance and also in inter-religious dialogue.

Ecumenical Impulses and Political Impact

Since its inception, Brazilian Christianity has had significant public influence. The first evangelisation was, after all, part of an act of political domination, and the Church was a central colonising player. After Brazil’s independence from Portugal, the Catholic influence upon the political realm, although shaken, remained high. Despite the anti-clerical sentiments that marked the nineteenth century, Brazilian Catholicism never receded into the private sphere. Whenever the Church felt that its

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100  Raimundo C. Barreto political power was under threat, it fought back, fomenting movements like Catholic Action in the 1920s. At the core of this movement was the Dom Vital Centre (1922), founded by Dom Sebastião Leme and Jackson de Figueiredo. The Centre’s mission was to invigorate the Catholic faith and defend Catholic ideals. The Centre strongly opposed secularising movements such as liberalism and communism, proposing that the only alternative for Brazil was a future anchored by Roman Catholic values. Among other things, Catholic Action contributed to the creation of Catholic schools and universities aimed at influencing the Brazilian elites. Dom Leme himself played an important role in the institutional order after the 1930 Revolution, revitalising the Catholic Church, promoting the re-Christianisation of the secularised upper classes, and ministering to the poor. In his efforts to consolidate the power of the Catholic Church, he obtained government concessions, including the one that enabled the construction of the world-famous Cristo Redentor (Christ the Redeemer) monument in Rio de Janeiro in 1931. In 1933, Leme organised the Catholic Electoral League to support Catholic candidates for the National Congress. He died soon after fulfilling one of his major dreams, the foundation of the Pontifícia Universidade Católica. Jackson de Figueiredo, Dom Leme’s partner and successor, was a lay Catholic, a lawyer and a journalist. A regular columnist in important Brazilian newspapers and a polemicist, he debated with numerous opponents, including Alceu Amoroso Lima, who became his successor after his death in 1938. Under Lima’s leadership, the Centre ironically turned to the more progressive ideas of Jacques Maritain, Thomas Merton and Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, advancing a Catholic faith committed to social reforms. Lima was the link between the conservativism at the root of the Dom Vital Centre and subsequent Catholic movements of social reform supported by the Centre under his leadership. He founded the ­Associação de Universitários Católicos, which, along with Catholic Action, created the Juventude Operária Católica, an organisation known for its social action. Dom Helder Câmara – the Brazilian Catholic bishop, peacemaker and civil rights leader who would become a household name for his prophetic denunciation of the military dictatorship (1964–85) – rose to national leader­ship also in connection with Catholic Action. Câmara, a former sympathiser of Brazilian integralismo, a fascist political movement, converted over time to the progressive cause, quickly rising to the national leadership of Catholic Action, and helping organise the Catholic Youth Workers Movement. By 1946, while serving as the National Chaplain of Brazilian Catholic Action, he concentrated his efforts on the youth (students, workers, peasants). By that time, Brazilian Catholic Action had given birth to numerous sectors, which included Juventude

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Universitária Católica, Juventude Estudantil Católica (JEC and JECF, representing their male and female groups respectively) and Juventude Agrária Católica, also organised in male and female guilds (JAC and JACF). Influenced by French priests and the thought of Jacques Maritain, these movements started using the method of Revision of Life (‘See, Judge, Act’). This method deeply transformed the religious experience and worldview of Catholic workers, peasants and students (both men and women). In their weekly meetings, they used the Bible, mostly the gospels, to illuminate their journeys and the challenges of their historical realities. They became very active in unions and in the Ligas Camponesas, a peasant movement started in the 1950s. The Ligas were strongly repressed by the military regime. They preceded the struggle continued by the Movimento Sem-Terra (MST) since the 1980s. The progressive Catholic movements of the 1950s are at the root of the rise of Christian activists who would later participate in the formation of the Partido dos Trabalhadores and the MST itself. Even though they were not supported by some bishops, their ‘See, Judge, Act’ method would later be adopted by the base ecclesial communities and by liberation theologians in general. On the institutional level, Dom Hélder envisioned a church that would engage the social problems of Brazilian society and fight the inhumane conditions plaguing the world. Motivated by that spirit, he founded the National Conference of Bishops in Brazil in 1952 and co-founded the Latin American Episcopal Council (CELAM). Furthermore, Dom Hélder advanced the vision of a ‘Church of the poor’ in the Second Vatican Council (1962–5), bringing particular attention to the poor of the Third World. As a key player in the organisation of the CELAM conference in Medellín, Colombia, in 1968, considered the institutional cradle of Latin American liberation theology, he prepared the way for the rise of that stream of Latin American theology. His fight against the human rights abuses of the military regime, and the numerous campaigns he led to protest against social injustice and mass poverty, gained him international recognition. Side by side with these developments within Catholic circles, equivalent events were occurring within ecumenical Protestant circles. At the turn of the twentieth century, liberal Protestantism saw its own success as the future for Latin America and the response to important social challenges in the country. In 1890, a group of Presbyterians created the Sociedade Evangélica to fund an Evangélico hospital launched in São Paulo. This was the first of several Evangélico hospitals founded by Protestants in Brazil. In that same year, the Liga Evangélica was formed to protect the religious rights of Protestant Christians. One of most significant developments contributing to the rise of the Latin American ecumenical movement was the formation of the Committee

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102  Raimundo C. Barreto on Cooperation in Latin America (CCLA), an offspring of the 1910 World Missionary Conference in Edinburgh, by US missionary agencies in 1913 to focus on the evangelisation of Latin America. The CCLA ended up organising a series of conferences, which, among other things, interrogated the identity of Latin American Protestantism. The first of these meetings was the 1916 Panama Congress, a milestone for Latin American Protestant­ ism. During that Congress and in the conferences that followed, the Latin American participants began to search for the ‘Latin American-ness’ of the Protestant churches, a quest that pressed for deeper engagement with the Latin American situation. Erasmo Braga, a Presbyterian minister, educator and journalist, took part in those efforts and became the most prominent Brazilian ecumenist in the first half of the twentieth century. Back in Brazil, he advanced the Série Braga (1919), an educational manual for elementary students adopted nationwide. He also co-founded the newspaper O Dia in Rio de Janeiro and O Puritano, a Presbyterian publication. On top of teaching at MacKenzie College and the Presbyterian Seminary in São Paulo, Braga consolidated the newly established ecumenical Seminário Unido in Niteroi in 1919. A delegate to the seminal Panama Congress (1916), Braga was one of the conveners of the Congress of Christian Action in Montevideo (1925). He also coordinated the Brazilian Cooperation Committee, an important centre for Protestant work, articulating initiatives that contributed to the formation of the Confederação Evangélica do Brazil two years after his passing. A champion of Protestant education, Braga believed that a combination of the principles of the Protestant faith with some Latin American ideals would effect social change and promote the establishment of democracy. The Brazilian Cooperation Committee (BCC) gathered 19 Evangélico churches and organisations. The Confederação Evangélica do Brasil, founded in 1934, resulted from the merger of the BCC, the Federação das Igrejas Evangélicas do Brasil and the Conselho Evangélico de Educação Religiosa no Brasil. In 1955, a group of young Protestants formed the Setor de Responsabilidade Social da Igreja. The same group would take the lead in the rise of the Brazilian Student Christian Movement to prominence. Both initiatives laid the ground for the later emergence of a Protestant stream of liberation theology. These movements also influenced the formation of the continent-wide initiative called Church and Society in Latin America (Iglesia y Sociedad en América Latina, ISAL). The União Cristã de Estudantes do Brasil (UCEB) was one of the first Latin American student organisations to affiliate with the World Student Christian Federation (WSCF). At the UCEB, students were exposed to

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the burning political and social issues of the time, becoming aware of Christian responsibility in the political realm. The first WSCF conference in Latin America took place in São Paulo in 1952. The overall topic of that conference was Christian vocation, and one of its speakers was Presbyterian missionary and theologian M. Richard Shaull. Shaull had spent many years working on the relation between Christianity and Marxism. He published a booklet called O Cristianismo e a Revolução Social (1954), which was widely used in the UCEB. In that book, Shaull discussed Christians’ involvement in the revolutionary struggle in light of their faith in Jesus Christ, emphasising Jesus’s call for his followers to respond to the needs of their neighbours, especially the hungry, marginalised and destitute. In conversation with Shaull, the students of UCEB had the opportunity to engage Marxist thinking in a theological perspective. Shaull encouraged those students to approach the Bible with a view to identifying God’s presence and action in concrete historical events, helping them reflect on their historical situation in the light of God’s action in the world. Such a method parallels the one concomitantly emerging within the base ecclesial communities in Catholic circles. A combination of the two methods would contribute to the formation of the Leitura Popular da Bíblia, an ecumenical initiative in the early 1970s. The UCEB laid the foundation for the development of a new way of doing theology among Brazilian Protestants, emphasising God’s presence and action in the world. Many of its participants would later contribute to the rise of Latin American theology. The best known among them is Rubén Alves. His doctoral dissertation, ‘Towards a Theology of Libera­tion: An Exploration of the Encounter between the Languages of Humanistic ­ Messianism and Messianic Humanism’ at Princeton Theological Seminary in 1968, was published under the title A Theology of Human Hope (1969), being the first book-length treatise on liberation theology, ahead of Gustavo Gutierrez’s A Theology of Liberation (1972), although never matching the influence and impact of the latter. These Protestant and Catholic antecedents of liberation theology began to converge in the Second Vatican Council. Argentinian Methodist theologian José Míguez Bonino, a prominent member of ISAL, was the only Latin American Protestant attending the Council as an observer. Around the same time, in Brazil, Shaull had started meeting a group of Dominican friars. Particularly after the 1968 CELAM meeting in Medellín, a number of new ecumenical initiatives involving Catholics and Protestants began to emerge. In Brazil, the creation of the ecumenical publisher Paz e Terra (1967), inspired by the encyclical Pacem in Terris (1963), helped disseminate progressive ecumenical ideas, spreading the proposals of liberation theology among Brazilian intellectuals.

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104  Raimundo C. Barreto The rising vision of an intentional community of lay Christians studying the Bible regularly in small groups and oriented towards action that equally animated the Protestant UCEB students, the base ecclesial communities Catholic base communities and the Christian Ecumenical Biblical Institute (CEBI) took the gospel beyond the regulated spaces of the institutional churches to form Christian koinonias in the world. Base ecclesial communities and similar praxis-oriented Christian koinonias continue to play an important role in Latin America and beyond, organising im­poverished communities and forming leaders for the Church’s pastoral work and social movements such as the Landless Workers’ Movement. They are also at the root of ação ecumênica popular, as numerous grassroots efforts and networks of resistance to the military dictatorships that plagued Latin America became known. Ecumenical responses to state-sponsored violence include the creation of organisations such as the Centro Evangélico de Informação (CEI), formed to document human rights violations and popular actions of resistance during the military dictatorship. CEI promoted popular pastoral action and provided accompaniment to those resisting the oppressive regime. Its successor, KOINONIA – Presença Ecumênica e Serviço, mobilises ecumenical solidarity and serves historically and culturally vulnerable groups with the aim of achieving social and political emancipation. One of the most significant ecumenical/inter-religious alliances to resist the horrors of the Brazilian dictatorship involved Dom Paulo Evaristo Arns (Archbishop of São Paulo), Presbyterian pastor Jaime Wright and Henry Isaac Sobel, the rabbi at Congregação Israelita Paulista, the largest synagogue in Latin America. While Arns participated in the Medellín conference, Wright was involved in the Protestant ISAL. During the 1970s, these men came together to denounce the abuses of the military regime, advocating for those who had been imprisoned, tortured or disappeared, one of them being Paulo Wright, Jaime’s own brother. In 1975, the two Christian leaders joined Rabbi Sobel in an iconic interfaith ceremony to protest against the regime’s assassination of Jewish journalist Vladimir Herzog. Of particular significance was the trio’s collaboration in the publication of the report Brasil: Nunca Mais (1985), which documented and informed the international community about the pervasive use of torture by the Brazilian military government between 1964 and 1979. Other examples of ecumenical initiatives since the 1970s include the Centro Ecumênico de Evangelização, Capacitação e Assessoria; the Comissão Ecumênica dos Direitos da Terra; the Centro Ecumênico de Serviço à Educação Popular; Diaconia– Promoção e Defesa de Direitos; Grupo de Trabalho Missionário Evangélico; Koinonia Presença Ecumênica e Serviço; and the Universidade Popular. These organisations have joined

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the Latin American Council of Churches, the Brazilian National Council of Churches (CONIC) and the Brazilian Ecumenical Forum, formed in 1994. Brazilian ecumenical agencies such as Coordenação Ecumênica de Serviço, founded in 1973, have become the vanguard in the defence of human rights and the promotion of peace and justice, interacting with a large number of communities and popular organisations, including Evangelical churches not affiliated with the ecumenical movement. It is important to remember, though, that a large number of Brazilian Protestant churches were silent or supportive of the military regime and have not joined the ecumenical movement. A number of ecumenical ­Christians at the centre of progressive initiatives of the 1950s and 1960s were forced to flee the country during the dictatorship. Some were im­prisoned, tortured and, in a few cases, killed by the military. The complicity of many Brazilian churches with the institutional violence of the military regime is an issue yet to be fully resolved. With the end of the military dictatorship in 1985, Evangelical and Pentecostal churches that had chosen to be silent began to make their way into public life. It is not that Evangélicos/as had never been politic­ ally active before. Prior to the dictatorship, a few Evangélicos/as had run for political office or had held prominent public positions. What was new in the late 1980s and in the early 1990s was the rise of a concerted effort to fill political offices with Evangélicos/as and to acquire radio and television concessions. Both strategies have significantly contributed to the growth and public visibility of Evangelicals and Pentecostals in the past three decades. In recent years, Evangelicals and Pentecostals have uniquely played a prominent role in Brazilian politics. They massively supported the impeachment of the first female President of Brazil in 2016 and advanced the presidential candidacy of Jair Bolsonaro in 2018. In the last decade, Brazilian Evangelicals have created a powerhouse, which is comparable to the Catholic Law, Family and Property movement of the 1960s and the US Evangelical right. Neo-Pentecostalism, in particular, has led this increasing rise of an Evangelical public face in Brazil. The formation of Frente Parlamentar Evangelica (FPE), an Evangelical multi-partisan caucus, in 2003 has turned Evangelicals into a political force in the country that can no longer be ignored. In the 2010s, the number of politicians elected by large Evangelical constituencies to public office increased exponentially. The 2020 municipal elections had a record number of candidates whose campaign names were preceded by the title ‘pastor’. Voting on issues of common interest as a bloc, these Evangelical politicians have managed to gain seats on important congressional committees such as the Committee on the Statute of the Family and the Human Rights Committee.

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106  Raimundo C. Barreto In 2019, 91 of the 513 members of the Brazilian lower house were part of the FPE. Their political agenda includes the ‘cure’ of homosexuality and a definition of family that excludes homosexual unions or the rights of LGBTQ+ families to adopt children. In the past few years, the FPE joined other conservative caucuses (including powerful rural landowners and the gun lobby) to ease gun control and lower the minimum age of criminal responsibility. They have also tried to punish doctors who perform abortions and pressed the Congress to change the demarcation of Indigenous lands and dismantle environmental protections. Prior to his 2018 election, Bolsonaro was baptised in the Jordan River by a prominent Brazilian Evangelical pastor. Since his election, he has strengthened his relationship with this significant component of his base, having moved the Brazilian embassy to Jerusalem to please them and promised the nomination of an Evangelical for the Brazilian Supreme Court. Bolsonaro’s inflammatory rhetoric – filled with racist, LGBTQphobic and misogynist slurs – and his outrageous advocacy of torture are matched by his dangerous policies. In his campaign, he promised to arm the Brazilian population. As President, he has relaxed restrictions on gun ownership and broadened the interpretation of the excludente de ilicitude, a law that excuses the use of violence by police officers, basically creating a licence for an already violent police force to kill. That act has led to an increase in the number of young black men killed by the police under his administration. Likewise, since Bolsonaro took office, armed attacks against Indigenous peoples in the Amazon rainforest have spiked. His contempt for the Indigenous population is well documented. The year 2020 saw more wildfires in Indigenous reservations than any previous year. According to Greenpeace, in July of 2020 hot-spot alerts in these areas had increased by 77% compared with the same month in 2019. More recently, land grabbers have taken advantage of the impunity that has increased during the COVID-19 pandemic to expand their attacks on Indigenous communities. The pandemic has in itself created new challenges for the Brazilian churches. At the time of writing, Brazil has the second-largest number of deaths caused by COVID-19, behind only the USA. By now, it is clear that the virus disproportionately affects black and brown Brazilians, who are the majority of the population living in conditions of impoverishment. According to a report by Rede Nossa São Paulo, the neighbourhoods with the most people identified as black and brown accumulate the highest number of COVID-19-related deaths. Likewise, a study from the Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatística shows that black women are the most vulnerable to the pandemic, and the group with the highest number of resultant fatalities.

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Religion has an important role to play in this acute health crisis Brazil currently faces. Christian responses to the pandemic, though, have been mixed. Some of the most influential Christian leaders in the country continue to promote an anti-scientific crusade. Silas Malafaia, a famous televangelist and one Bolsonaro’s close advisers, for instance, has downplayed the seriousness of the pandemic numerous times. The denialist posture of pastors like Malafaia plays into the hands of populist political leaders spreading dangerous misinformation among the population. Some of these leaders operate a vast network of misinformation on social media, with the help of conservative pastors and Catholic priests. Not all Christians, though, condone this kind of behaviour. CONIC, the Brazilian National Council of Churches, founded in 1982, has been outspoken in its protest against the politics of death advanced by the Bolsonaro administration during the pandemic. On 8 August 2020, when Brazil became the second country to reach 100,000 deaths caused by the pandemic, CONIC, joined by several other ecumenical bodies, published an open letter and an online public declaration honouring the victims and offering prayers, comfort and hope to the thousands of families who lost loved ones. On 30 July 2020, 152 Catholic bishops published a sweeping critique of the government’s lethargy in responding to the severe crisis facing the country. In their ‘Letter to the People of God’, the bishops called for ‘objective proposals and pacts, with a view to overcoming the great challenges, in favour of life, especially of the most vulnerable and excluded segments, in this structurally unequal, unjust and violent society’ while stating that inertia and indifference are unacceptable. Organisations such as Conselho Indigenista Missionário (CIMI) have sided with Indigenous communities to prevent non-Indigenous neighbours from bringing the disease into Indigenous lands and to denounce invasions and wildfires taking place in the Amazon during the pandemic. Numerous ecumenical and denominational organisations have also taken advocacy, educational and financial initiatives to support vulnerable communities at this critical juncture. The COVID-19 outbreak happened right after the eleventh Continental Meeting of the Christian Base Communities, in Guayaquil, Ecuador. The base ecclesial communities, which maintain a well-structured network, have proved helpful during the pandemic. In Brazil, they have joined with institutional churches and civil society organisations to respond to the needs of impoverished communities. Many churches from different denominations have suspended in-person activities, moving their services to online platforms. In the process, they are discovering new, creative ways to offer pastoral support to their communities, including joining

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108  Raimundo C. Barreto inter-religious forums to respond to the communities’ critical needs. Local churches in impoverished neighbourhoods are also responding creatively to the calamity their communities are facing by providing basic assistance to church members who are unemployed, developing social projects to help those who do not have access to proper sanitation and food, dispelling misinformation, offering virtual pastoral care to community members and providing mental and physical health care in partnership with health professionals in the community. Another area of concern for Brazilian Christians is environmental issues and the rights of Indigenous peoples, who continue to face the threat of genocide. The Special Assembly of the Synod of Bishops for the Pan-Amazon Region, held in October 2019, created a unique opportunity for re-examination of the relationship between the Church and the peoples of the Amazon and for a call for a new path of evangelisation in the region. Several non-Catholic observers, including a Brazilian Pentecostal pastor, participated in the Synod. The Synod’s final document contains a radical call to ‘an integral conversion’. Such conversion makes listening to the cry of the poor and the cry of the earth the starting point for a renewed pastoral journey. Pope Francis published the Apostolic Exhortation Querida Amazonia (2020) as a response to the Synod’s conclusions. Both the Synod’s final document and Pope Francis’s response to it underscore the colonial roots of the devastation of the Amazon environmental system and its diverse peoples, and they call for a radical openness to inter-religious and intercultural dialogue and the full recognition of a multiplicity of interlocutors, beginning with the Indigenous peoples, the river dwellers, peasants and the quilombolas, ethno-racial communities that directly descend from enslaved Africans who escaped from their masters and organised maroon settlements known in Brazil as quilombos. Whatever the limits of these two documents might be, they open up Christianity to the possibility of a renewed relationship with the peoples and cultures of the Amazon, acknowledging their ancestral knowledges as crucial for any aspiration to a common future. The pandemic has revealed the severity of the crisis we face in the world today. By exposing ongoing systemic injustices, the pandemic challenges the current global civilisational model and obliges us to seek alternative futures. Similar signs of hope can be found among Protestant initiatives. Movements such as Evangelicals for Justice, Rede FALE (SPEAK Network), the Black Evangelical Movement and Evangelicals for the Rule of Law are promising signs of an increasingly diverse Evangelical community. These Evangelicals have joined ecumenical Protestants and progressive Catholics in opposing torture, racism, sexism, misogyny and human

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rights violations, and in advancing environmental concerns among their churches. If God-talk has played a role in advancing a political agenda that intensifies the suffering of the most vulnerable populations, a number of Christians are resisting such an agenda also on the basis of their faith. Among other things, they are taking initiatives to ameliorate the conditions of a society that has been particularly unjust and violent towards women (a woman is killed in Brazil every two hours and assaulted every 15 minutes), black youth (one young black Brazilian is killed every 23 minutes), Indigenous peoples (an average of 130 Indigenous persons are killed by armed farmers in land conflicts every year) and LGBTQ+ communities (Brazil is the country with the highest rate of murders of LGBTQ+ persons in the world).

Conclusion

Brazilian Christianity, as seen in the previous pages, has a long and complex history. A multifaceted movement, Brazilian Christianity is dynamic and capable of undergoing change and creatively responding to crises, as many Christian responses to the new challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic show. Among the promising signs for the future of Brazilian Christianity is the resilience of the spirituality of the African and Indigenous peoples, who have not only survived numerous attempts at cultural genocide, but have also become important cultural, religious and political agents of societal change on top of being key inter-religious and inter-cultural partners. The complex nature of Brazilian religion combines elements of African diasporic, Indigenous and Euro-American spiritualities into a unique inter-cultural milieu, which has been also enriched by the presence of Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists and the members of a number of New Religious Movements in the country. Brazilian Christians must wrestle with such an irreversible plurality. In recent decades, the Roman Catholic Church has lost numbers and influence when compared with its heyday. By contrast, Evangelicals and Pentecostals have become decisive actors in the public sphere. Influential Neo-Pentecostal leaders have allied with other political forces to advance a conservative political agenda in the country. On the other hand, smaller but active progressive Christian movements continue to offer important counterpoints. While predictions about the future can never be certain, one can say with confidence that the religious future of Brazil will continue to be plural and diverse. Efforts on the part of contemporary Brazilian religious movements and leaders, especially Christians, who remain by far the majority of the population, will be key to determine whether such a picture will lead to more harmonious and constructive relations or to further polarisation and violence.

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110  Raimundo C. Barreto

Bibliography

Chestnut, R. Andrew, Competitive Spirits: Latin America’s New Religious Economy (New York: Oxford University Press, 2003). Pessar, Patricia R., From Fanatics To Folk: Brazilian Millenarianism and Popular Culture (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2004). Shaull, M. Richard, and Waldo César, Pentecostalism and the Future of the Christian Churches (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2000). Schmidt, Bettina E. and Steven Engler (eds), Handbook of Contemporary Religions in Brazil (Leiden: Brill, 2017). Vásquez, Manuel A., The Brazilian Popular Church and the Crisis of Modernity (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998).

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Peru Catalina Romero-Cevallos

Religious pluralism has been embedded in Peruvian culture since preHispanic times. The Incas transferred the deities of their defeated enemies to Cusco, the centre of their government, where they were placed hierarchically under the Sun, sacred fount and origin of the Inca dynasty. During the Spanish colonial regime, the Catholic Church was organised by parishes and dioceses on a territorial basis, differentiating those aimed at the Indians from those for the Spaniards. Some parishes were in the charge of religious congregations with different charisms and traditions, while others were under diocesan priests. The focus that will guide this essay is religious diversity in Peru, which can be traced back to pre-­Hispanic times and continued through the colonial and republican periods until the present century, on which we will concentrate.

Christian Diversity and Religious Pluralism

In the first decades of the sixteenth century, Spaniards arrived in the lands of the Incas, known as Tahuantinsuyo. Here the Incas had developed a complex society organised around religious and political bases, similar to a European kingdom. It had incorporated, through wars and commerce, other cultures and nations under the political and armed control of the Incas. In the early sixteenth century, at a moment of internal struggle for dynastic power, Spanish expeditions succeeded in capturing and defeating Atahualpa, the last Inca emperor. After a short period of struggle for Spanish domination the Viceroyalty of Peru was established in the city of Lima. This coincided with a time of political and religious conflict in Europe, which divided Christianity. During the sixteenth century the Spaniards continued the struggle to gain control of the whole territory. By the end of the century, the Viceroyalty of Peru was an established colony based on the Incas’ power structure, the presence of the Catholic Church throughout the territory and the Spanish political and economic command and administration. Between 1780 and 1783, the most important Indigenous rebellion took place, led by José Gabriel Condorcanqui, also known as Túpac Amaru II, cacique of Tungasuca in Cusco. He was an Inca descendant who aspired to be recognised in his political role as a member of the Inca dynasty. He

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112  Catalina Romero-Cevallos was also a Christian and a Spaniard. However, he was defeated and put to death by quartering; his extended family suffered other penalties, while punishments were extended to all the population associated with the uprising. Historians and social scientists agree that Incas and other Indigenous nations in Peru accepted Catholic beliefs under pressure from the punishment and repression they suffered at the hands of the Spaniards, who aimed to extirpate idolatries, but also through the identification they made between their mobile huacas – objects of worship that served different purposes in daily life – and the figures of Catholic saints. Anthropologist Manuel Marzal suggests that in the seventeenth century the majority of the Indigenous population in the Peruvian highlands and on the coast believed in the Christian God and in Catholic saints and prayed to ask them to solve their everyday problems. Theologian Gustavo Gutiérrez has highlighted the struggle of Bartolomé de Las Casas in defence of inhabitants of the New World. Las Casas identified the Indians – the ‘other’ of the Western world – as the poor of the gospel. Las Casas in Mexico and Guamán Poma in Peru identified themselves with the suffering and the hopes of the Indians, providing other reasons for the Indigenous population to believe in the Christian God, who also suffered as they did and had words of love and justice for them all. In the nineteenth century, liberal ideas influenced the emancipatory processes of the new republics and the new political constitutions in Latin America, most of which recognised freedom of religion. In Peru, the institutionalisation of the Republic after its independence from Spanish colonial government followed a more complex process. The political discussion between liberal and conservative Catholics was about the status of the Church in the new republics: the liberals wanted the patronage of the state over a national church, autonomous from the papacy and the local Christianity in Peru, 1970 and 2020 Tradition

1970 Population

%

2020 Population

%

Christians  Anglicans  Independents  Orthodox  Protestants  Catholics Evangelicals Pentecostals/Charismatics Total population

13,079,000 2,500 72,400 2,000 289,000 12,839,000 194,000 147,000 13,341,000

98.0% 0.0% 0.5% 0.0% 2.2% 96.2% 1.5% 1.1% 100.0%

32,131,000 2,000 2,260,000 7,600 1,798,000 28,200,000 1,350,000 4,300,000 33,312,000

96.5% 0.0% 6.8% 0.0% 5.4% 84.7% 4.1% 12.9% 100.0%

Average annual growth rate (%), 1970–2020 1.8% –0.4% 7.1% 2.7% 3.7% 1.6% 4.0% 7.0% 1.8%

Source: Todd M. Johnson and Gina A. Zurlo (eds), World Christian Database (Leiden/Boston: Brill), accessed January 2021.

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curia, and were tolerant of other religions. The conservative argument was in favour of separation between state and church, granting the Church autonomy to be governed by the Pope and its own canons. The latter was the dominant perspective in the Peruvian Congress until the first Constitutions in the twentieth century. Liberal Christians, both Catholic and non-Catholic, visited Lima, and some established themselves in the city, becoming notable members of a liberal cultural elite. Non-Catholic Christians were present as both educators and political leaders. In Lima, two Protestant schools were opened, the first in 1917 by a missionary from the Free Church of Scotland and the second one a Methodist School, founded in 1922. Both offered a Christian, non-Catholic education to liberal families, religious or not. At the same time, new local religious vocations emerged among young men and women, giving place to a new generation of Catholic priests and nuns supported by their bishops. Concerned about education, they opened a Catholic university and new private schools for members of the elite and middle classes. They laid the foundation for a new generation of Catholic laity related to Catholic Action. In this context, young Catholics in Europe and North America responded to the missionary call issued by Popes Pius XII and John XXIII and became missionaries in other continents, including Latin America. The Second Vatican Council (1962–5), the first Council to respond to the contemporary world rather than to dogmatic problems in the Church, considered three main issues. The first, prompted by an ecumenical spirit, concerned openness to other religions and other faiths. The second was the challenge coming from non-believers. The third concerned the encounter with the poor. This last question was not developed during the Council, but it was taken up as a major concern in Latin America and other continents. A similar spirit was present in other Christian churches, like those associated with the World Council of Churches, that had redirected their missions to Latin America. A foundational group of Christian theologians – Catholic and Protestant – opened a path for a theological reflection with universal transcendence. Prominent among them was Peruvian Catholic priest Gustavo Gutierrez, author of A Theology of Liberation (1971). He set the tone for Latin American liberation theology along with such colleagues as Hugo Assmann, Rubén Alves, José Míguez Bonino, Julio Santana, Leonardo Boff, Pablo Richard, Jon Sobrino, Ignacio Ellacuría and many others involved in the quotidian events and historical times in their societies. In Peru, Evangelical denominations had been arriving step by step since the nineteenth century, establishing communities and church associations throughout the country. The Political Constitution of 1979 provided for

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114  Catalina Romero-Cevallos separation between church and state, granting public recognition and institutional rules for non-Catholic religions. Most of these groups already had a qualified local ministry and an ample membership. The Constitution of 1993, in Article 2, established the right to freedom of conscience and religion and to freedom for the public exercise of all confessions. Foreign priests, nuns and laity who arrived in Latin America as missionaries came from different nations and cultures, theologies and charisms. Those inspired by the Second Vatican Council encountered others who still wanted to celebrate the Mass in Latin. Differences in spiritualities were also evident. It was an important moment of change for the Catholic Church in Latin America. Religious diversity was also present in the Protestant and Evangelical worlds. Juan Fonseca (2014: 424) refers to Protestants and Pentecostals as two distinct branches of Christianity. In the Protestant branch, he locates the Mainline churches (Anglican, Lutheran, Methodist, Presbyterian), which have been in Latin America since the nineteenth century and the early twentieth century, and the Evangelical churches (Christian and Mission­ary Alliance, Evangelical Church of Peru, Church of the Nazarene, Baptist churches), which spread to Latin America in the first half of the twentieth century. In the Pentecostal branch, the two currents that he identifies are the Classical (Assemblies of God, Church of God of Peru, Church of God of Prophecy, Pentecostal Church of Peru, World Missionary Movement), which also started in Latin America in the first half of the twentieth century, and the Charismatic or Neo-Pentecostal churches, which entered in the third quarter of the twentieth century. This diversity of non-Catholic churches prompted the emergence of new organisations. Having been limited to the status of private associ­ations, Evangelical churches began to search for social recognition and legiti­ vangelical macy. In 1940, they associated and registered as the National E Council of Peru (CONEP), the first association that represented Evangelicals in Peru in the twentieth century.

Changes in the Twenty-first Century

The twenty-first century has seen a change in the religious profile in Peru, marked once again by religious diversity. In the Peruvian national censuses, enquiry on religion is directed to those who are 12 years of age and older, and it presents four possible answers to the question ‘What is your religion?’: Catholic, Evangelical, Other religion and No religion. Comparison of absolute numbers in the last three censuses in Peru show that the three religious groups and the ‘no religion’ one are growing at diverse rates that indicate mobility and social activity in this sphere. The slowly growing presence of Protestantism and Evangelicalism in Peru

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during the twentieth century was already evident in the 1993 national census but became more prominent in the 2007 census. In the 2017 census, Catholicism continued as the majority religion in Peru, with 76% of the population identifying as Catholics. Evangelicals, with 14%, have ex­perienced significant growth after a century as a small minority in Peruvian society. At the same time, other religions, with 4.8%, have expanded their presence, visible through their places of worship and their growing membership from different social strata. Those who answer ‘No religion’ are 5.1% and growing. To compare the last two censuses, the inter-census variation percentage and the annual variation rate measure the different rates of growth of each religion. The group that leads the inter-census variation percentage is the ‘No religion’ one, with 94%, followed by ‘Other religions’, with 64.3%, Evangelicals, with 25.3%, and Catholics, with 4%. The annual rate of growth is 6.8% for ‘No religion’, 5.1% for ‘Other religions’, 2.3% for Evangelicals and 0.4% for Catholics. In total, Christians account for 90.1% of the population according to the 2017 census, having been at 93.8% in 2007.

Faith and Society

In Peru, the twenty-first century comes after two decades of internal violence initiated by the Shining Path Communist Party and by the Túpac Amaru Revolutionary Movement, with a strong civic resistance of the population on one side and state control through the military on the other. From time to time in some areas the military has infringed on the human rights of the civilian population. In 2000 President Alberto Fujimori, a few months after his second re-election, had to resign the presidency in the face of accusations of corruption. Thus, the twenty-first century in Peru began with a political crisis that led to the return of democracy, after a short transition period (2000–1) in which the President of the Congress, Valentin Paniagua, assumed the Presidency of the Republic. In the short transition until elections, new institutions were created to reinforce the restoration of democracy and face the consequences of the internal violence unleashed by Shining Path, as well as those created by the economic crisis of the former decades. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission (CVR) was given a two-year mandate in 2000. It was in charge of investigating violations of human rights by formal institutions and the crimes caused by the armed groups of the Shining Path and by the Túpac Amaru Revolutionary Movement between 1980 and 2000, which had affected the civilian population in many localities and towns, causing 69,280 deaths according to the CVR’s report. The Commission was made up of 12 prominent and recognised

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116  Catalina Romero-Cevallos personalities in the country, among whom were the rector of the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru, Salomon Lerner, who presided over it; two Catholic priests, one of whom was Gastón Garatea sscc; and one Evangelical pastor, Humberto Lay, from the Assemblies of God. Regarding the role of the churches in this period, the Final Report of the CVR indicates that during the process of violence, ‘the Catholic Church and the Evangelical churches contributed to the protection of the population from crimes and human rights violations’. It goes on, however, to lament ‘the lack of firmness’ in religious sectors of both institutions in the defence of human rights. It ends by ‘paying tribute to faithful Catholic and Evangelical priests, pastors, religious men and women’ who risked and sometimes lost their lives during the armed conflict while accompanying the people in the smaller and distant towns. A second significant institution is the Roundtable for the Fight Against Poverty, which was created as a meeting place for state representatives and civil society in order to set concerted goals for the allocation of resources from the Republic’s budget to fight against poverty. It works at the national level and also at other levels of government in the country. The first president of the Roundtable was the Catholic priest Gastón Garatea. A third meeting space that was opened by the state upon the election of a new government was the National Agreement Forum, formed by political parties and members of civil society called to participate in the creation of a common space to restore confidence in democracy. General secretaries of this institution have been Rafael Roncagliolo, Max Hernández and Javier Iguiñiz, respected intellectuals involved in public issues, elected to their positions by consensus of the whole institutional membership. Among some of the members of the National Agreement Forum, in addition to political parties with representation in Congress, are the National Confederation of Private Business Institutions, the National Society of Industries, the Workers’ General Confederation of Peru, regional advocacy organisations, the Roundtable for the Fight Against Poverty, the Catholic Church, and Protestant and Evangelical churches represented by the Peruvian National Evangelical Council (CONEP). These three new bodies are singular institutions promoted by the state, each one autonomous by definition of the particular laws that created them. The CVR had a period of two years to finish its investigation, to present results and recommendations. The Roundtable continues its task, with a network of citizens, institutions and government agents from different levels, to fight against poverty as a joint action. And the National Agreement responds to new global and internal challenges to the system as an assembly for discussion, with representatives of the state and civil society, including religions, that elaborate proposals for public policies

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and common goals for the nation. The presence of the Catholic Church and of Evangelical churches in all three of them expresses the recognition of religions by the state and civil society in the three mentioned fields: the defence of society and individual lives, the poor, and democracy. Early in the twenty-first century, the Catholic Church created new cardinals and bishops, considered conservative in their theology and pastoral orientation. In 1999, a Peruvian priest member of Opus Dei, Juan Luis Cipriani, was designated Archbishop of Lima. He had been Archbishop at the Archdiocese of Ayacucho, where the CVR report found that on the side of the Church, ‘the defence of human rights was not firm … during the larger part of the armed conflict’. The Archbishop of Cusco, as well as the bishops of other seven dioceses in different areas of the country, were also members of Opus Dei or associated with them in the Society of the Holy Cross. One of them was the past Prelate of Juli (2006–18), located in Puno by Lake Titicaca at 4,000 metres above sea level. Maryknoll missionaries had been in Puno since 1943, and in 1957 they were asked to take charge of the Prelature of Juli, which they did until 2006, when they thought they were ready to transfer episcopal responsibilities to a diocesan Aymara or Quechua local priest. Instead, they received a bishop, who, celebrating a mass in memory of a respected Aymara diocesan priest, referred to him as a pagan. Sodalitium Christianae Vitae is a Peruvian religious organisation, created in 1971, critical of the option for the poor present in the Catholic Church in Peru, including Cardinal Juan Landázuri in its criticism, along with other bishops and clergy around the country. It registered as a lay movement that recruited its members from families with high social status. The movement promoted other vocations and includes in its member­ship priests, nuns and two bishops. Pope John Paul II recognised it in 1998. Today it has a large number of communities in Peru and in Latin America. The founder of this movement has been accused of sexual abuse and mistreatment by a number of lay male members and is awaiting a possible trial in Rome. These two important organisations, the first a personal prelature and the second a religious association, have been influential in Peru’s social and political realm, working from a particular perspective connected to conservative groups in civil society and politics. It upholds a traditional understanding of the human condition in terms of gender equality, hierarchies and freedom of thought. From a more universal perspective, women religious congregations, priests and bishops, with different cultures and ideas but united by the gospel and traditions that emerged after the Second Vatican Council, continue to be faithful to the spirit of the episcopal conferences of Medellín,

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118  Catalina Romero-Cevallos Puebla, Santo Domingo and Aparecida. This involves taking the option for the poor and recognising the young, women, and the local nations in the Amazon areas and other communities that have been incorporated in church communities as the favourites of God. Finally, it is important to mention the presence of popular religiosity, which is analysed as popular Catholicism by Marzal, who also defines it as a culture embedded in Peruvian traditions. This is part of the daily life of the Peruvian believer as a diffuse religion (Roberto Cipriani), learned and lived in the family environment, in the neighbourhood and also in churches. In Peru, the weight of Christ-centred devotion is manifested in the festivities of the Cross that take place in the month of May throughout the country and in calls for pilgrimages and processions in all regions of Peru. For the procession of the Lord of Miracles in October, a multitude of devotees dress in purple in the city of Lima. The procession is now present in all the cities, where the image is accompanied by Peruvian migrants. St Martin of Porres and St Rose of Lima, Peruvian saints from the sixteenth century, are also part of the religious experience of the devotees, promoting trust in God, who is close to them, and in the saints, who accompany them in difficult and in good times. Evangelical churches, though still a clear minority in Peru, have seen their world expand in the twenty-first century. They have a public presence and are recognised in the everyday life of Peruvian society. The formation and arrival of new churches, with new characteristics, led to the formation of new inter-church organisations in addition to CONEP. In 2003, the Union of Evangelical Christian Churches of Peru was formed. More recently, other interdenominational groups and movements, oriented to mobilise the faithful around family and social issues, have emerged to enter the public sphere. Such groups aim to form new alliances with traditional institutions with a view to reconfiguring this religious field. This could be the case of the new Federation of Evangelical Churches of Peru, made up of denominations linked to a new Evangelical conservatism.

Significant Events and Personalities

Three important events for the Catholic Church in Peru at the global and local levels are the conference of the Latin American Episcopal Council (CELAM) in Aparecida, the election of Francis – a Pope with a Latin American and universal heart – and the renewal of bishops in Peru. For Evangelicals, significant developments include the approval by the Peruvian Congress of the religious freedom law in 2010 and their active presence in the public space, including the mass media and civil society. Fifteen years after the CELAM conference in Santo Domingo, Pope John Paul II called for a fifth meeting, in Aparecida, Brazil. The conference was

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opened by Pope Benedict XVI in 2007. Then Archbishop of Buenos Aires Jorge Bergoglio, now Pope Francis, led the team in charge of producing the final document of the conference. To many bishops and church members, it was a special moment for the Latin American church to join together to analyse and reflect on the conditions present in the continent, where progress and poverty were together affecting the lives of millions, and to look at the new reality in the light of the gospel. Concern about the prevailing social conditions and the preferential option for the poor emerged as a permanent reference for the commitment of the church and its members with the poor and those in need. The spirit of the documents in Medellín (1968) and Puebla (1979) was evident also in Aparecida, with a renewed commitment to the option for the poor, looking upon them as friends. The connection between examining reality, confronting it with the gospel, and moving towards concrete actions was there. In one of the texts, the bishops reminded Christians that they should be able to recognise the values of the poor, their needs and desires, and how they live their faith. The poor should not only receive the word of God but should be seen themselves as ‘agents of evangelisation’, as they are when they educate their children in their faith and in the practice of solidarity. And looking ‘in the light of the gospel’, Christians are called to recognise the dignity of the poor, their value in the eyes of Christ, who was also poor and excluded, and to take action, sharing with the poor in the defence of their rights. Aparecida renovated the spirit of solidarity, fraternity and sorority in the Latin American Catholic Church. Seven years later, Bergoglio was elected Pope in Rome, taking the name of Francis. Latin America continues to be a continent with larger numbers of poor, not only in economic terms but in all the consequences of poverty. These include lack of food and water, as well as lack of access to knowledge, respect, love, justice and all that is needed to have a life and not merely to survive. The Pope knows the poor, and from his chair in Rome is not forgetting them around the world. In Peru, Pope Francis has appointed new bishops, who ‘will not forget the poor,’ as Cardinal Claudio Hummes had whispered to the Pope right after his election. The Archdiocese of Lima, after 20 years under an Opus Dei archbishop, received Carlos Castillo Matassouglo, a diocesan parish priest with pastoral experience in the archdiocese and a former professor of theology at the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru, as the new Archbishop. He celebrated a Mass at the cathedral in 2020 for persons who had died of COVID-19, whom their relatives could not accompany and bury. At that time Peru had around 6,000 deaths, and inside the cathedral were more than 5,000 pictures, sent by their families, so each one of them could be remembered and blessed.

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120  Catalina Romero-Cevallos It is difficult to find the new Archbishop of Cusco in the city. He is always visiting other parishes in the archdiocese. The Amazon region also has new bishops, and the Pope has created a new Amazon Ecclesial Conference to pay special attention to the different nations and cultures that are found there.

Civil Society and Politics

In the Evangelical world, a significant event has been the approval by the Peruvian Congress of Law 29635 on religious freedom in 2010. It warrants freedom of belief and worship in Peru, granting the corresponding rights to believers of all religions and to ‘religious entities’ (Article 5) as well as to the official registration for these. It also gives first place in the Final Complementary Provisions to sanctions for preventing the exercise of religious freedom. The Ministry of Justice is in charge of registration of religions and of providing information on the new situation in Peru for their organisations. A second significant development was the occupation of the public stage by international preachers from the USA and Brazil. Large gatherings were held in stadiums and other outdoor spaces, open to relatives and neighbours as an opportunity to reach out. At the same time, they developed a large network through the mass media, radio, television and digital media. A third development concerns the relation of faith with politics and civil society. Among Evangelicals, political activism is becoming more common, and this has also influenced the ways in which different churches recognise each other. Perez Vela has drawn attention to groups linked to churches, denominations or Evangelical networks who are interested in public issues. Such groups are now getting involved in public debates and featuring public issues in their services of worship, praying for problems that appear on the public agenda. Pastors from different churches have also experimented in party politics. Some have formed their own parties to run in regional or national elections looking for the Evangelical vote, such as Pastor Humberto Lay, who ran for the Presidency of Peru in 2006 with his National Restoration Party. That year, 120 Evangelicals were candidates for Congress, running for office with different political parties, though only four were elected. The motives for some of them were related to freedom of religion; for others, family issues, education and other motives related to their interests in politics as citizens. A social movement called ‘Don’t Mess With My Children’ was formed by Christian Rosas, pastor of the Christian and Missionary Alliance Church, in opposition to sex education and liberal teaching on gender

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issues in public schools. They participate in campaigns and mobilisations in opposition to the liberal approach, in alliance with Catholic conservatives. They are active in civil society and apply political pressure to local and national public authorities. Efforts by Evangelical and Pentecostal groups to enter the public space are now frequent and are becoming more diverse, both in their forms of expression and the media used to attain a public presence. Thus, there are Pentecostal groups that combine pietism with aid and social advocacy, Pentecostal leaders who enter into political action from a theocratic framework of power, as well as Pentecostal sectors that continue in their mission-oriented and conversionist pastoral project.

Conclusion

Religious diversity is already a visible fact in Peru. Catholicism, representing by far the majority of the population, is in a process of relocation in the public space of civil society, regaining some autonomy from the state. Meanwhile, Evangelical religion in its diversity is moving from those who have already put down roots in civil society as churches and act as citizens in politics to those who move towards the public space in order to enter politics specifically as religious leaders. As regards civil society, the Catholic Church is gaining freedom and identity, while some Evangelical leaders see in public positions and in political activism an opportunity to accelerate their particular agendas in a context of religious competition.

Bibliography

Fonseca, Juan, ‘El púlpito en la calle: Evangélicos, sociedad y política en el Perú (1960– 2011)’, in Francisco Durand, Fernando Eguren and Adofo Figueroa (eds), Seminario: El Perú de los últimos 50 años (Lima: Fondo Editorial UCH, 2014), 419–41. Gutiérrez, Gustavo, A Theology of Liberation: History, Politics and Salvation (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, 1973). Gutiérrez, Gustavo, Las Casas: In Search of the Poor of Jesus Christ (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, 1995). Marzal, Manuel, Tierra Encantada. Tratado de antropología religiosa de América Latina (Madrid/ Lima: Editorial Trotta/Fondo Editorial PUCP, 2002). Romero, Catalina, Rolando Pérez, José Sánchez, Uta Ihrke-Buchroth and Rolando Iberico (eds), Diversidad religiosa en el Perú. Miradas Múltiples (Lima: Fondo Editorial PUCP, 2016).

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Ecuador Eloy Nolivos

Despite modernity’s continual challenges of urbanisation, industrialisation and Marxist influence, a resurgent Ecuadorian Christianity (Catholic, Protestant and Pentecostal), with its many problems and evident human shortcomings, persists in the twenty-first century. The picturesque Andean Republic of Ecuador, about the size of Italy, is nestled in the north-west of South America. It is home to various ethnic groups of indígenas (Indigenous groups), mestizos (people of mixed Indian and European descent), mulatos (people of mixed African and European descent) and blancos (whites of European descent), while more recent immigrants originate from other countries, including Lebanon, China, South Korea, Japan, Italy and Germany. Some Ecuadorians resist ‘modernity’ as viable for the country’s and people’s best interests. Quichua activist and thinker Ariruma Kowii from Otavalo argues for a view of the world from an Indigenous (Andean Quichua) perspective, where ‘complementary dualisms’ coexist without negation, unlike modern categories of knowledge. Such a shift alters the view of life, community, society and the world from perceiving it only through Western lenses. Former President of Ecuador Osvaldo Hurtado (1981–4), in Las costumbres de los Ecuatorianos (The Customs of Ecuadorians), provides a cultural analysis of reasons why Ecuador has not been able to develop the legal, institutional, political, economic and entrepreneurial foundations necessary to create general well-being. This essay presents Ecuadorian Christianity specifically, and Latin American Christianity in general, couched within modernity yet critical of its paradigm of development and progression, with an emphasis on co­ existence and dialogue. The renascent Christianity in Ecuador is explored in three ways: as redefining its identity; as a prophetic movement to the poor; and as the Pentecostalisation of the church.

Identity

In 1925, over a century after Ecuador’s independence from Spanish rule (24 May 1822) and within a process of industrialisation, the Republic took its first steps towards a centralist model of the state. Politically a move beyond both the rigid conservative and theocratic government of Gabriel

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Garcia Moreno (1860–75) and the radical liberal era ushered in by General Eloy Alfaro (1895–1901 and 1906–11), the new model was solidified in the governments at the end of the 1960s and 1970s. It fostered social diversification and the inclusion of other religious expressions in Ecuadorian society. Along with democratic transition and a goal of a better life through economics, politics and sociocultural dimensions on the part of Ecuador, as with other Latin American nations, pluralism resulted and fragmentation created a heterogenous religious landscape and Christian identity. The genealogy and history of Ecuadorian Christianity are a microcosm of Latin American Christianity’s narrative in the twenty-first century. From 2010, contemporary Christianity in Ecuador entered a period of ‘pluralisation’ according to Julian Guamán, a Quichua activist and Evangelical historian. The Instituto Nacional de Estadísticas y Censos calculates that 98% of Ecuadorians adhere to a religion or belief. In 2012, religious affiliation outside of Catholicism consisted of Evangelicals (11.30%), Jehovah’s Witnesses (1.29%), Latter-day Saints (0.37%), Buddhists (0.29%), Jews (0.26%), Spiritists (0.12%) and others (5.92%). The country is predominantly Roman Catholic, with some estimates suggesting that as many as 85% of Ecuador’s Christians are Catholics. However, as the region entered into the global capitalist market, the religious field diversified, leading to the emergence of a religiously plural environment. This alarmed Ecuadorian Catholics and led to a profound crisis in Christian identity as a result of the many religious options. On 29 February 2016, the Conferencia Episcopal Ecuatoriana (CEE) on behalf of all the Roman Catholic bishops released a circular letter entitled ‘Identidad Católica’ (‘Catholic Identity’), signed by Fausto Trávez, President of the CEE, Archbishop of Quito and the Primate of Ecuador. Because of the many religious groups calling themselves Catholics, the bishops of Ecuador addressed all their priests, religious, laity and all Christianity in Ecuador, 1970 and 2020 Tradition Christians  Anglicans  Independents  Orthodox  Protestants  Catholics Evangelicals Pentecostals/Charismatics Total population

1970 Population

%

2020 Population

%

5,932,000 510 86,200 1,000 78,500 5,844,000 105,000 62,400 6,073,000

97.7% 0.0% 1.4% 0.0% 1.3% 96.2% 1.7% 1.0% 100.0%

16,484,000 20,800 1,150,000 2,200 739,000 14,555,000 850,000 2,150,000 17,336,000

95.1% 0.1% 6.6% 0.0% 4.3% 84.0% 4.9% 12.4% 100.0%

Average annual growth rate (%), 1970–2020 2.1% 7.7% 5.3% 1.6% 4.6% 1.8% 4.3% 7.3% 2.1%

Source: Todd M. Johnson and Gina A. Zurlo (eds), World Christian Database (Leiden/Boston: Brill), accessed January 2021.

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124  Eloy Nolivos people of good faith. Reiteration and affirmation of Catholicism’s own identity exemplified in their doctrine, practices and signs were highlighted. Although its main purpose was to affirm Catholic identity so as to avoid confusion, the letter made clear that it was not intended to be critical or condemnatory of other religious groups. ‘Protestants’ and ‘Evangelicals’ in Ecuador, as in the rest of Latin America, are interchangeable terms to describe the remaining ‘Christian’ religious marketplace, which includes historic Protestant churches, members of Pentecostal churches and adherents of other Protestant churches. Nelson Castro, President of the Academia de Historia y Patrimonio Evangélico del Ecuador, has observed that the cultural contribution to the nation made by Ecuadorian Protestantism has been insufficiently recognised. He estimates there are over 2 million Ecuadorian Protestants in 6,000 congregations led by 5,000 pastors, only 30% of whom have seminary education. To commemorate the five-hundredth anniversary of the Reformation, under Castro’s leadership a video documentary (¿Quiénes somos? Documental historia de la Iglesia Evangélica en el Ecuador) on Ecuador’s Evangelical identity was produced and released nationally. When the author interviewed Castro about the video’s rationale, the need to understand the plurality of Evangelical traditions that make up today’s Ecuadorian Protestant Christianity was a significant motivator rather than an obstacle.

Prophetic Movement to the Poor

In the second half of the twentieth century, the churches in Ecuador embraced a prophetic role in relation to the poor, a stance needed to tackle the multidimensional poverty in the country. The social and political forces of the Cuban Revolution (1959), Second Vatican Council (1962–5), agrarian reform (1964), and Cold War (1945–91) helped shift the churches’ preoccupation with only ‘spiritual’ matters towards a greater awareness of the ‘temporal’ realities surrounding Ecuadorians. Three significant figures and prophetic voices of Ecuadorian Christianity are Bishop Leonidas Proaño (1910–88) and the Padilla brothers – Washington Padilla (1927–90) and René Padilla (1932–2021) – who have impacted Ecuadorian, Latin American and global Christianity. Leonidas Proaño served as a Roman Catholic priest for 52 years (1936–88) and a bishop for 34 years (1954–88). Inspired by the reforms of Second Vatican Council and by the second conference of the Latin American Episcopal Council, in Medellín, Colombia (1968), he implemented the new and liberationist vision centred on the poor, specifically the Ecuadorian poor who were in his heart and mind. For Proaño, the poor in Latin America are Indians, blacks, peasants, slum-dwellers,

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the unemployed or under-employed, workers and the many skilled craftsmen. He developed a special identification with them, particularly with the Indígenas (Indians). Understanding humanity’s reality is the starting point for change, and the church as community is to lead the way, according to Proaño. He gave the Indígenas back their lands, instituted Escuelas ­Radiofónicas Populares (literacy centres by radio) and the Centro de Educación y Acción Social (the Centre for Education and Social Action), and placed Quichua missionaries in his diocese. For his lifetime work among the poor and indígenas, Pope John Paul II named Proaño ‘Bishop of the Indians’ when he retired in 1988. In response to conditions prevailing during the Cold War, progressive Evangelicals in Latin America also developed a brand of social Christi­ anity. The Padilla brothers among other Latin American Evangelicals (such as Samuel Escobar, Pedro Arana and Orlando Costas) emerged in this milieu accepting the inherited North American Evangelical theology but seeking to strip it of its white, middle-class American packaging in order to offer a gospel for the poor and marginalised. Washington Padilla, Ecuadorian Evangelical historian and the older of the two brothers, in 1989 penned the seminal history of Protestantism in Ecuador – La iglesia y los dioses modernos: historia del Protestantismo en el Ecuador (The Church and the Modern Gods: History of Protestantism in Ecuador). He viewed history through his concern for the Protestant churches in Ecuador to free themselves from the liberal capitalistic system of the Western world and return to the original sources of Christianity. While Washington was a writer, prophet, reformer and ecumenical advocate to the Ecuadorian Evangelical church, his younger brother René, an Evangelical theologian, influenced a fundamental shift in the understanding of Evangelical Protestant mission at global level. During his time as Secretary of the International Fellowship of Evangelical Students in the late 1950s, René with other Latin American thinkers began to forge a Latin American social Christian ethics. It was a different path from either the Marxist option prevalent in universities or Western capitalism’s proposal of the ‘American way of life’. He developed and coined the term mision integral (integral or holistic mission). Integral mission maintains that both social and evangelistic responsibility are essential parts of the Christian mission and central to the gospel. René argued for a comprehensive view of salvation, one that would touch all aspects of human life. Leonidas Proaño and Washington Padilla left a prophetic legacy of a gospel for and towards the poor, while René Padilla challenged the Ecua­dorian Church, and for that matter the Global Church, to integrally (holistically) take social and evangelistic action, since both are required if we are to love our neighbour.

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Pentecostalisation of the Church

A main reason for the transformation of Ecuador’s religious landscape is Pentecostalism’s mass appeal. This popular religion of the poor – centred on the gifts of the Holy Spirit – has adapted itself to the Latin American culture so as to become Catholicism’s main competitor and a catalyst for renewal. In the late 1960s, Catholic Charismatic Renewal (CCR) emerged from the Charismatic movement among the historic Protestant churches (early 1960s) and the Second Vatican Council’s recognition of the important role of the Holy Spirit and charismatic gifts. The coinciding emergence of Pentecostalism and Charismatic Catholicism in Ecuador and the region not only revitalised the churches but formed part of the Pentecostalisation of Ecuadorian and Latin American Christianity. When Ecuadorian Catholics were surveyed in 2014, 40% self-identified as Charismatics, while 56% of Protestants said they either belonged to a Pentecostal denomination or personally identified as a Pentecostal Christian, regardless of denomination. On 6 July 2015, when Pope Francis, an Argentine who is the first Latin American pontiff, visited Ecuador and the South American region for the first time since he was elected in 2013, one in every five Catholics in Ecuador identified themselves as Charismatics. In order to compete with Pentecostal Christianity in Latin America and stem the continual loss of Catholic faithful since the 1970s, Francis has been a strong supporter of the CCR. He is the first Pope to embrace, attend and participate in a CCR event – the thirty-seventh National Convocation of the Renewal of the Holy Spirit held in the soccer stadium in Rome on 1 June 2014. He has urged churches and encouraged priests to accept the movement and even admitted to being wrong for initially viewing Charismatic Catholics negatively. Appointed five months prior to Francis’s visit, Father Ismael Nova, who leads a Catholic Charismatic community of San Juan Eudes in Quito, is an example of the movement. When William Neuman visited the church as he reported on the pontiff’s visit, the service ‘seemed like a Protestant revival meeting’, where people raised their arms, rock music played and faith healing occurred (New York Times, 9 July 2015). Although Pentecostalism’s emergence in Ecuador commenced in 1911 with a few Pentecostal pioneers, the inflow of the movement’s missionaries began in earnest during the 1950s. Some observers suggest that these mission­aries did not create but rather helped to spark the Pentecostal tradition in Latin America, which would later develop into Indigenous movements and churches. Ecuador is a case where Pentecostalism was slow to foster Indigenous churches but rather found expression through such classical Pentecostal churches as the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel, the Assemblies of God and the Church of God, Cleveland,

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Tennessee, all of which were implanted from North America. Both CCR and Ecuadorian Pentecostalism are recognised as lay movements. ­Washington Padilla credits Pentecostalism with restoring lay participation, a significant characteristic of Pentecostal denominations and one of the main reasons for Protestant growth in Ecuador. On the Pentecostalisation of the church, diverse views of the phenomenon are held by Evangelical and Pentecostal Ecuadorians representative of the globalisation of Pentecostalism. Julian Guamán (Mennonite) and Nelson Castro (Evangelical Covenant Church) as Evangelicals acknowledge Pentecostal Christianity’s effect on Evangelical liturgy, praxis and proximity, yet they maintain that it is often overstated. For instance, Guamán maintains that Evangelical churches with Keswick roots are misinterpreted as Pentecostal because of their music and liturgy. Jonathan Suarez (Pentecostal) and Laura Saa (International Church of the Foursquare Gospel) adhere to a religious Pentecostalisation in Ecuador. Suarez, a sociologist, follows Walter Hollenweger’s classification to categorise Ecuadorian Evangelical churches as being subject to Pentecostalisation. Defining Pentecostalism is complex for Saa, who prefers to use the term ‘pentecostalisms’ because of the many liturgies and social tenets involved.

Conclusion

This essay has considered Ecuadorian Christianity’s identity, prophetic mission to the poor and Pentecostalisation amidst a pluralist and fragmented society. Christianity in Ecuador also demonstrates its vitality through such current developments as the indigena church and movement, the social and political capital of the church, and new ways of being Christian, but space does not allow these to be examined in detail. As the first two decades of this century depicted the need to identify who Christians are in a period of pluralisation, much work still remains to be done. There is a need for more historical studies on Ecuadorian popular religiosity. Julian Guamán is working on a typology and periodisation of the Evangelical Church in Ecuador in a forthcoming monograph. When interviewed by the author, Guamán categorised Ecuadorian Evangelical Christianity as evangelicalismo, pentecostalismo, protestantismo and anabaptismo and has a periodisation of Incursion (1896–1945), Establecimiento (1945–80), Expansión (1990–2010) and Pluralización (since 2010) of the movement. Leonidas Proaño, Washington Padilla and René Padilla impacted and dared the Ecuadorian church to serve and live an integral mission to today’s Ecuadorians who are living in multidimensional poverty. According to the 2020 United Nations Human Development Report, the Ecuador’s score on the Human Development Index (HDI) in 2019 was

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128  Eloy Nolivos 0.759, ranking it eighty-sixth out of 189 countries and territories. The HDI measures long-term progress in three areas of basic human development: health, education and standard of living. Although Ecuador’s HDI score increased 17.1% between 1990 and 2019, the HDI does not account for inequalities in the distribution of the development across the population. To calculate these disparities in all three areas, the 2010 Human Development Report initiated the IHDI (Inequalities Human Development Index), which is basically the HDI discounted for inequalities. Ecuador’s IHDI in 2019 drops the HDI from 0.759 to 0.616, a loss of 18.8%, because of the inequality distribution. The breadth of deprivation (intensity) in Ecuador is 39.9%. The Proaño and Padilla legacy challenges Ecuadorian Christianity to keep serving the poor. Pluralisation and Pentecostalisation have transformed Ecuadorian Christianity, challenging the churches and the country to fully exercise the right to freedom of religion, peaceful coexistence and inter-religious dialogue. More than 1,300 religious groups, churches, societies, organisations and foundations coexist in Ecuador, from Amerindian religions to Roman Catholics, Protestants, Anglicans, Baptists, Methodists, Lutherans, Presbyterians, Eastern Orthodox, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Latter-day Saints, Rosicrucians, Buddhists, Baha’is, Hindus, Jews, Muslims and the Church of Scientology. Currently there is no formal inter-religious dialogue between Evangelicals and Roman Catholics, let alone with other faiths. Ecuadorian Christianity will need to explore and engage more in dialogue as a people gifted by the Spirit. Meanwhile, the churches continue to fulfil their mission and influence society as they better understand who they are, protect and serve the poor in solidarity, and utilise the gifts of the Holy Spirit for peace and unity.

Bibliography

Castro, S. Nelson, ‘Presencia Evangélica en el Ecuador’, unpublished paper, 21 January 2021. Guamán, Julián, Evangélicos en el Ecuador: tipologías y formas institucionales del Protestantismo (Quito: Ediciones Abya-Yala, 2011). Nolivos, Eloy H., ‘Capitalism and Pentecostalism in Latin America: Trajectories of Prosperity and Development’, in Katherine Attanasi and Amos Yong, eds, Pentecostalism and Prosperity: The Socio-Economics of the Global Charismatic Movement (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012), 87–105. Padilla, Washington J., La iglesia y los dioses modernos: historia del Protestantismo en el Ecuador, 2nd edn, Biblioteca de Ciencias Sociales Vol. 23 (Quito, Ecuador: Corporación Editora Nacional, 2008). Proaño, Leonidas, Creo en el hombre y en la comunidad, 4th edn (Quito: Corporación Editora Nacional, 2001).

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Colombia William Elvis Plata

On 2 December 1997, an agreement was signed between the Colombian state, represented by then President Ernesto Samper, and 19 non-Catholic Christian religious institutions, including the Assemblies of God Council of Colombia, Christian Crusade Church, United Pentecostal Church of Colombia, Foursquare Church, House on the Rock, Integral Christian Church, Pan American Mission of Colombia, Pentecostal Church of God International Movement in Colombia, Seventh-day Adventist Church, Wesleyan Church, Puente Largo Christian Church and the Council of Evangelical Churches of Colombia (CEDECOL). The aim was to deepen commitment to the principles of freedom and religious equality set forth in the Constitution of 1991 and the Law of Religious Freedom of 1994. However, critics argued that, instead of advancing religious freedom, this measure created a discriminatory precedent, since other Christian and non-Christian religions were excluded. What these Christian churches obtained were privileges that the Catholic Church had traditionally enjoyed through the Concordat of 1887, for example in the provision of Christian spiritual assistance in prisons, hospitals and chaplaincies of the military and police forces; Christian religious education in official educational establishments; and the legal recognition of marriages officiated by churches. They also received significant tax exemptions for both sanctuaries and for social and cultural activities conducted by churches. For this reason, President Samper himself called the agreement an ‘Evangelical concordat’. Although space was apparently opened for tolerance and respect among the various Christian denominations, the new relationships of the churches and the state and the participation of representatives of the Christian churches in politics would intensify in the twenty-first century and move away from the ideal of a secular state and a secularised society established by the 1991 Constitution. On the contrary, as we will see, this development strengthened the role of religion in relation to politics and society.

Retracing Christian History

The new Evangelical concordat sought to transform the historic Catholic presence in the Colombian state and society. Retracing that history of

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130  William Elvis Plata Catholicism allows us to understand significant aspects of Christianity as a whole in Colombia today. The presence of Christianity in the territory of New Granada – of which Colombia was a part – began with the process of conquest and colonisation by the Spanish in 1510. The mendicant orders (especially Dominicans, Franciscans and Augustinians), along with the Jesuits, were initially in charge of the work of evangelisation of the conquered natives. Slaves from Africa were also evangelised, although under less systematic conditions than those of the Indigenous people. However, this population was culturally mixed, and although it maintained some syncretic elements in its adoption of Christianity, the evangelisation process managed to extirpate important aspects of the animistic and spiritualist practices and beliefs typical of the traditional religious systems of sub-Saharan Africa.

Symbiosis: Church, State, Society

The entire process of implanting Christianity in New Granada took place, as in the rest of Latin America, protected by the institution of the Patronato Regio, which linked the church to the state and served its purposes. The work carried out by the ecclesiastical institution in the evangelisation of the native population, in the foundation of towns and cities and in the legitimisation of the Hispanic institutions led it to become a source of support for the colonial system. In the religious sphere, Baroque practices spread quickly among the population, both dominant and dominated. In the social sphere, a system of alliances was woven with the HispanicCreole elites and other sectors, through brotherhoods, guilds, male and female convents and other corporations, which underpinned the regime. In the economic sphere, the chaplaincies facilitated for the clergy and religious the acquisition of real estate in large quantities. Christianity in Colombia, 1970 and 2020 Tradition

1970 Population

%

2020 Population

%

Christians  Anglicans  Independents  Orthodox  Protestants  Catholics Evangelicals Pentecostals/Charismatics Total population

21,541,000 2,000 127,000 4,000 303,000 21,154,000 197,000 469,000 22,061,000

97.6% 0.0% 0.6% 0.0% 1.4% 95.9% 0.9% 2.1% 100.0%

47,706,000 28,000 2,550,000 10,700 1,777,000 43,400,000 1,300,000 16,250,000 50,220,000

95.0% 0.1% 5.1% 0.0% 3.5% 86.4% 2.6% 32.4% 100.0%

Average annual growth rate (%), 1970–2020 1.6% 5.4% 6.2% 2.0% 3.6% 1.4% 3.9% 7.3% 1.7%

Source: Todd M. Johnson and Gina A. Zurlo (eds), World Christian Database (Leiden/Boston: Brill), accessed January 2021.

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In addition, the Court of the Inquisition, established in Cartagena in 1610, favoured social and political control, preventing religious hetero­ doxy and resisting the settlement of foreigners, faithful Protestants or adherents of other religions in the territory of New Granada. Finally, education, care for the poor, the sick and the abandoned, and even the distribution of water in towns and cities was entrusted to the ecclesiastical institution, which thus undertook the responsibilities of the state.

Bourbon Reforms to Liberal Reforms

The symbiosis between state and church began to unravel in the eighteenth century, when the Bourbon dynasty, in pursuit of administrative unification, tried to reform the clergy, in order to reduce the quasi-­autonomy that they had maintained until then, and to strengthen the crown, with a view to tightening control. Royal visits, made for this purpose, sought to confine the religious to the convents and reduce their social influence. The secularisation of the Indian Doctrines was also ordered, seeking to remove education from the exclusive control of the regular clergy. Finally, the removal of capital from chaplaincies was ordered in 1803. With some religious communities, such as the Jesuits, the measures were extreme, leading to their expulsion in 1767. The Bourbon reforms, on the other hand, facilitated the arrival of progressive doctrines, and the reform of the educational system of New Granada – which had been in the hands of the religious since the sixteenth century – pitted the Dominicans against the ecclesiastical hierarchy and viceregal authorities. The latter were not willing to see their prerogatives in the control of university education suppressed. One result of this disturbance in the relations between church and state was that, with the advent of the process of independence (from 1810), the clergy were divided. They used their intellectual training and their social influence to mobilise the population in favour of both sides and to legitimise their causes theologically. In addition, many priests joined the troops and even played a leadership role in the struggle. Popular religiosity (through novenas, catechisms, prayers, sacred pictures) was also instrumentalised in favour of the struggle, with greater or lesser degrees of success. Thus, a culture was consolidated that until today does not consider religious influence strange in political affairs. After the patriot victory in 1819, the new government – made up mostly of Catholics of liberal influence – continued with the old institution of patronage over the church, since it wanted ecclesiastical legitimation of the new regime. The concern of the leaders was the maintenance of political and social order, making use of religious discourse while undertaking reforms in the regular clergy, which precipitated an unprecedented crisis.

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132  William Elvis Plata A second generation of liberals, more radical, founded the Liberal Party and came to power in 1849. They expanded the confrontation with the secular clergy through reforms that included the abolition of the tithe and the ecclesiastical jurisdiction, the expulsion of the Jesuits, the separation of church and state, the establishment of civil marriage (1853), the confiscation of ecclesiastical property, the suppression of all religious communities (1861) and the establishment of educational ‘neutrality’ in religious matters (1870).

Protestantism: From ‘Above’ and ‘Below’

Independence and the establishment of the republican regime caused a small opening in religious matters, at least for certain personalities of the state, which favoured the arrival of Freemasonry and other politicalesoteric organisations such as theosophy and French spiritism. A hesitant introduction of Protestantism in the continental area also was favoured. However, in the insular Caribbean – in the small islands of San Andrés and Providencia, which were incorporated into the national territory – Protestantism had already been present since the end of the eighteenth century, in a more ‘natural’ way, when the Baptist Church spread along with the migrants who came to inhabit these islands, many of them black slaves who later obtained their liberation. Since then, this church has become the guardian of their culture and traditions. Protestantism in mainland Colombia, unlike the case of the insular Caribbean, did not spread spontaneously. It was promoted by the government, liberal elites and Freemasonry, which, in the years after independence, wanted to diminish the power of the clergy. They also believed that English and American economic power was based on the ethics promoted by Protestant doctrines. The first contacts were made in the 1820s, on behalf of the Scotsman James Frazer, a former member of the British Legion who had helped the process of independence of New Granada. However, it was not until the 1850s, after the Declaration of Separation between Church and State, that a first permanent mission was established in the interior of the country. In 1856 Henry B. Pratt (1832–1912), a young pastor, arrived and conducted the first Protestant service in Bogotá, in English, at the Dickson Hotel in front of 10 foreigners and two New Granadans. He also opened a bookstore in the capital in which he sold Bibles without the deuterocanonical books or explanatory notes. However, his work did not bear much fruit, and it developed amidst the hostility of the Catholic clergy and influential laity and the indifference of the wealthy, who constituted his interest group. In the following decades, explorations were made to other areas of the country, such as the state of Santander, seeking to encounter less resistance

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from the clergy and greater acceptance from the population. The fruits of these efforts, however, were meagre and small stable native communities were able to establish themselves only at the end of the nineteenth century. The creation of schools and printing presses helped to spread Protestant ideas among the younger generation. In 1890 the American School of Bogotá was founded, and later similar foundations began in Barranquilla and Cali. These schools offered an alternative training that attracted the liberal upper classes, both for their secular education and for their alternative pedagogy. In the years from 1910 to 1930 there was a new impulse of Protestant growth, as it expanded to towns and peasant sectors. However, historic Protestantism never managed to find the key to becoming a popular choice.

The Times of the ‘Catholic Nation’

All this coincided with the beginning of the Romanisation of the Catholic Church led by the Vatican. Thus, during the second half of the nineteenth century, the Colombian ecclesiastical institution tried to reorganise itself around the authority of Rome and take a confrontational attitude towards the government and liberalism, with the support of the Conservative Party, which adopted the cause of the defence of the clergy. The position of the ecclesiastical institution was increasingly fundamentalist and intransigent as the dispute between the two political parties became impregnated with the religious element, even serving as fuel for several of the civil wars that took place at that time. The radical liberal regime entered into crisis in the 1880s and the Conservative Party came to power, championing along with ex-radicals the regeneration of state institutions. The new regime, which sanctioned the Constitution of 1886 and the Concordat of 1887, adopted Catholicism as ideological support, generating a new era of close collaboration between the state and the church. This allowed the church to control the educational apparatus while it took charge of charitable activities through hospitals, orphanages and other charities. To contribute to this task, new male and female religious orders arrived, their members skilled in education, health or missions. The laity, especially women, were also key in this reorganisation of Catholicism, since they were directed by a process of formation and organisation that produced countless women’s associations dedicated to catechesis and charity. These associations contributed to strengthening the ties between the clergy and wealthy families and turning homes into centres of religious indoctrination. After the Civil War of the Thousand Days (1899–1902) the country was officially consecrated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and an attempt was

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134  William Elvis Plata made to generate – in an ethnically and culturally diverse mixed-race population – a sense of nation around the Castilian language, Hispanic traditions and the Catholic religion. The church and state alliance lasted more than 100 years, and for the first 45 years the new ‘regime of Christianity’ seemed unquestionable. However, in 1930 the Liberals regained power and another era of confrontation began– although less intense than that of the nineteenth century – with the Conservative Party and the ecclesiastical hierarchy allied to it. Intransigence continued to be the hallmark of the controversy, sparking a new era of violence that raged uncontrollably across Colombian towns and villages during the 1940s and 1950s.

Social Catholicism amidst Intransigence and Polarisation

On the other hand, during these years attempts were made within the church to dialogue with the modern world through individual and collective initiatives of intervention and training. The first were the Círculos Obreros (Workers’ Circles), created by the Jesuit José María Campoamor in the 1910s. Following the recommendations of the encyclical Rerum Novarum, these sought to generate better living conditions for those who came to work in the first factories that emerged in the country. Later, in the 1930s, Catholic Action was born, this time at the initiative of the hierarchy and to obey pontifical mandates. However, its orientation was distorted and it was used for political confrontation with the Liberal government, which led to several conflicts between the government and the ecclesiastical leaders of the movement, such as Bishop Juan Manuel González Arbeláez. At the same time, the Young Christian Workers (JOC) emerged, brought to Colombia from Belgium by brothers Jorge and Luis María Murcia. Its working method was based on ‘seeing, judging, acting’, which made its members question the attitude of political confrontation with the government that the ecclesiastical hierarchy gave to the lay organisations in the country. For this reason, it was the victim of polarisation and intolerance, and the JOC was suppressed in 1938, to be reborn only in the 1960s. In the 1940s, Catholic unionism erupted, seeking to confront its socialist and liberal counterpart. In different cities and even in towns, unions and workers’ associations were formed, sometimes without a basis within a consolidated industry. Initiatives aimed at wealthy social groups and intellectuals also emerged, such as the Catholic Student Youth (JEC) and the Testimonio (Testimony) group (1947–57), which sought alternatives in the relationship between the church and modern society. But perhaps the most successful attempt to develop social and educational action carried out by the Catholic Church was Popular Cultural

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Action, another initiative, led by the priest José Joaquín Salcedo, who for more than 40 years dedicated himself to literacy and delivering religious, civic, moral and technical training to Colombian peasants – at that time the majority in the country – through the network of Radio Sutatenza stations. However, these attempts and others were surrounded by the fundamentalist positions of the ecclesiastical hierarchy and the intransigence of conservative and liberal politicians, who did not allow much progress in the initiatives, which remained atomised and disjointed. The reforms of the Second Vatican Council (1962–5) and the changes in the pastoral approach of the Latin American episcopate (CELAM, Medellín, 1968) took the Colombian ecclesiastical institution by surprise. The hierarchy was not prepared to abandon its combative attitude towards its traditional enemies and only superficially adopted conciliatory measures, at least initially. This reluctance contrasted with the impatience of some clerics, who decided to radicalise, starting a conflict that was exploited by third parties. Camilo Torres Restrepo is a sad example of how a brilliant, sensitive clergyman committed to social change ended up being manipulated by armed groups. Torres yielded to the temptation to take up arms, joined the guerrillas and died in his first combat, in 1966. His example was followed by other priests. At the same time, in 1968 some 60 clergymen gathered on a farm to sign the Golconda Manifesto document, in which a critique of the country’s social and political situation was made. They called for a ‘real’ approach of the church to society, to the faithful and to the poor in order to overcome the paternalistic action that was usually promoted. The attitude of the ecclesiastical hierarchy was to ignore or disqualify these priests, discredit them socially and label them guerrillas, communists and heretics. Likewise, pastoral initiatives such as base ecclesial communities succumbed to internal contradictions, to manipulation by third parties due to the context of the Cold War, to the opposition they faced from the ecclesiastical hierarchy led by Cardinal Archbishops Alfonso López Trujillo and Aníbal Muñoz Duque, and to the intensification of the military conflict between leftist guerrillas (FARC, ELN, EPL, M-19) and the National Army with its allied paramilitaries.

From Evangelicalism to Neo-Pentecostalism

On the other hand, from the 1960s onwards, the religious panorama of the country began to change, as rapid migration from countryside to city generated new expectations in an uprooted population that sought to make sense of its situation. In this new context the Catholic Church, organised for a rural world, seemed more and more distant, unable to offer the required pastoral support.

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136  William Elvis Plata The Christian churches of the Evangelical and, above all, Pentecostal type responded in part to these needs and to the void by taking the opportunity to expand and grow. These movements had begun to arrive in the country during the 1910s, albeit timidly, initially settling in peripheral areas with little or weak institutional presence of Catholicism. Beginning in the 1930s, there was a first wave of growth under missions from different denominations, almost all from the USA. These churches, known as Evangelicals, invited holiness of life through disciplined behaviour that encouraged the study of the Bible. It was difficult for them to establish themselves because, although they received permission from the central state, the local authorities and Catholic clergy often created a hostile and even persecuting environment, especially in the 1940s and 1950s. Despite their achievements, in 1960 Protestant growth barely covered 2% of the Colombian population, which was still 98% Catholic. The 1960s brought a small acceleration of Evangelical proselytism that included a process of nationalisation and cultural adaptation of the churches, which again initially came from the USA. Key to all this was the Pentecostal current and fundamentalist evangelism that became the predominant forms of Colombian Protestantism. Among the mission agencies best suited to the national context are the Assemblies of God (the world’s largest Pentecostal church), Independent Pentecostals and the Foursquare Gospel Church. In addition, Indigenous churches were born, such as the United Pentecostal Church of Colombia. All prepared local and autonomous pastors with a spirit of leadership and knowledge of the local reality. They did not need much academic training, since a premium was set on the charismatic gifts they received. Furthermore, Pentecostalism emphasised the power of the word and oral religiosity, which contrasted with the emphasis on reading and study typical of historical Protestantism. This, together with the importance given to visions, miracles, mystical experiences and healings, made these churches attractive to Colombian communities, which in turn had been educated for centuries in a Baroque religiosity that also exalted the wonderful, the miraculous and the supernatural experience. Evangelicals and Pentecostals had found the cultural ‘connection’ for diffusion in the national context. In the 1980s, the first Neo-Pentecostal churches were born, characterised by their business administration, their charismatic leaders and their large meeting spaces – the mega-churches. Preaching the theology of the prosperity gospel and offering dynamic worship services with attractive music, they created a church life that was well adapted to a middle-class urban audience. These churches decided to reject the traditional political isolation that had characterised Colombian Protestantism and broke into electoral

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politics, seeking to obtain benefits and privileges that the state had denied them but that were granted to the Catholic Church, as discussed above. Their first victory was their participation in the 1990–1 constitutional convention, gaining recognition of religious freedom as a constitutional right. In this achievement they had the support of some Catholics who, influenced by the Second Vatican Council, began to seek new forms of presence in society and to distance themselves from the so-called ‘marriage’ between church and politics. Since then, the clientelist ties that unite Evangelical pastors and parishioners have brought several of its members to positions of local and national power, advocating a controversial conservative agenda.

Transformations and Challenges

After the departure of Cardinal Alfonso López Trujillo to Rome at the end of the 1980s, the Colombian episcopate changed its attitude towards the Colombian armed conflict. From the 1990s onwards it was increasingly committed to seeking peace and reconciliation. It led several initiatives for dialogue between the parties (such as the so-called ‘pastoral dialogues’) and supported processes of socio-economic development and civil resistance against armed groups, which arose at the initiative of clergy, religious, laity, some bishops and members of male and female religious communities located in ‘red’ or critical areas of the armed conflict. In fact, in the last conversations and peace processes – both failed and successful – with the armed groups, the ecclesiastical institution played a very important mediating role. When the Truth Commission was created to rescue the memory of victims of the armed conflict since 1980, a Catholic priest – the Jesuit Francisco De Roux, a recognised social leader and peace activist – was elected to lead it. Pope Francis’s visit to the country in 2016 confirmed the church’s official support for the peace process. Along with Catholicism, some Protestant churches, such as the Mennonites, have also been characterised by their determined commitment to peace and reconciliation through specific projects (e.g. ‘Churches, sanctuaries of peace’) that promote dialogue, protection of the population and economic development. Moreover, many rural initiatives of Protestant and Pentecostal churches have committed themselves in this way but do not always appear in the media. On the other hand, Catholicism has also been permeated by Pentecostal currents in an irregular and diverse way, according to the regions and the support obtained by the bishops and clergy. Catholic Charismatic Renewal was established in the country at the beginning of the 1970s, with centres of diffusion in the cities of Bogotá and Medellín. It held large gatherings of the faithful in events of praise, worship and healing and through the

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138  William Elvis Plata organisation of small communities and prayer groups. At the same time, other currents of spirituality, much more traditional, such as the Neo­ catechumens, Opus Dei, Marian Associations and the Emmaus movement, have created lay organisations of various kinds that have helped to stimulate and diversify Catholicism. In addition, old associations such as penitential brotherhoods (Nazarenes) also seem to be revitalised, growing in number and creating new organisations. Perhaps this turn in Catholicism has stemmed the bleeding of members to other Christian denominations or religious organisations. The figures of religious change have remained relatively stable in the last decade, so that Colombia continues to be one of the 10 countries in the world with the highest proportion of Catholics in its population. The recent challenge facing Colombian Catholicism, especially the clergy, has been the paedophilia scandals and the global institutional crisis, which have affected the local sphere. Perhaps for this reason, the ecclesiastical hierarchy has preferred to maintain a less active profile before public opinion and the media, trying to avoid losing credibility. Thus, during the 2016 plebiscite to support the peace process with the FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia), the episcopate declared the church’s neutrality, while many clerics openly preached against it, favouring opposition groups, which also had the open support of various Neo-Pentecostal churches. All these challenges and the new context of religious freedom are uncomfortable for many bishops and clergy who have not yet resigned themselves to sharing – and sometimes giving up – traditional social, economic and political privileges. On the one hand, a positive ecumenical attitude has been promoted – very difficult to achieve just a couple of decades ago – so that it is possible to see priests, religious and lay leaders working with pastors and Protestant leaders in projects to combat violence, armed conflict and poverty, especially in areas with little state presence. Likewise, the reactive intolerant attitude on the part of many Neo-Pentecostal Christian churches towards the Catholic Church has been changing little by little, especially in the urban context. As for Pentecostal Christianity, it has been affected by scandals related to enrichment by tithes (linked to the aforementioned ‘prosperity theology’), money laundering and participation in clientelist politics and in favour of groups of dubious origin, which can generate internal ruptures and external conflicts, in addition to promoting the secularisation of disenchanted faithful. However, the advance of materialism, consumerism and individualism has led both to seek new strategies to ‘compete’ as actors in a religious field that has hundreds of different religious organisations in a population that, when it comes to surveys, declare themselves

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97% believers in God and consider religion ‘very important’ for their life, although they maintain a certain disconnect between their faith and their daily ethics.

Bibliography

Beltrán, William Mauricio, Del monopolio católico a la explosión pentecostal. Pluralisación religiosa, secularisación y cambio social en Colombia (Bogotá: Universidad Nacional De Colombia, 2013). Bidegain, Ana María (ed.), Historia del Cristianismo en Colombia. Corrientes y diversidad (Bogotá: Taurus, 2004). González, Fernán, Poderes enfrentados. Iglesia y estado en Colombia (Bogotá: CINEP, 1997). Larosa, Michael, De la izquierda a la derecha. La Iglesia católica en la Colombia contemporánea (Bogotá: Planeta, 2000). Moreno Palacios, Pablo, Por momentos hacia atrás … por momentos hacia adelante. Una historia del protestantismo en Colombia 1825–1945 (Cali: Editorial Bonaventuriana, 2010).

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Venezuela Matilde Moros and Gremaud Angée

In Venezuela, Christians and even non-Christians are searching for the meaning of the role of the churches in the current context of liberation. This turns attention to history, but there is a great void of information about the impact of the church in the country. The history of the church has not been completely written. Although much material is available on the European background of Venezuelan Christianity, more remains to be done to clarify its history during the colonial and post-colonial periods. Assessment of this history must also take account of the ambiguity that is common to ‘dependent’ cultures. Christianity in Venezuela, in both its Catholic and Protestant roots, is linked in one way or another to the political, economic and social forces that have been at play. Church history has been shaped by the social and political changes that have occurred since the arrival of the Spaniards in 1513. The church began as a vehicle of colonisation, an agent of cultural change, when it officially participated in the conquest of Venezuela by European imperial forces. The conjunction of church and imperial government in the New World became the way to impose cultural norms and ideologies on the people who were conquered and colonised. Notable participation came from other actors as well, such as the Welser family from Germany, who were bankers to the Habsburg Empire. On the orders of Charles V, the Habsburg King of Spain, they explored the Coro region of Venezuela from 1529 to 1556 in search of the infamous El Dorado. By the time the gold seekers left the area they had eliminated most of the population, and priests recorded that they had treated the people even more harshly than the Spanish conquerors. By 1800, the population had been ‘settled’, and at least one Franciscan priest, Matias Ruiz Blanco, a translator of Indigenous languages, defied the encomienda system. He condemned the conquering forces for their brutal and violent ways and defended Indigenous populations in Venezuela. This sort of history sheds fresh light on current times as it reveals the deep-seated role of the church in bringing about social change. The church was active in both providing legitimation for and offering challenge to the social order of the time.

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By the early nineteenth century new countries were being born in Latin America, as a succession of territories became free from the rule of the colonial power. In the case of Venezuela, the national liberator Simón Bolívar was aware, from the very early stages of the struggle for independence, that breaking from Spanish monarchical rule had to be accompanied by official separation from the Catholic hierarchy. Power had been shared between church and state prior to national independence. This continental movement towards independence meant changes in the relationship between church and state. Yet the participation of Catholic priests on the side of the independence movement in Venezuela was outstanding. Nine priests were part of the Congress of 1811 that declared independence. One of those priests, José Cortés de Maradiaga, played a pivotal role in the 1810 Supreme Court meeting that preceded independence. Church participation in Venezuelan political life is nothing new. Both within the colonial regime and within the independence movement, representatives of the church played an important role.

Catholic Heritage and Protestant Presence

In Venezuela the majority of Christians are Roman Catholic. By the mid-twentieth century, the once colonial church had developed into an autochthonous and inculturated church. From the beginning of the twentieth century, the Venezuelan government had allowed the arrival of more male and female Roman Catholic religious communities under the patronage laws. These communities increased their work in schools, colleges and universities. The church also opened the door to the Roman Catholic Action strategy. Many of its young people in the 1940s and 1950s went on to occupy leadership roles in universities, the countryside and industry. Some of them went into politics, giving birth to Christian Democratic parties, as in Chile. After the end of the military dictatorship in Christianity in Venezuela, 1970 and 2020 Tradition

1970 Population

%

2020 Population

%

Christians  Anglicans  Independents  Orthodox  Protestants  Catholics Evangelicals Pentecostals/Charismatics Total population

11,184,000 1,100 140,000 12,300 138,000 10,638,000 109,000 245,000 11,588,000

96.5% 0.0% 1.2% 0.1% 1.2% 91.8% 0.9% 2.1% 100.0%

30,542,000 1,200 1,590,000 32,000 2,199,000 26,900,000 1,380,000 6,300,000 33,172,000

92.1% 0.0% 4.8% 0.1% 6.6% 81.1% 4.2% 19.0% 100.0%

Average annual growth rate (%), 1970–2020 2.0% 0.1% 5.0% 1.9% 5.7% 1.9% 5.2% 6.7% 2.1%

Source: Todd M. Johnson and Gina A. Zurlo (eds), World Christian Database (Leiden/Boston: Brill), accessed January 2021.

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142  Matilde Moros and Gremaud Angée 1958, Venezuela experienced a period of democratic elections. Two of the elected Presidents were from COPEI (Social Christian Party), a Christian democratic party. The development of liberation theology led to profound change, not only in the Roman Catholic Church but also in other churches that also responded to the historical moment by producing liberatory theologies. The meeting of the Latin American Episcopal Council during the Second Vatican Council (1962–5), its their subsequent conferences in Medellín (1968) and Puebla (1979), changed the perspective of the church as it became much more engaged with Latin American reality. The language of liberation entered official discourse and the role of history became central to understanding Christianity in the context of Latin America, including Venezuela. Although Venezuela managed to become one of the richest countries in the region due to the rise in oil prices, it was never able to reduce social differences. Poverty, corruption and ineffective economic models left the country in a crisis in the 1990s, which Hugo Chávez accentuated in his speeches to the poorest as he won the presidency. He was in leadership until his death in 2013. Nicolás Maduro began his administration after a disputed election. Both Presidents used their speeches to criticise bishops and cardinals and accuse them of having joined forces with the rich elites. The Venezuelan Conference of Bishops, on the other hand, has called on the government to exercise greater social responsibility, hold clean and credible elections and accept international help to address the internal crisis. The Catholic Church, however, embraces diverse positions. Even if the bishops have wanted to show a unified approach towards Maduro’s government, among the clergy and Catholic religious communities at the grassroots there are those who are in sympathy with government policy in poor neighbourhoods and peripheral areas. In the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, many significant political changes have occurred in the region, and importantly in Venezuela. Together with changes in the church in the 1960s and 1970s that came about beginning with the Second Vatican Council, changes in the political arena coincided in time with the transformation of the church. From the end of the twentieth century until 2006, laity and clergy met in the Venezuelan Plenary Council, which took place in several phases and issued binding documents for all dioceses, giving a breath of fresh air to the local churches. Since then, several synods have taken place, giving lively participation to all levels of the church. Venezuelan Catholics in large numbers continue to attend Mass and particular devotions, such as those to the Virgin of Chiquinquirá and Coromoto. Movements such as Charismatic Renewal still animate many

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religious groups. In 2021, Pope Francis gave the green light to declare the so-called ‘doctor of the poor’ José Gregorio Hernández a saint. Alongside all the variants within the Catholic Church, Protestant missions and ministries also have a long history in both urban and rural areas, dating back to the beginning of the nineteenth century, when European and US Protestants of various sorts began their missions to Latin America. They arrived at a time of great social change, the period of independence and nation-building in the nineteenth century. They include both historical Protestant churches and other Evangelical churches, together making up 8–10% of the Christian population. For historical Protestants, the evidence of liberation ideals is in schools, hospitals and community programmes and an emphasis on freedom of conscience. Individual churches, as well as ecumenical groups and interreligious movements, participated consistently in the midst of the rapid social change of the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries, when new values and ethics were being quickly formulated and introduced to the general society. The experience of the Chavez and subsequent governments and the rapid change that they brought to Venezuelan society pose the question: can the church still offer an alternative, or be a partner in the struggle for positive social change? Documentation indicates that no fewer than 80 mainline Protestant and Evangelical churches, missions, efforts or representatives have been present in Venezuela, starting from the period between separation from Spain in 1810 and independence in 1830, increasing during the democratic period that started in 1958 and continuing through to the start of the Chavez government in the late 1990s. Today, Venezuelan Protestants of the historical churches, such as Lutheran, Presbyterian and Anglican, are few in number yet rich in history, as demonstrated by Donna Laubach’s study on the Presbyterian missions. Other prominent non-Catholic churches include the Assemblies of God, Light of the World (which entered Venezuela in the 1970s,) the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (with a membership of close to 170,000), Jehovah’s Witnesses (who have almost 1,800 church buildings) and the Seventh-day Adventists. Such churches are all small minorities, but together they comprise around a tenth of the Christian population. The Evangelical influx into the country during the twentieth century took a new turn mid-century with the formation of ecumenical organis­ ations including the Evangelical Council of Venezuela, which brings together Evangelical mission councils, but also in more pluralistic ecumenical groups such as Ecuvives, Caleb and Accion Ecumenica. One example is that of the Pentecostal and Evangelical Union of Venezuela (UEPV), the grassroots collaboration between the Assemblies of God and

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144  Matilde Moros and Gremaud Angée other Pentecostal movements to promote justice and reconciliation in marginalised poor communities. Though many churches entered the country during the latter part of the century, UEPV has been distinguished by its involvement in the large barrios, the poorest shanty towns of Venezuela, where the largest numbers of the national population reside. The majority of Christians, both Catholic and Protestant, belong to the lower, poorer classes. This means that the division among Christians is not necessarily a denominational division but more of a class division. Since the 1970s, groups such as Caleb have connected national, regional and global communities, moving in theological directions that are best under­stood as grassroots, not connected to hierarchical policies or directions but rather responding to needs identified at the base of society. Working in community, this ecumenical group includes both historical Protestants and grassroots Catholic communities, along with student groups and community education groups, making this a mix of affinities rather than allegiances to particular denominations. Regional councils such as the Latin American Council of Churches (CLAI), the Latin American Evangelical Commission for Christian Education (CELADEC) and the Universal Federation of Student Movements (FUMEC), as well as national churches – such as the Union of Evangelicals and Pentecostals of Venezuela (UEPV), the Presbyterian Church of Venezuela, the Lutheran Church of Venezuela, the Catholic Worker Youth, the Ecumenical Network of Venezuela, the Maryknoll Lay Missionaries of Venezuela, Ecumenical Action and the Venezuelan Evangelical Committee for Justice – are all united in supporting Caleb’s efforts to work in joint socio-religious action. It might be these strong ecumenical movements and practices that hold the key to the future.

Church and Society

In Venezuela, 1958 meant a change for the first time away from dictatorship to a period of democracy. One of the major democratic parties of the twentieth century was COPEI; some of the best-known Presidents and policies came from this party. COPEI was also known as the Social Christian Party and was popularly seen as the Catholic party. In this context, Catholics were politically represented by COPEI, which played a full part in the multi-party system and bipartisan rule of the democratic era of 1958–99. Catholic social teaching became part of COPEI’s political agenda, which included the principle of civic participation, supported also by the left-wing parties. Sociologist Lopez Maya has demonstrated that today’s participative principle is not a Marxist one but a Catholic social action or Christian values one, which leads her to affirm that the political changes to a democracy that calls itself participative and protagonist were

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due to strong Catholic social action values among the leaders of social change in Venezuela. Within Protestant circles in Venezuela there were also changes towards a more genuine Latin American perspective and a critical theological move towards a liberationist approach. Since the 1990s, the most rapidly growing churches have been the Pentecostal and other Evangelical churches. Many changes have taken place and history has taken a different route; instead of a void there has been much recovery and making of history. Before the liberationist theological approach became a main topic for thoughtful endeavour in the 1960s, philosophies and ideas of liberation had been emerging in the continent since the times of the struggles for national independence in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Since 2000, Venezuela has been ruled by a government calling itself the ‘Socialism of the twenty-first century’. Some have interpreted this leadership as caudillismo (rule by a strongman), typical of the kind Venezuela has had repeatedly over the past two centuries. Although Presidents Hugo Chávez and Nicolás Maduro have been self-proclaimed Christians, their relations with the Catholic and Protestant churches have been based on a continuous search for support for the government. The Catholic Church has been critical of national problems such as growing poverty, forced emigration, human rights violations against opponents and the increasing levels of corruption and violence in the country. Nicolás Maduro has tried to build bridges with different churches in the face of the loss of support from poor Catholics, the base of his party. The Catholic Church’s frontal stance against the Venezuelan government between 2010 and 2020 has been compared to the church’s positions in the 1950s, when power was in the hands of Marcos Pérez Jiménez. At that time, the Catholic Church, under the leadership of Archbishop Rafael Ignacio Arias Blanco, issued a series of pastoral letters and managed to ignite a campaign to unite the political parties and, through a student strike, force the dictator to flee the country on day 23 of the strike. In 2014, youth riots lasted for months and caused hundreds of deaths. These made the Catholic Church one of the protagonists in accusing the government system of attacking its own citizens. The church was heavily involved in several attempts at peace negotiations. Since 2013 Pope Francis has called for concrete measures to achieve a balance in Venezuela. Vatican Secretary of State Pietro Parolin, the former nuncio in Venezuela, has been called upon many times to act as an interlocutor for a rapprochement between the government and the wider civil society, without any success so far. It is also important to note that the first person from the Americas to become Superior General of the Society of Jesus, the Jesuits, is a Venezuelan, Father Arturo Sosa.

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146  Matilde Moros and Gremaud Angée Over the period from 2010 to 2020, 3–6 million Venezuelans fled to other countries. The Latin American Episcopal Council (CELAM) has requested humanitarian aid from different world organisations due to the migration crisis of Venezuelans throughout the Americas. Given the history of power and domination and also the history of participation in liberation processes that the Venezuelan churches share, one may ask the question: how does the general Venezuelan population of today perceive the connection between their religious and political beliefs? It is a matter of interpretation. There continues to be a polarisation of opinion about the changes that began when the Chavez government came to power in 1999 and introduced its new system of ethics to the country as it entered the twenty-first century.

Bibliography

Arratia, Alejandro, ‘La Acción de la Iglesia Católica Frente a las Dictaduras en Venezuela’, Cuadernos De Pensamiento Político 43 (2014), 143–54. Cruz, Joel Morales, The Histories of the Latin American Church: A Handbook (Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2014), 551–74. Laubach Moros, Donna, El Establecimiento de la Mision Presbiteriana en Venezuela (1897–1916) (Caracas: Coleccion Centenario de la Iglesia Presbiteriana de Venezuela, 2017). Lopez Maya, Margarita, ‘Iglesia Católica y Democracia Participativa y Protagónica en Venezuela’, Latin American Research Review, 49 (2014), 45–60. Watters, Mary, A History of the Church in Venezuela (1810–1930) (Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 1933).

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Suriname Franklin Jabini

The Republic of Suriname, on the northern coast of South America, was colonised by the British in 1651. In 1667, the Dutch captured the colony and ruled it, except for some brief periods, until Suriname became independent in 1975. The colonisers enslaved people from different ethnicities to work on their plantations. They started with the Indigenous people, wrongly called Indians, and continued with Africans. Following the abolition of slavery, indentured workers were brought from Java and Madeira (1853), China (1858), Barbados (1863), India (1873), Java (1890) and Lebanon (the 1890s). According to a national census in 2012, the total population was 541,638, of which the ancestors of the three largest groups came from Africa (37.3%), India (27.4%) and Java (13.7%). The first colonists were first members of the Anglican Church. With the arrival of the Dutch, the Dutch Reformed Church became the state church. The Moravians and the Lutherans were tolerated from 1735 and 1741 respectively. The Roman Catholics were allowed to establish a presence only in the first quarter of the nineteenth century. In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, Baptists, Adventists, Brethren, Methodists and the Salvation Army established their presence in the country. The 1960s saw the arrival of Pentecostals.

Growth of Christianity

In 1862 the Moravians were the fastest-growing church, accounting for 52% of the total population. By 2012 this number had fallen to 11.2%. The Roman Catholics were the second largest in 1862, with 22% of the population. By 2012, they had become the largest Christian denomination, accounting for 21.9% of the Surinamese. Their growth can be attributed to the involvement of local pastoral workers, who were trained to serve in their communities. In earlier years the membership of the Moravian and the Roman Catholic churches came from the lower class, mostly enslaved people. Today their members come from all walks of life. The Lutherans and Dutch Reformed Church together accounted for 16% in 1862 but 1.2% in 2012. They lost members to Pentecostal churches, the fastest-growing religious movement in Suriname. By 2012, 11.2% of the population were Pentecostals, the second-largest Christian group after the Roman Catholics.

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148  Franklin Jabini Members of the Pentecostal churches came mostly from the lower level of society, though with a growing number from the middle class. Christianity has its strongest presence among the Indigenous people and those of African descent. People of Indian descent have the lowest percentage of Christians, 6.5%. Of the Javanese, 14.5% claim to be Christians.

Relationships

The Ministry of Home Affairs is responsible for the religious affairs of the Surinamese government. It facilitates religious organisations in their activities by implementing regulations that encourage free expression of religion. Furthermore, it contributes to the financial compensation of religious workers among the recognised religious denominations. The three major religions in Suriname are Christianity, Hinduism and Islam, and they enjoy harmonious relationships. In 1989 the Interreligieuze Raad in Suriname (IRIS, Inter-religious Council in Suriname) was established by members of a branch of Hinduism, two branches of Islam, the Baha’i community and the Roman Catholic Church. IRIS addresses society at large on social and ethical issues of national concern. In 1942, the Moravian Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church, the Reformed Church and the Roman Catholic Church founded the Comité Christelijke Kerken (CCK, Committee of Christian Churches). This ended decades of animosity between these Christian churches. Following the example of the CCK, in 2012 the Pentecostal churches established the Vereniging Volle Evangelie en Pinkstergemeenten in Suriname (VVEPS), an organisation that serves as an umbrella for Pentecostals in the country. Bishop Steve Meye, VVEPS chairperson and overseer of its largest member denominations, served as spiritual adviser to the President of Suriname from 2010 to 2020. During this time the Pentecostals were recognised as a religious group in Suriname.

Christianity in Suriname, 1970 and 2020 Tradition Christians  Anglicans  Independents  Protestants  Catholics Evangelicals Pentecostals/Charismatics Total population

1970 Population

%

2020 Population

%

184,000 1,000 2,500 73,200 80,300 6,800 1,300 371,000

49.5% 0.3% 0.7% 19.7% 21.6% 1.8% 0.4% 100.0%

297,000 730 28,400 84,900 170,000 14,000 32,000 578,000

51.5% 0.1% 4.9% 14.7% 29.4% 2.4% 5.5% 100.0%

Average annual growth rate (%), 1970–2020 1.0% –0.6% 4.9% 0.3% 1.5% 1.4% 6.6% 0.9%

Source: Todd M. Johnson and Gina A. Zurlo (eds), World Christian Database (Leiden/Boston: Brill), accessed January 2021.

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Relationships between the Christian churches at the beginning of the twenty-first century were amicable. Following a series of colloquia, leaders from 34 of the then 41 denominations present in Suriname participated in two national pastors’ and leaders’ conferences held in 2003 and 2004. These led to the formation of the Platform van Christelijke Leiders in Suriname (Platform of Christian Leaders in Suriname).

Changes in Surinamese Christianity

Through the efforts of SIL International, the Surinamese Bible Society and World Team, the Bible is available in many local languages. The complete Bible is available in Sranantongo and Surinaams Javaans. The New Testament is available in Ndyuka, Saramaccan, Saranami, Kalinha, Trio and Wayana. Translations of the Old Testament are underway in some of these languages. Christianity has a strong presence on both Christian and secular radio and television stations. The Roman Catholic Church owns Radio Katholica and a para-church Evangelical group owns Shalom, a radio and television station. A group of VVEPS-related churches owns a television station, United Christian Broadcasting. Many churches and church leaders use Facebook, WhatsApp and YouTube to spread their messages. Evangelistic activities undertaken by churches are in decline. It tends to be para-church organisations and individuals who are involved in evangelism. Adventist young people conduct street preaching activities. Weid Mijn Lammeren, a ministry that focuses on children, uses a gospel truck for outreach. The Jesus Students, a para-church organisation, works among students at secondary schools. Pentecostal churches focus on healing crusades and prophetic meetings as a means of evangelism. The pattern of church leadership has changed. Many VVEPS churches moved away from the leadership model of a pastor supported by elders and deacons. Local churches are under an apostle or a prophet, serving under the authority (covering) of a bishop or an apostolic team. Both the prosperity gospel and seed-sowing theology are having growing influence among different churches. The liturgy of the Moravian Church is unchanged since the era of the foreign missionaries of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. As a result of visits by local Catholic pastoral workers to Catholic churches in Western Africa and the Charismatic renewal, however, changes in the Catholic liturgy have been introduced, including the use of local drums and locally composed songs during celebrations. The current Catholic bishop has a house band that presents contemporary songs in local languages. In the Wini district, an Evangelical movement originating in Bonaire has successfully inculturated the faith in the Saramaccan context. This church

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150  Franklin Jabini worships using the Saramaccan language and culture. Traditional forms of marriage and rites of passage are maintained within a Christian context. The non-denominational church Gemeente Dian has been ministering successfully among the Javanese for more than five decades. Through the ministry of its pastor, Anton Sisal, many Javanese of Muslim background have come to faith in Christ.

Influential Leaders

In 2016, Karel Choennie was consecrated as the second Roman Catholic bishop of Surinamese origin. Choennie studied theology in Trinidad (1979–84) and was ordained as priest in 1985. From 1995 to 1997 he studied at the Catholic University in Leuven, Belgium. In 2003 he served as the vicar of the bishop and from 2005 to 2016 was the vicar-general. Mgr Choennie advocated a process of reconciliation, rest and peace for the people of Suriname in relation to the December Murders, in which excommander Desi Bouterse and six fellow suspects were accused of killing 15 political opponents on 8 December 1982. In 2019, the court martial issued a sentence against them. Choennie argued that if Bouterse would acknowledge his guilt and confess his wrongdoing in this case, it would open the door for reconciliation with the relatives of those murdered. To address the problem of a shortage of priests, Choennie brought priests from abroad to serve the growing needs of the church. Benny Robert Gerard Macnack, a graduate of Hebron, the training centre of the Evangelie Centrum Suriname (ECS), became overseer of the entire ministry of the ECS in 1984. He was successful in planting new churches and led an expansion of the work of the ECS. By the beginning of the century, the ECS had more than 50 churches, in every district in Suriname. He stepped down in 2010 and handed over the leadership of the ministry to a team of 10 men, who took forward the work that he had pioneered. Macnack died in 2017. He championed the cause of unity among the Pentecostals and within the wider Christian community in Suriname.

Bibliography

Jabini, Franklin Steven, Christianity in Suriname: An Overview of its History, Theologians and Sources (Carlisle: Langham, 2012). Schalkwijk, Jan Marten Willem, The Colonial State in the Caribbean: Structural Analysis and Changing Elite Networks in Suriname, 1650–1920 (The Hague: Amrit/Ninsee, 2011). van Lier, Rudolf Asveer Jacob, Frontier Society: A Social Analysis of the History of Surinam, Volume 14 of Koninklijk Instituut voor Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde Translation series, (The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1971). Vernooij, Joop, De Rooms-Katholieke Gemeente in Suriname: Handboek van de geschiedenis van de Rooms-Katholieke kerk in Suriname (Paramaribo: Leo Victor, 1998).

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Panama Claire Nevache

The Panamanian isthmus was the scene of Christian evangelism very early in colonial history. The Diocese of Santa María la Antigua del Darién, founded in 1513, is the oldest in the mainland of the American continent. Its headquarters were moved to Panama City a decade later, and the historic headquarters today are located in Colombian territory. However, the 60 missions that existed on the Isthmus of Panama during the colonial period encountered strong resistance from local populations, particularly in Guna and Mosquito. Fewer than 20 of these missions remained at the time of independence, decimated by massacres and epidemics. The first Protestant presence in Central America appeared between 1698 and 1700, in a short-lived Scottish colony called New Caledonia on the Caribbean coast of the Darien. In the nineteenth century, Anglican, Baptist and Methodist missions settled in the country, targeting the Anglo­ phone population of the Antilles who had come for the construction of the railroad (1850–5) and the canal (1881–1914). Only in 1928, with the installation of the first Evangelical denomination, the Church of the Foursquare Gospel, did the Protestant presence in Panama begin to address itself to the Hispanic population. The Christian proportion decreased from 98.8% of the Panamanian popu­lation in 1911 to 81.2% in 2018. In addition, it was pluralised: while 90.7% of the Christian population was Catholic in 1911, they represented only 59.85% in 2018 (figures from the census of 2011 and Latinobarómetro). The non-Catholic Christian population, in turn, tends to fragmentation, although the Church of the Foursquare Gospel, the Seventh-day Adventist Church and the Assemblies of God account for roughly half of the total. Several places of pilgrimage and devotion exist within Pana­manian Christianity. Without a doubt, the most interesting one, due to its syncretic character, is the Black Christ of Portobelo, on the Caribbean coast of the country, which inspired the song ‘El Nazareno’ by the Puerto Rican singer Ismael Rivera. The Panamanian religious leadership was nationalised during the twentieth century. The Bishop of Panama City had been Panamanian only three times between 1513 and 1964. However, since 1964, the archbishops have consistently been Panamanian. The same thing happened with the Protestant denominations: the 1972 Constitution

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152  Claire Nevache required that the senior leadership of religious groups in Panama be exercised by native Panamanians. In the 1960s and 1970s, the life of the Panamanian Catholic Church was marked by a process of renewal. Archbishop Marcos McGrath was one of the members of the Doctrinal Commission of the Second Vatican Council and played a leading role in the general conferences of the Latin American Episcopal Council (CELAM) of Medellín (1963) and Puebla (1972). Liberation theology would mark a sector of the Panamanian Catholic Church, in particular the mission of the Archdiocese of Chicago in San Miguelito and the Veraguas Plan. The most disturbing moment in this process was probably the dis­appearance of the Colombian priest Héctor Gallego in the district of Santa Fe de Veraguas at the hand of the military regime in 1971. It is one of the episodes that would inspire Ruben Blades to compose the song ‘El padre [Father] Antonio y el monaguillo [altar boy] Andrés’, launched in 1984. Among the events that marked Panamanian ­Christi­anity in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, we can point out the papal visits of John Paul II in 1983 and Francis in 2019, the latter in the framework of a World Youth Day organised for the first time in Central America. Relations between the military regime and the different churches were ambiguous, with episodes of conflict such as the one mentioned and episodes of rapprochement. We can note the appointment of Protestant Pastor Manuel A. Ruiz as director of the national institution in charge of student scholarships and ambassador during the military regime, as well as the refuge of Manuel Noriega in the Nunciature during the invasion of the USA. The Panamanian Constitution reflects this ambiguity, establishing a mixed regime that opts neither for a confessional state nor for a secular one, a situation that has obtained since the separation of Panama from Colombia in 1903.

Christianity in Panama, 1970 and 2020 Tradition Christians  Anglicans  Independents  Orthodox  Protestants  Catholics Evangelicals Pentecostals/Charismatics Total population

1970 Population

%

2020 Population

%

1,447,000 15,000 20,500 1,000 81,500 1,316,000 76,800 39,500 1,519,000

95.2% 1.0% 1.3% 0.1% 5.4% 86.6% 5.1% 2.6% 100.0%

3,866,000 26,500 255,000 1,800 399,000 3,100,000 280,000 580,000 4,289,000

90.1% 0.6% 5.9% 0.0% 9.3% 72.3% 6.5% 13.5% 100.0%

Average annual growth rate (%), 1970–2020 2.0% 1.1% 5.2% 1.2% 3.2% 1.7% 2.6% 5.5% 2.1%

Source: Todd M. Johnson and Gina A. Zurlo (eds), World Christian Database (Leiden/Boston: Brill), accessed January 2021.

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With the transition to democracy, the Evangelical churches tried to create their own party, the Mission of National Unity, which ran in the 1994 elections without success. The greatest electoral triumph of the Evangelicals took place in 2004 with the election of several Evangelical deputies who promoted projects such as the Month of the Bible, finally renamed Month of the Holy Scriptures, and firmly opposed the ratification of the Military Ordinariate signed in 2005. The Catholic and Evangelical churches regularly opposed public policies related to family planning. In 2016, they managed to unite against a sexual education bill, with a strong mobilisation of the Christian churches under the slogan ‘Don’t mess with my children’ that would give them a notable political influence in the following years. Panamanian society has experienced a growing polarisation around the influence of the churches in politics. While one part of society calls for the establishment of a secular state through constitutional reform, another sector seeks to advocate Christian values to guide state policies.

Bibliography

Castillero Calvo, Alfredo, Historia general de Panamá (Panama City: Comité Nacional del Centenario de la República de Panamá, 2004). Holland, Clifton, ‘Religión en Panamá’, in Enciclopedia de grupos religiosos en las Américas y la Península Ibéric (San José, Costa Rica: PROLADES, 2012). Mora Torres, José Enrique, ‘The Political Incorporation of Pentecostals in Panama, Puerto Rico and Brazil: A Comparative Analysis’, PhD Thesis, University of Connecticut, 2010. Nevache, Claire, ‘Las Iglesias Evangélicas en Panamá: análisis de la emergencia de un nuevo actor político’, Anuario del Centro de Investigación y Estudios Políticos 8 (2017), 77–114. Nevache, Claire, ‘Panamá: Evangélicos ¿Del grupo de presión al actor electoral?’, in José Luis Pérez Guadalupe and Sebastian Grundberger (eds), Evangélicos y poder en América Latina (Lima: Konrad Adenauer Stiftung & Instituto de Estudios Social Cristianos, 2018).

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Costa Rica Miguel Picado Gatjens

Historically, Catholicism enjoyed significant religious hegemony in Costa Rica. During the second half of the twentieth century, however, a growing process of religious diversity began to unfold. Catholicism lost a substantial number of parishioners, as did the Protestants, who had arrived in the nineteenth century, to Pentecostal and Neo-Pentecostal churches. According to recent research by Interdisciplinary Consulting in Development (CID) Gallup, 76% of those surveyed were born into Catholicism, but only 59% remained within that religion. Catholics regret having little contact with their priests, while Evangelicals on the other hand feel very close to their pastors. Today, the Catholic Church is suffering a ministerial crisis. It has not ordained enough priests to serve a population that grew from 2 million in 1960 to 5 million in 2020. In 1965, it had one priest for every 4,512 Costa Ricans; in 2018, one for every 7,113. The different surveys carried out by the Center for Research and Political Studies (CIEP) at the University of Costa Rica (2018), the Institute of Population Social Studies (IDESPO) at the National University (2019) and CID Gallup (2020), give quite divergent figures that might be the result of employing different methodologies. There is a need for close examination of the changes that have taken place in each church and what it means for a parishioner to belong to one or another religious confession. For example, Catholics were found to identify themselves not by sacramental practice and attendance at Mass but rather by the values they claim to hold. Although only 3 out of 10 said they attend religious activities beyond Mass or weekly worship, 8 out of 10 said that religion is important in their lives. However, all three surveys show a reduction in the proportion of Catholics. Today they represent between 52% and 59% of the population. According to research from the National University, 52.5% of the population is Catholic and 27.1% Evangelical; 16.5% believe in God but do not subscribe to any religion, while 4% is distributed among religions of aboriginal peoples, Judaism, Islam and others. In total, 97% of Costa Ricans say they believe in God. The most rapidly growing sector in recent decades has undoubtedly been the Pentecostals. This may be explained, at least in part, by their more agile scheme for provision of ministry. Academically trained or

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Costa Rica  155



celibate ministers are not always required; it is a pastor who gathers a congregation. For their part, Neo-Pentecostals attract middle- and upperclass parishioners. The rise of self-esteem tends to displace the demands of the gospel. The Gallup poll also indicates that the move to Pente­costalism occurs mostly among people without a college education and those at the socio-economic margins. In turn, a majority of those surveyed object to the fact that in Catholicism only men can be priests. To this is added great disappointment about reports of sexual abuse of minors by some priests and pastors. Despite the well-known growth of Pentecostalism in recent decades, recent surveys also show a dropout among new Evangelicals due to their unwillingness to meet the demands of tithing. Some return to Catholicism or migrate to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints or the Jehovah’s Witnesses. Others lose their faith altogether.

Catholicism

Despite numerical decline, the Catholic Church continues to have a significant institutional presence in the country. Costa Rica is home to 28 religious congregations or institutes and 15 religious orders and congregations for men, as well as 11 houses dedicated to contemplative life (nine for women and two for men). The female religious life stands out not only for its greater strength of numbers but also for its presence in caring for the most vulnerable. Women religious have 24 houses that are dedicated to teaching, 35 to pastoral (sometimes parochial) care, 23 to health or care for the elderly, 36 to missions (in Indigenous areas, marginal neighbourhoods or abroad) and 17 to the formation of future religious. Among the Catholic laity from the middle and upper sectors, movements such as Cursillos in Christianity and Christian Life Days are rapidly losing influence. Meanwhile, the Neocatechumenal Way and Opus Dei enjoy a relatively positive reception, along with other, more recently

Christianity in Costa Rica, 1970 and 2020 Tradition Christians  Anglicans  Independents  Protestants  Catholics Evangelicals Pentecostals/Charismatics Total population

1970 Population

%

2020 Population

%

1,815,000 1,900 30,100 48,000 1,688,000 44,100 34,200 1,849,000

98.2% 0.1% 1.6% 2.6% 91.3% 2.4% 1.8% 100.0%

4,789,000 1,400 450,000 489,000 3,827,000 420,000 600,000 5,044,000

94.9% 0.0% 8.9% 9.7% 75.9% 8.3% 11.9% 100.0%

Average annual growth rate (%), 1970–2020 2.0% –0.6% 5.6% 4.8% 1.6% 4.6% 5.9% 2.0%

Source: Todd M. Johnson and Gina A. Zurlo (eds), World Christian Database (Leiden/Boston: Brill), accessed January 2021.

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156  Miguel Picado Gatjens arrived movements such as the World Marriage Encounter and Marriages in Victory. The parishes have many volunteer assistants – mainly women – for catechesis, pre-sacramental courses and social assistance. On the other hand, traditional practices such as devotions to the saints and processions are losing their appeal. Among the difficulties of Costa Rican Catholicism, we can recognise the lack of synodality in decision-making. Recent Archbishops of San José, Hugo Barrantes (2002–13) and his successor José R. Quirós (2013–), have promoted an Archdiocesan Pastoral Plan, but its design did not arise from any serious consultation between religious, laity and priests. The hierarchy are accused of bureaucratising pastoral care. The aim is to recover the nonpractising Catholics, but at present this is far from being achieved. Catholic bishops frequently publish well-founded pastoral letters on socio-economic reality, but they do not train the laity based on their studies. In the 1940s, the contribution of Catholic laity and clergy – with the support of the communists – engendered reform that brought some social peace. Despite this tradition, until July 2020, the Episcopal Conference of Costa Rica had not defended this heritage against the attacks of neoliberalism. Currently, social pastoral engagement is reduced to the distribution of food in the parishes and sporadic development programmes. There is no attempt at socio-political formation. Costa Rican Catholicism has not formed genuine grassroots ecclesial communities and lacks an institutional presence among workers and peasants. The John XXIII Social School promotes solidarity (savings and loan funds financed by employers and workers) instead of unions. Recently, under the influence of Pope Francis and the Synod of the Amazon, the Costa Rican Catholic Church has begun to participate in the Ecological Mesoamerican Ecological Network and National Faces promoting initiatives in accordance with the encyclical Laudato Si.

Historic Protestant Churches

For the construction of the railroad to the Atlantic and work on banana plantations, a significant number of black people, mostly Anglican, arrived from Jamaica. Much of the membership of the Anglican, Lutheran and Methodist churches have taken on a Pentecostal spirituality in recent decades. Not so the Quakers, who, attracted by the abolition of the army (1949), settled in the area of Monteverde, Puntarenas, in 1952. Their contribution to forest conservation is valued. Since their arrival in 1968, Mennonite communities have been coexisting with the peasants of the south. There is also a presence of Moravians from the Nicaraguan Caribbean. The Ecumenical Research Department (DEI), a research and training centre, has been in operation since 1977, but its activity has not interested

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Costa Rica  157

the majority in the Catholic and Evangelical sectors, although it has been widely recognised among Latin American Christian intellectuals. In Costa Rica there is religious peace, but not ecumenism in the terms proposed by the Second Vatican Council or the World Council of Churches. However, in the face of some political issues, alliances are created between some sectors of Evangelicals and Catholics.

Churches and Politics

The rise of Pentecostalism has ushered in a new era in church–state relations. In 1979, the first Pentecostal political party, the National Christian Alliance, was born. It was followed by the Costa Rican Renewal Party in 1995, and since then others have appeared on the national scene. Although it is noteworthy that the Constitution and the Electoral Code prohibit the use of religious motives in political propaganda, the Supreme Electoral Court tolerates the operation of Pentecostal parties. Catholic and Evangelical leaders branded the bioethics legislation a ‘combo of death’ (see below) and organised several protest marches together. On 18 January 2018, the ‘Joint Manifesto of the Episcopal Conference of Costa Rica and the Costa Rican Evangelical Alliance’ emerged to defend life – from fertilisation to its natural outcome. The Tribunal Superior Electoral (Supreme Electoral Court) saw in this manifesto an illegal electoral interference and admonished both entities on 24 January 2018. Previously, religious sectors had already demonstrated about various issues related to the sexual morality of citizens. In 1991, sexual education guides for secondary education were drawn up by a commission of the Ministry of Public Education, in which three priests representing the Catholic hierarchy participated. The guides were already approved and printed and Bishop Arrieta had congratulated the Commission for its work when Pope John Paul II disavowed it in a speech addressed to the Costa Rican ambassador to the Holy See. This matter disturbed the relations between the church and the intelligentsia. In 2000, the Episcopal Conference of Costa Rica withdrew from the state programmes Young Love and Building Opportunities, alleging that these were distributing texts that were incompatible with the document agreed between both parties. Another point of debate concerns abortion. Costa Rican legislation prohibits induced abortions, but since 1970 it has allowed therapeutic ones. Regulations were approved in December 2019 after a long opposition from Catholic and Evangelical sectors, who fear what they describe as the ‘legalisation of debauchery’. For years, sectors of the Catholic and Evangelical churches opposed in vitro fertilisation, considering it abortive. The Inter-American Court of Human Rights interpreted Article 4 of the Pact of San José to mean that conception begins with implantation

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158  Miguel Picado Gatjens (adhesion of the embryo to the uterus) since human life and its normal development are not possible outside of the womb. The natural design of procreation has a third component: the woman, carrier of life. According to some national jurists, this interpretation has supra-constitutional status and cannot be denied in Costa Rica, whether by law or domestic judicial ruling, nor even by a constitutional reform. This implies that the mother is the one who must have control over her body. Same-sex marriage was approved on 26 May 2020, after years of debate. Conservative media – Catholic and Evangelical – argued that this type of union violates heterosexual marriage, although they did not give convincing reasons. All these issues related to human sexuality were what the conservative alliance of Evangelicals and Catholics called ‘the combo of death’. On 18 January 2018, with elections approaching, the Catholic Church and the Evangelical Alliance organised a Day of Prayer for Costa Rica. Presidential candidates participated to collect votes, except Carlos Alvarado of the ruling Citizen’s Action Party, who preferred to win the sympathy of those who approved of the new legislation on bioethics. In the 4 February 2018 voting, Fabricio Alvarado, pastor and Evangelical singer, parliamentary deputy of the National Restoration Party, obtained 25% of the votes and Carlos Alvarado 22%. Since no candidate obtained the necessary majority, a second round of voting was necessary. In surveys conducted a month before, neither of them exceeded 6%. The abrupt change occurred because the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, on 9 January, ordered the member states to ‘recognise and guarantee all the rights that derive from a family bond between persons of the same sex’. Fabricio Alvarado catapulted himself to prominence by accusing the Court of undermining national sovereignty and Christian values. In those elections, 14 deputies from the National Restoration Party were elected, including eight pastors. In the second electoral round, Carlos Alvarado obtained 60% of the votes and Fabricio Alvarado 40%. It had a decisive influence on the result that Rony Chaves – Fabricio’s spiritual father and a wealthy Neo-­ Pentecostal pastor and international figure – had described the Virgin of the Angels, the patron saint of Costa Rica, as an ‘unclean spirit of vital importance to Satan’. Every year, on 2 August, more than half of the population travel to venerate her at her shrine in Carthage. Chaves had also claimed to have the ability to prevent earthquakes. The results of this political-religious alliance on issues related to human sexuality give pause for thought. Seventy per cent of Fabricio Alvarado’s votes came from Evangelicals, 20% from Catholics and 8% from those without religion. This indicates the political and pastoral failure of the

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Costa Rica  159

Catholic episcopate: in no case did the theses upheld by the conservative sectors of Catholicism and Evangelicalism prevail. It was useless for them to interfere in the electoral process. Nor did it help that Article 75 of the Constitution declares the state to be Catholic.

Bibliography

Gómez, Jorge, El crecimiento y la deserción en la iglesia evangélica costarricense (San José: INDEF, 1996). Lobo, Óscar, Las religiosas en Costa Rica (San José: Catholic University of Costa Rica, 2019). Picado, Miguel, Señor, muéstranos el camino. Documentos y reflexiones sobre la crisis de la Iglesia Católica costarricense (Heredia: UNA, 2011). Picado, Miguel, et al., La palabra social de los obispos costarricenses (1893–2006) (San José: CECOR, 2007).

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El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua Luis Eduardo Aguilar Vásquez

El Salvador

Constitutional changes have significantly shaped the presence of Christianity in El Salvador. In the country’s 13 Constitutions, different positions have been taken on religion, moving from Catholic hegemony towards a secular society. The current Constitution (1983) guarantees the freedom of all religions as part of the provision for individual freedom. Although El Salvador as a country became independent (from Spain in 1821 and from the Central American Union in 1823), it remained ecclesiastically united to the Archdiocese of Guatemala until 1842. This was a controversial matter due to distrust and resentment inherited from colonial times, which increased due to political conflicts between Guatemala and El Salvador. As an independent nation, El Salvador experienced a conflict between liberals and conservatives from 1824 to 1870. When Protestant foreign mission­aries began to arrive in the 1840s and 1850s, they were not allowed to proselytise. With the liberal reforms of 1871 a process of secularisation began, which gradually reduced Catholic ecclesiastical power. However, it was not until 1898 that Roberto Bender established the first Evangelical church in San Salvador. From 1932 to 1970, the military dictatorship was consolidated, with the tacit support of the still dominant Catholic Church and the incipient Evangelical churches. In this period, the Evangelical churches began to grow slowly, especially in places the Catholic Church could not reach; the Baptists, Pentecostals and Assemblies of God established a significant presence. Meanwhile, the Second Vatican Council (1962–5) promoted the development of a deeper social commitment, with a preferential option for the poor. This inspired some Catholic priests in El Salvador – notably Alfonso Navarro, Rutilio Grande and Ernesto Barrera Motto, who were all assassinated in 1977–8. In 1979, Octavio Ortiz, Rafael Palacios and Alirio Napoleon were also killed, by right-wing death squads. By this time, Protestant churches were developing a higher profile, not as a homogeneous or predominant group but through finding opportunities to establish their presence in peripheral sectors of society. Particularly in areas neglected by the Catholic Church, Evangelical pastors found opportunities to plant churches. The murders of Catholic leaders continued, including Oscar

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Romero, Archbishop of San Salvador since 1977, who was assassinated on 24 March 1980, and the American sisters Ita Ford, Maura Clarke, Dorothy Kazel and Jean Donovan in the same year. Arturo Rivera y Damas – who took a conciliatory position during the civil war (1979–92) – succeeded Romero as archbishop and served from 1983 to 1994. However, the massacres continued. For example, in 1989 six Jesuit fathers and two lay women were assassinated during the ‘final offensive’ of the civil war. After the peace agreements of 1992, small Pentecostal churches attracted increasing numbers, particularly in poor communities in San Salvador, where neither the Catholic Church nor the government had any substantial presence. Gang members and Evangelical believers shared the same space, so that the churches were active in helping criminals to reintegrate into society but could also serve as a facade to cover up their crimes. Another important factor that allowed the growth of Evangelicals in the 1980s and 1990s was the development of more institutionalised and formal entities, such as the Evangelical University of El Salvador (UEES), founded in 1981. Traditional churches such as Lutherans and Calvinists consolidated their presence, along with such churches as the Baptists and Assemblies of God. From 2010 it became possible to recognise the appearance of Evangelical mega-churches (predominantly Pentecostal-Charismatic or Neo-­Pentecostal), proclaiming the ‘prosperity gospel’ (health, wealth and happiness), which promotes individualism and conservative values as regards abortion or homosexual marriage. These are no longer found only in poor communities but also are present among the middle classes, who represent a considerable percentage of the population. Today, the Evangelical churches and the Catholic Church are still relevant socio-political actors. For example, Pastor Edgar Lopez Beltrán of the Biblical Baptist Tabernacle Amigos de Israel and Monsignor Colindres, a member of the Episcopal Conference, were among the most visible

Christianity in El Salvador, 1970 and 2020 Tradition Christians  Anglicans  Independents  Protestants  Catholics Evangelicals Pentecostals/Charismatics Total population

1970 Population

%

2020 Population

%

3,642,000 160 66,900 139,000 3,457,000 132,000 149,000 3,669,000

99.3% 0.0% 1.8% 3.8% 94.2% 3.6% 4.1% 100.0%

6,243,000 740 1,070,000 1,050,000 4,600,000 780,000 1,700,000 6,479,000

96.4% 0.0% 16.5% 16.2% 71.0% 12.0% 26.2% 100.0%

Average annual growth rate (%), 1970–2020 1.1% 3.2% 5.7% 4.1% 0.6% 3.6% 5.0% 1.1%

Source: Todd M. Johnson and Gina A. Zurlo (eds), World Christian Database (Leiden/Boston: Brill), accessed January 2021.

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162  Luis Eduardo Aguilar Vásquez faces of the truce that reduced homicides in 2012. Regrettably, it ended in failure, since the negotiation was secret, and with many illicit and unpopular agreements. Another example of the public role of Christian churches – with marches, press conferences and lobbying – was the approval of the anti-mining law in 2017. The same year, a high-profile event for the Catholic community was the appointment of Monsignor Rosa Chávez as the first-ever cardinal from El Salvador. Nayib Bukele, President of El Salvador since 2019, has indicated that his politics are influenced by (mostly Christian) religion. Although his father was the main Muslim leader in El Salvador, in contrast Nayib says that he ‘has accepted Christ’. Though he has not identified with a particular denomination, in social media he has revealed very close relationships with Pastor Juan Carlos Hasbun of the Kemuel Church and with the E ­ vangelical singer Dante Gebel. Moreover, he has also expressed his admiration for Monsignor Romero and has uploaded photographs of meetings with the Pope, at which Bukele reports that Francis told him of the upcoming beatification of Rutilio Grande. He also stated that he prayed and talked with God during a military intervention, which appeared to be a failed coup. This strong orientation to religion has made him popular with a large percentage of people in the country. However, he has also attracted criticism from the traditional parties, the academy and Evangelical leaders such as the Pentecostal Mario Vega of the Mision Cristiana Elim, who has described the President as a populist.

Honduras

Roman Catholicism came to Honduras with the Spanish colonisers and dominated the country’s religious life until the 1950s. It did, however, meet with difficulties in certain areas. For example, in the seventeenth century the Franciscans tried to evangelise the Mosquitía, but the area was particularly hostile towards them. After independence from Spain in 1821, all foreign priests were expelled from Honduras, but the country continued to be mostly Christian and mostly Catholic. In the following years, the episcopal city of Comayagua suffered greatly during the civil wars of the Federation period (1823–39). By 1842, the revolutionary government had confiscated most of the properties of the Catholic Church. Since then, the parishes have been supported by the offerings of their congregations. By 1902 it was apparent that the number of clergy had significantly decreased. For example, Joseph María Martínez Cabanas (1841–1921), Bishop of Comayagua from 1902 to 1921, was assisted by only five pastors in the entire diocese. At the national level, there were only 70 priests and no foreign religious orders, because the government had not allowed them to return after their expulsion in 1821. In this way, the Catholic Church in

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Honduras failed to become a strong national institution. But through ‘the power of tradition’, in 1925 the Immaculate Virgin of Suyapa was declared Patron Saint of Honduras. Meanwhile, the Pentecostal movement began to grow. By the 1970s, some Catholic groups began to acquire a Pentecostal flavour. For example, the Catholic Charismatic Renewal Movement began to grow among the upper classes in Tegucigalpa and several new ‘ecumenical’ groups were formed (even combining Catholics and Protestants). Some of these groups experienced significant growth, especially among youth and families involved in the business community, leading to growth in the number of Protestant adherents. No national studies on church growth have been conducted since 1986, but it is apparent that the number of Protestant adherents has increased. According to reliable estimates, in 1985 they represented 12% of the total population. By 1997 they had increased to 21%, and by 2007 to 36%. Some of the largest Evangelical churches in Honduras are the International Christian Center (CCI), the Evangelistic Center of the Assemblies of God, Shalom International Ministry and the Ebenezer Church of Christ. Education in Honduras is secular and is based on the essential prin­ ciples of democracy. The Constitution affirms that the national educational system will instil and foster deep Honduran values in students and must be directly linked to the country’s economic and social development. The same Constitution guarantees the free exercise of religion and worship, without any preeminence, as long as there is no contravention of the laws and public order. Nonetheless, the Catholic Church in Honduras is close to political power and has a long history of closeness to the army. Since the 2009 coup, the Cardinal Archbishop of Tegucigalpa, Óscar Andrés Rodríguez Maradiaga, has been a controversial figure internally, criticised for his allegedly soft position on cases of paedophilia and for his Christianity in Honduras, 1970 and 2020 Tradition Christians  Anglicans  Independents  Orthodox  Protestants  Catholics Evangelicals Pentecostals/Charismatics Total population

1970 Population

%

2020 Population

%

2,664,000 210 33,000 5,200 59,700 2,413,000 65,600 30,500 2,717,000

98.1% 0.0% 1.2% 0.2% 2.2% 88.8% 2.4% 1.1% 100.0%

9,305,000 11,000 700,000 9,500 1,489,000 6,620,000 1,135,000 1,700,000 9,719,000

95.7% 0.1% 7.2% 0.1% 15.3% 68.1% 11.7% 17.5% 100.0%

Average annual growth rate (%), 1970–2020 2.5% 8.2% 6.3% 1.2% 6.6% 2.0% 5.9% 8.4% 2.6%

Source: Todd M. Johnson and Gina A. Zurlo (eds), World Christian Database (Leiden/Boston: Brill), accessed January 2021.

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164  Luis Eduardo Aguilar Vásquez opposition to the re-election of the then President José Manuel Zelaya. The National Party (conservative right) has controlled the government since 2009, and politicians and officials speak ‘in the name of God’, counting on the silence of Catholicism and the Evangelical churches. In 2020, with the Covid-19 crisis and hurricanes Iota and Eta, President Juan Orlando Hernádez said, ‘We are without money, we lost everything, we are in the hand of God’. The appropriation of religious expressions by the state is regrettable, but it should be a focus of attention to avoid the manipulation of religion and ensure the sound management of international and local aid budgets.

Nicaragua

Since the early 1900s, the vast majority of Nicaraguans have been nominally Roman Catholic. However, many had little contact with their church, and the country’s Protestant minority was expanding rapidly. Roman Catholi­cism arrived in Nicaragua in the sixteenth century with the Spanish conquest, and the country remained overwhelmingly Catholic until 1939. The Roman Catholic Church was granted privileged legal status, and ecclesiastical authorities generally supported the political status quo. It was only when President José Santos Zelaya came to power in 1893 that the position of the Church was seriously questioned. Nicaraguan Constitutions have established a secular state and guaranteed freedom of religion, but in 1939 the Roman Catholic Church received a special status in Nicaraguan society and culture. As in most Latin American countries, Protestantism arrived in Nicaragua during the nineteenth century, but only during the twentieth century did it gain a large following on the country’s Caribbean coast. When Nicaraguans speak of ‘the church’, they mean the Roman Catholic Church. Bishops are expected to lend their authority to important state occasions, and their pronouncements on national affairs are closely followed. They can also be called upon to mediate between contending parties in times of political crisis. This happened in 2019 under the mandate of Daniel Ortega, who initially accepted the dialogues but then cancelled them. A large part of the educational system, particularly the private institutions that serve the majority of middle- and upper-class students, is controlled by Roman Catholic agencies, although there is a growth of educational establishments of Evangelical churches, especially of a Pentecostal character. Urban populations, particularly women and members of the middle and upper classes, are more likely to attend Mass, receive the sacraments and perform special devotions with a certain degree of regularity. There is a shortage of priests: estimates since the 1980s are one priest for every

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7,000 Roman Catholics. Nicaraguans of the lower classes limit their practice to the sacraments of baptism and funeral rites. There is, however, a strong popular religious tradition. The religious beliefs and practices of the masses, although more or less independent of the institutional church, do not imply the syncretic fusion of Catholic and pre-Columbian elements common in other parts of Latin America. Popular religion revolves around the saints, who are perceived as intermediaries between human beings and God. Prayers are addressed to a relevant saint, who requests some benefit, such as curing an illness, in exchange for a ritual payment, such as carrying a cross in an annual procession. Most cities, from the capital of Managua to small rural communities, honour patron saints with annual festivals. Images of saints are commonly displayed in Nicaraguan homes, typically in a corner or on a table and surrounded by candles, flowers or other decorations. Often a painting becomes the centrepiece of a small domestic sanctuary. In many communities, a rich tradition has grown around the celebrations of patron saints, such as Santo Domingo de Managua (Santo Domingo), honoured in August with two colourful, often rampant, one-day processions around the city. The climax of Nicaragua’s religious calendar for celebration of the Mass is not Christmas or Easter but ‘La Purísima’, a week of festivities in early December dedicated to the Immaculate Conception. By 1990, more than 100 new non-Roman Catholic religious groups had followers in Nicaragua, the largest of which were the Moravian Church, the Nicaraguan Baptist Convention and the Assemblies of God. Other denominations in Nicaragua include the Church of God, the Church of the Nazarene, the Episcopal Church, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons), Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Most of these were established by missionaries from the USA.

Christianity in Nicaragua, 1970 and 2020 Tradition Christians  Anglicans  Independents  Protestants  Catholics Evangelicals Pentecostals/Charismatics Total population

1970 Population

%

2020 Population

%

2,383,000 3,200 21,200 118,000 2,168,000 74,900 42,200 2,398,000

99.4% 0.1% 0.9% 4.9% 90.4% 3.1% 1.8% 100.0%

6,082,000 11,500 460,000 1,400,000 5,150,000 1,100,000 1,400,000 6,417,000

94.8% 0.2% 7.2% 21.8% 80.3% 17.1% 21.8% 100.0%

Average annual growth rate (%), 1970–2020 1.9% 2.6% 6.3% 5.1% 1.7% 5.5% 7.3% 2.0%

Source: Todd M. Johnson and Gina A. Zurlo (eds), World Christian Database (Leiden/Boston: Brill), accessed January 2021.

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166  Luis Eduardo Aguilar Vásquez Some of them are now institutionally independent and led by Nicaraguans, but they retain strong ties to members of the same denomination in the USA. Article 14 of the Nicaraguan Political Constitution, approved with its reforms in August 2003, establishes that ‘The State has no official religion’. In practice, however, religion plays a significant part in national political life. Since 2006, President Daniel Ortega has created alliances with conservative religious groups in order to promote the total criminalisation of abortion, which has generated strong criticism from feminist organis­ ations. Cardinal Miguel Obando, who was his adversary in the 1980s, became Ortega’s ally until the Cardinal died in June 2018. However, things changed in 2018, when the Catholic Church took on the role of mediator in the conflict between the government of President Ortega and the opposition. Within the Catholic hierarchy, some bishops were radically opposed to the Ortega government – such as Silvio José Báez, Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Managua – while Cardinal Leopoldo Brenes remained in a mediating position. It should be noted that Ortega has some influential religious allies, such as the Revd Neftalí Cortés, President of the National Council of Evangelical Churches of Nicaragua, who since 2007 has displayed open support for the Ortega regime.

Bibliography

Brenneman, Robert, Homies and Hermanos: God and Gangs in Central America (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011). Holland, Clifton L., Enciclopedia de grupos religiosos en las Americas y la Peninsula Iberica (San Pedro, Costa Rica: PROLADES, 2009). Mendoza Aguilar, Indyra, ‘Violentando el Estado Laico’, in Violación del estado laico: relaciones de poder entre la iglesia y el gobierno en Honduras 2004–2019 (Tegucigalpa: Red Lésbica Catrachas, 2019). Ortega Hegg, Manuel and Marcellina Castillo, Religión y política: la experiencia de Nicaragua (Managua: Ruth Casa Editorial, 2006). Thiede, John S., Remembering Oscar Romero and the Martyrs of El Salvador (Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2017).

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Guatemala Santiago Otero fms and Claudia Dary

The role of the Catholic Church in Guatemalan society in the Hispanic period was considerable, until independence in 1821. However, the Church began to lose prominence with the implementation of the liberal reforms from 1871 and the presidency of Justo Rufino Barrios (1873–85). The government expropriated Church assets, expelled the few religious orders and introduced a series of legal, political, social and economic changes that ended clerical dominance. At the same time, secular education, a certain freedom of the press and apparent freedom of worship were promoted. In addition to neutralising the Catholic Church and the power it had held, the liberals wanted to foster an environment favourable to foreign investment, mainly North American and European, which founded industries and promoted new crops for export, especially coffee. Barrios considered it essential to open the door to Protestants and create conditions under which foreigners could practise their religion and attend their churches. He personally invited the New York City Presbyterian Church to send missionaries to Guatemala, the first being the Reverend John Clark Hill (1882) and the second Edward M. Haymaker (1888). The Presbyterians were followed by the Central American Mission, the Mission of Friends of California (or Quakers), the Church of the Nazarene (known as the Nazarenes), the Baptists, the Seventh-day Adventist Church and the Primitive Methodist Church; all missions were based in the USA. The Pentecostal churches arrived in Guatemalan territory during the 1920s and 1930s. The Full Gospel Church of God (IDEC) – affili­ated with the Church of God (Cleveland, Tennessee) – began its work in 1916 under the auspices of the Methodists. The Assemblies of God (AD) started during the late 1920s. Pentecostal presence was very weak until the decision in 1936 to work on a regional basis. The IDEC focused on the Indigenous areas of the centre and west of the country, while the Assemblies of God had a greater impulse in the east, among the mestizo population. Currently both churches are distributed throughout the national territory. Other important Pentecostal churches include the Prince of Peace Church, the Foursquare Church, Galilea, Agua Viva, Agape and La Fe. For its part, the Catholic Church in Guatemala, during the period of liberalism and modernisation, which lasted until 1944, survived with

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168  Santiago Otero and Claudia Dary limitations and persecutions. In 70 years, liberal governments were unable to create the foundations of a stable democracy. The enormous looting of Indigenous communities, especially through expropriations of land, both communal and those in the hands of the Church, impeded the develop­ment of the country. Much land came to be controlled by German interests, as well as North American companies, such as the United Fruit Company. The Indigenous people were recruited as cheap labour for the large estates owned by foreign corporations or the coffee, sugar, banana or cotton oligarchy. The attempts of the government of Jacobo Arbenz Guzmán (1951–4) to establish a social welfare state, strengthen public education, educate the majority Indigenous population and promote an agrarian reform that implied the expropriation of unproductive lands collided with the interests of these foreign companies, which sought the support of the US government and the Organization of American States. In 1954, under the mantle of the recently established Inter-American Treaty of Reciprocal Assistance, a military invasion and the overthrow of the Arbenz Guzmán government took place. The Guatemalan Catholic Church, without economic power and without state support, grew from within and from below, with few pastoral agents, but seeking to form a committed and numerous laity, mature in local decision-making. This movement accelerated with the advent of Rural Catholic Action in the second half of the twentieth century, as a model of the Church’s presence in society. A gradual and slow movement of incarnation of the Church in broader and more decisive spheres in the Indigenous population resulted. The Church’s organic structure was strengthened, going from a single diocese that operated throughout the country in 1900 to 16 ecclesiastical jurisdictions in 2021.

Christianity in Guatemala, 1970 and 2020 Tradition Christians  Anglicans  Independents  Orthodox  Protestants  Catholics Evangelicals Pentecostals/Charismatics Total population

1970 Population 5,586,000 750 118,000 0 265,000 4,346,000 275,000 197,000 5,622,000

% 99.4% 0.0% 2.1% 4.7% 77.3% 4.9% 3.5% 100.0%

2020 Population

%

17,416,000 2,800 1,950,000 200,000 3,347,000 12,150,000 2,580,000 8,980,000 17,911,000

97.2% 0.0% 10.9% 1.1% 18.7% 67.8% 14.4% 50.1% 100.0%

Average annual growth rate (%), 1970–2020 2.3% 2.7% 5.8% 21.9% 5.2% 2.1% 4.6% 7.9% 2.3%

Source: Todd M. Johnson and Gina A. Zurlo (eds), World Christian Database (Leiden/Boston: Brill), accessed January 2021.

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Church and Society

Today, the Guatemalan Church has a significant Indigenous clergy, but it is fair to acknowledge the work of foreign missionaries during the twentieth century. This contingent, which could reach about 100 young missionaries with great ideals, energised the Guatemalan Church in the rural and Indigenous fields. Catholic Action was strengthened, particularly in rural areas, promoting the action of the laity as subjects of change. They appropriated the great evangelisation experience of Choluteca, Honduras, with the movement of the Delegates of the Word (Izabal) or animators of the faith (Huehuetenango, as they were known in other places). When the earthquake of 4 February 1976 occurred – a constant reference in the history of Guatemala – the Indigenous population, of Mayan descent, reached 60% of the total population. The tragedy of the earthquake unleashed a large-scale migration process, both internal and external to the country. The earthquake was like an X-ray that made visible the existing inequalities, the oppression of the people and, above all, the unfair distribution of wealth. Less than 3% of the population owned most of the arable land in the national territory. Because of this telluric phenomenon, several Catholic institutions and international Protestant missions turned their focus on Guatemala to support the victims in their emotional, spiritual and material needs. From then on, conversions to Protestantism grew; many Guatemalans interpreted the telluric event as a divine call for redemption. This is how various North American churches were promoted, not exempt from a proselytising interest. Decades later, the so-called Neo-Pentecostal mega-churches emerged, such as El Calvario, El Shadai, Fraternidad Cristiana de Guatemala, Iglesia de Jesus Cristo La Familia de Dios, Casa de Dios and Iglesia Vida Real. These are churches that gather a varied audience of thousands of people every week, in large and ostentatious buildings. Doctrinally, these churches share several characteristics with the smaller Pentecostal churches, including belief in the gifts of the Holy Spirit (glosso­lalia or gift of tongues, prophecy, healing and the working of miracles) and confidence that Jesus Christ saves, heals and will come. However, they clash with all the historical churches with a longer presence in the country. From the Second Vatican Council, the Catholic Church combined evangelisation with processes of social organisation and economic promotion. It united social and cultural awareness, which allowed the critical formation of broad peasant and Indigenous sectors. It evangelised and promoted, gave voice to the laity and transformed them into subjects of change. This affected political and economic sectors, which soon noticed in these processes a danger to their particular and private interests, most

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170  Santiago Otero and Claudia Dary of the time sectarian and anchored in class egoism, which resulted in a new way of fighting against the Church in those spaces where missionary action was most defined. This process did not skimp on resorting to the armed forces, the police or the dreaded judicial system. At the end of the twentieth century, the Catholic Church could count on an abundant contingent of local clergy, the action of thousands of laity, committed men and women, and some 34 male religious congregations and more than 100 female religious congregations, which have been active in evangelisation and catechesis, health, education, social awareness and critical formation of the laity, especially women, with immediate attention to emergency situations, the defence of human rights and a presence in the grassroots organisation and demands of the Mayan peoples, especially concerning land. This process was not without its struggles and difficulties. A small but very influential sector of civil society resisted, from within the Church itself, the reception of the Second Vatican Council and the second Episcopal conference of the Latin America Episcopal Council in Medellín (1968). It generated many internal conflicts, but it did not prevent the constant pastoral work from continuing, especially in rural and Indigen­ ous areas. In this area, the Church had the ability to organise the people in their local contexts and, based on a differentiated evangelisation, was transmitting to the people the capacity for organisation, struggle and resistance in the face of adverse situations, whether climatic, geological or, above all, political. The military governments that followed one another until the end of the twentieth century had no other response to popular needs than repression, always backed by civilian leaders who designed modes of repression and control assisted by the advice of Israel, Argentina and the USA and supported by the doctrine of national security. They identified the Indigenous and peasant population as a military target because they had reached maturity, demanding respect for human rights, social and economic rights, and their own forms of organisation. Along with them, the missionaries were also targeted. The Bible was put in the hands of the humblest people, who were also the driving force of the national economy, especially the trade of necessities in local markets. The people read their own history in it. They connected their struggles with the social teaching of the Church, which spoke of rights, justice, equality, freedom and respect for the culture of the peoples. This formation had very concrete political expression – so much so that from the 1970s they became critically related to the state and the elitist parties, mayors and some deputies. Today, these same sectors continue to maintain the national economy with remittances from

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migrants, who had to flee in inhumane conditions, to find a better-paid job in the USA.

Evangelicals and Pentecostals

By 2001, 25.4% of the population was described as Evangelical (one out of every four Guatemalans), 58.1% as Catholic, 2.6% as belonging to various sects and 13.9% as reporting no religious affiliation. At that time, about 18,000 Evangelical churches could be found in the country. Those that reported the most members were two Pentecostal denominations, the ­Assemblies of God (5.27% of the total Evangelical population) and the Full Gospel Church of God (4.29%). Pentecostal growth can be attributed to various social, economic, cultural, emotional and political factors. The great evangelistic crusades began around 1974 and became even more prominent after 1980 during the period of military counter-insurgency. For a long time, Pentecostals had considered that the act of participating in politics was improper or sinful. However, this attitude has changed since the 1980s and 1990s, and today the Pentecostal and Neo-Pentecostal population goes to the polls and launches candidates for mayoralties, the Congress of the Republic and the presidency. Guatemala is the only country in Latin America that has had three Evangelical Presidents: Efraín Ríos Montt (March 1982 – August 1983), Jorge Serrano Elías (January 1991 – June 1993) and Jimmy Morales (January 2016 – January 2020). The first was a general and a member of the El Verbo Church and the second a member of the El Shaddai Church; the third originally attended the Gethsemane Baptist Church. Morales was advised by Pastor Juan Carlos Eguizábal of the Iglesia Dios es Bueno. However, none of these three political figures came to the presidency at the initiative of a confessional political party, since these do not exist in the country, by constitutional prohibition. Ríos Montt was installed as head of state, during the internal armed conflict, by army officers and not by a plan of the pastoral council of his church. However, El Verbo – the general’s church – maintained a close relationship both with the new ­Guatemalan authorities and with American Evangelicals, particularly with Gospel Outreach and its aid programmes for the Third World, which were conservative in nature and in sympathy with the counter-insurgency. This support fuelled a kind of holy war against both real and imagined guerrillas, mainly peasants and Indigenous people, whom they considered close to the guerrillas as well as to Catholic sectors. The military under the leadership of Ríos Montt practised scorched-earth military campaigns, particularly in Quiché and Huehuetenango. They considered that the most effective way to combat the guerrillas was to shoot those who fell under

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172  Santiago Otero and Claudia Dary the suspicion of being guerrilla sympathisers, going so far as to affirm that if the guerrillas had Indigenous collaborators, all Indigenous people were potential subversives. In that case the best thing to do was to ‘kill the Indians’. In the same way, for the fanatical members of El Verbo Church and other Evangelical organisations, Catholic doctrine and the pastoral work exercised by its priests were potentially subversive and therefore they also suffered persecution and martyrdom, along with the Indigenous populations whom they served. For example, the Indigenous leader and Nobel Peace Prize winner Rigoberta Menchú was active as a defender of human rights and gave international exposure to the atrocities committed by the Guatemalan army against her people.

Violence, Martyrdom, Pursuit of Peace

Historically, the army undertook brutal forced recruitment of Indigenous and mestizo troops. It maintained a close alliance with the wealthy classes, who were very jealous of their privileges and perpetrators of discrimination and racism. Creoles and landowners built up an organisational network of family alliances, which strengthened their own economic position through short-term and exorbitant capital accumulation and facilitated the penetration of foreign economic consortia. As a corollary they exacerbated inequality, generating great popular animosity. In these spaces of power, some sectors of the Catholic Church and various Pentecostal churches also became one more service agency. At the same time, the Catholic Church, in many places, not only lost many of its agents, but also saw how the army took over churches, convents, Caritas centres as well as the properties of other institutions, which were used by the army as warehouses for war supplies or barracks for soldiers. In Quiché, Pope John Paul II denounced these army practices during his first visit to the country in March 1983, the year in which Ríos Montt broadcast his fundamentalist preachings every week on the national television network, to strengthen these counter-insurgent policies. His military policy was to remove the water from the fish. The water was the civil, Indigenous and peasant population while the fish were the guerrillas. The military strategy was defended and justified by his moralistic preaching. The most decisive years of the internal armed confrontation were between 1979 and 1983. This was a period of brutal military repression, massacres of the people, the assassination of civil society leaders, control of the population by armed means, absence of democracy and total rupture of the social fabric of the country. This war had an equivocal outcome with the signing of the peace accords in 1996, which never reached constitutional status, limiting their effectiveness.

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Meanwhile, the Catholic Church had established in 1990 a Human Rights Office (ODHAG) in the Archdiocese of Guatemala. Human rights violations caused shock, pain and mourning in many Guatemalan families. Under the umbrella of the ODHAG, many other institutions were born in various spheres of civil society for the protection and defence of human rights. The Church accompanied the processes of organised return to the country of thousands of refugees who had fled to the southern states of Mexico, especially Chiapas, Quintana Roo and Campeche. This process of accompaniment of the peace process allowed the Church to become an inescapable point of reference for the achievement of the objectives demanded by the signing of the peace accords. It was about achieving a dignified signature as the basis for a firm and lasting peace. The agreements were signed, but many difficulties remain and they are constantly being violated. Monsignor Juan Gerardi Conedera proposed to the Church that it carry out a major investigation of the violence committed during the internal armed confrontation, beginning in 1994. He was then the Director of ODHAG. The report of the Interdiocesan Project for the Recovery of ­Historical Memory was presented on 24 April 1998. Two days later Bishop Gerardi was assassinated. This criminal act has been interpreted as an attempt to undermine the peace accords by the army, sponsored by the civil consortia of capitalist forces. The judicial process, hampered by numerous difficulties, was halfway there. Bishop Gerardi is a martyr bishop in a martyr Church, a martyr for truth and peace, as the people recognise him. His violent death limited many initiatives aimed at strengthening peace, justice and respect for human rights; but he also bore witness to the social and economic transformations that the country needed. Twenty-five years after the signing of the peace accords, they continue to be controversial. The fundamental problems of the country continue to divide the people between the poor majority and a very small sector of oligarchs and big businessmen and merchants, who prevent the develop­ ment of the poorer classes. The rights of women, children and other vulnerable people continue to be subject to abuse. The Indigenous resistance has found suitable leaders in numerous cases, where they fight for respect for national and international agreements that support their rights in the territories they inhabit as Indigenous peoples. Today, Guatemalans trust more in churches, both Catholic and Evangelical, than in state institutions. This appears to be because the churches are the ones that channel the concerns and anxieties of the population. In recent decades, Evangelicals who run as presidential candidates or as deputies tend to place emphasis on the family and on the prohibition of abortion and sex education in schools. Similarly, they reject homosexuality

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174  Santiago Otero and Claudia Dary and the rights of the LGBTQ+ population. With all this they try to win the votes of church members. An example is the candidacy of the daughter of General Efraín Ríos Montt. Zury Ríos was a deputy for 16 years in the Congress of the Republic for the Guatemalan Republican Front (FRG) party, founded by her father. Between 2015 and 2018, she generated campaigns to run as a presidential candidate, despite constitutional prohibitions that prevented her from participating because she was a relative of a coup general. The lawyer and pastor of the El Shaddai Church, Harold Caballeros, ran as a presidential candidate for the coalition of the Viva party (Vision with Values) together with Encuentro for Guatemala for the 2011 elections. The coalition obtained only 6.24% of the votes, and its support declined in subsequent elections. More and more often, Evangelical activists take to the streets to advocate their points of view on social and political problems that concern them. Thus, in 2011 and 2012, faced with the wave of violent deaths, criminal violence, drug trafficking and gang activity, Christian groups went to the main square to pray for the peace of the country. An example of this was the Taking My Nation campaign, through which Evangelicals prayed for peace in the midst of much violence. Also, the Association of Evangelical Ministers of Guatemala mobilised to pray for the good of the country. Similarly, in 2015, when the International Commission against Corruption in Guatemala (CICIG) contributed to uncovering several cases of corruption, together with citizens they went out to protest in the streets and the central square. Every Saturday at six in the morning they prayed, fasted and sang in front of the National Palace. They promote and participate in debates and political forums or in those organised by the business chambers or media outlets, as well as forums sponsored and directed by religious leaders that reflect the concerns of the Evangelical community. In their competition with Catholicism, the Evangelicals have taken up some forms of expression that are now criticised by Catholics themselves, such as the Te Deums when there is a change of government. Since 2004, when Oscar Berger assumed the presidency (2004–8), it has been customary for the elected President and Vice President, together with their wives, to be blessed by Evangelical pastors in religious liturgies. In the same way it has become customary for the Catholic Archbishop to organise prayers and pray for the new ruler. Cardinal Quezada Toruño (2001–9) broke several times with this tradition by opting to denounce the corruption that was hidden in governments and their parliaments.

Conclusion

The people of Guatemala entered the twenty-first century stained by the blood of endless dictatorships and government-military repression during

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the twentieth century. As the people, and especially the Indigenous people, have suffered, the experience has taken a toll on Christianity. Never­theless, the Catholic Church appears to have been strengthened through these painful experiences. Today, it has growing numbers of Indigenous clergy, while the missionary era is coming to an end. However, it ex­periences a vocational crisis in the congregations of consecrated life, both male and female. The episcopate has been gradually renewed. On 27 March 2021, its first Indigenous bishop was consecrated, Juan Manuel Cua Ajucúm, born in 1962 in Totonicapán to a K’iché-speaking family. The Church has strengthened the ecclesial communities following the orientations of the fifth conference of the Latin American Episcopal Council (Aparecida, 2007), though more could be done to make the magisterium of Pope Francis more visible. The processes of inculturation and of ecumenical and inter-religious dialogue have been promoted, still very much dominated by the historic churches. The elaboration and application of Indian theology are significant achievements. The promotion of the pastoral care of women and the formation of the laity, men and women, of different ages, in order to strengthen the life and worship of the local church community has an increasing space in the parishes. Today, the Guatemalan church remembers with pain the martyrdom of its members yet celebrates the recognition that the universal church gives it. In 2017, the priest Stanley Rother, born in Oklahoma, USA, who worked and gave his life in Santiago Atitlán, was beatified. In 2018, layman Obdulio Arroyo Navarro, catechist, and Italian priest Tulio Maruzzo, murdered in Izabal in 1981, were beatified. Brother James Miller of the Lasallian community, born in the USA, was beatified in 2019 in Huehuetenango, where he gave his life. On 23 April 2021, in the midst of the problems of the coronavirus pandemic, 10 martyrs of Santa Cruz del Quiché were beatified in that diocese. These were the first seven Indigenous catechists in the entire history of the Church in Guatemala – Tomás Ramírez Caba, Domingo del Barrio Batz, Nicolás Castro, Reyes Us Hernández, Miguel Tiu Imul, Rosalío Benito (about 70 years old) and teenager Juan Barrera Méndez – and three missionaries of the Sacred Heart, of Spanish origin – José María Gran Cirera, Faustino Villanueva and Juan Alonso Fernández – all assassinated in 1980. This great event has allowed us to honour their memory and do justice to lives given for the cause of the Kingdom of God. The prophetic voice of the church grows stronger today. Many other beatification processes are under way.

Bibliography

Comisión para el Esclarecimiento Histórico, Guatemala: memoria del silencio, 12 volumes (Guatemala City: CEH, 1999).

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176  Santiago Otero and Claudia Dary Diócesis de Quiché, Beatos mártires de Quiché (Santa Cruz del Quiché: Diócesis de Quiché, 2021). Garrard-Burnett, Virginia, Terror en la tierra del espíritu santo. Guatemala bajo el general Efraín Ríos Montt, 1982–1983 (Guatemala City: AVANSCO, 2013). Proyecto Interdiocesano para la Recuperación de la Memoria Histórica (REHMI), Guatemala nunca más, 4 volumes (Guatemala City: Oficina de Derechos Humanos del Arzobispado de Guatemala, 1998). Schirmer, Jennifer, Las Intimidades del proyecto político de los militares en Guatemala (Guatemala City: Flacso, 1998).

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Mexico Yves Bernardo Roger Solis Nicot and Hugo Garibay Rodriguez

Mexico is a country with a diversity and plurality of religions. According to the National Institute for Statistics and Geography (INEGI), religious diversity is increasing and Pentecostal numbers are growing. Even though Catholicism remains the creed of the majority, the percentage of Catholics is declining. However, the Virgin of Guadalupe is still essential to understand the Mexican heritage. This key figure represents what some call syncretism, while others prefer the concept of spiritual synthesis. The Virgin of Guadalupe represents the core of Mexican identity – a virgin, with Indian figure, morena, pregnant, who takes care of her people, the representation of the Mexican people through the figure of Juan Diego, the Nahua to whom she appears on an ancient mountain dedicated to the goddess Tonantzin.

Historical Background

The influence of the Catholic missionary work of the sixteenth century prevailed at least until the middle of the nineteenth century. By then, Mexico had become one of the first countries to start the secularisation process. In 1845 the first Lutheran church was founded in Mexico. Its missionary presence was linked to the US military invasion of the same year. From then on, during the second half of the century, different Protestant churches were established: Episcopalian, Presbyterian, Evangelical. Beyond their intention to evangelise, Presbyterians, Methodists, Episcopalians and Baptists became allies of the US State Department. In the twentieth century new movements arrived from the USA – Pentecostals, the Assemblies of God, the Seventh-day Adventists, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) and Jehovah’s Witnesses – while others came from Europe – Orthodox, Armenians, Muslims and Jews. Some new churches were founded by Mexicans themselves, such as the Iglesia de la Luz del Mundo (Light of the World Church), founded in 1926 in Monterrey by Eusebio Joaquín González, just before the Cristero War. Today, the Light of the World Church is one of the most important churches in Mexico and has a presence in more than 50 countries.

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178  Yves Bernardo Roger Solis Nicot and Hugo Garibay Rodriguez Two Constitutions opened the state and the nation to other Christian denominations. First, the Constitution of 1857 allowed Mexicans to choose their creeds. However, in 1917 a new Constitution was approved, and this time it did not give legal recognition to any churches. For almost seven years the Constitution was not enforced, but in 1926 Plutarco Elías Calles passed the Worship Tolerance Law, also known as the Calles law, which enforced the Constitution and obliged all public servants to apply the law not only at the federal level but also at the local level. This new law, which involved a ban on public worship outside church sanctuaries, provoked a very strong reaction from the Catholic bishops, who decided to suspend public worship. Most of them were persecuted and many moved to the USA, especially to San Antonio, Texas, New York and Chicago. Some priests and seminarians went to Washington and studied at the Catholic University of America. A civil war soon followed, known as the Cristero Rebellion (or War). This situation would last three years, and it was not until the July 1929 agreement that the bells of the churches and cathedrals would be heard again. According to the census of 1930, the number of people who identified as Catholics had grown from 97.1% to 97.7% since the Mexican revolution in 1910. The problem between the Mexican state and the Catholic Church continued for most of the 1930s, especially as the state promoted educational reform, known first as the Socialist Education Reform during Abelardo Rodríguez’s presidency, and then augmented with a Sexual Education Reform during Lázaro Cárdenas’s presidency. The US National Catholic Welfare Conference was very active during this time in helping the Catholic bishops in Mexico. By the late 1930s the situation began improving, mainly through the action of Lázaro Cárdenas and two young Mexican archbishops, Luis María Martínez and José Garibi y Rivera, as well as by the conjunct action of the American Catholic Laymen and Christianity in Mexico, 1970 and 2020 Tradition

1970 Population

Christians  Anglicans  Independents  Orthodox  Protestants  Catholics Evangelicals Pentecostals/Charismatics Total population

50,620,000 8,900 1,290,000 54,000 677,000 47,029,000 459,000 1,179,000 52,030,000

%

2020 Population

%

97.3% 0.0% 2.5% 0.1% 1.3% 90.4% 0.9% 2.3% 100.0%

128,229,000 33,000 8,300,000 122,000 5,500,000 115,574,000 2,800,000 17,450,000 133,870,000

95.8% 0.0% 6.2% 0.1% 4.1% 86.3% 2.1% 13.0% 100.0%

Average annual growth rate (%), 1970–2020 1.9% 2.7% 3.8% 1.6% 4.3% 1.8% 3.7% 5.5% 1.9%

Source: Todd M. Johnson and Gina A. Zurlo (eds), World Christian Database (Leiden/Boston: Brill), accessed January 2021.

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Bishops. Conflict gave way to a modus vivendi that started in 1938 and finished in 1992, with the Ley de Asociaciones Religiosas y Culto Público reform, when the anti-clerical Constitution was revised and all churches could have a legal existence. These developments are hard to understand, because Mexico is well known for its people’s devotion. Yet for 75 years no church could legally exist. Churches were not allowed to have any properties, nor could priests or pastors have any civil rights. However, Mexican religious institutions prevailed. In 1992 reform measures were introduced, and the status of ‘religious association’ was created as a vehicle through which churches could exist legally. Churches could go to the government and obtain registra­tion. They could own properties, schools and hospitals. The time of pretence was over, and all creeds could exist in Mexico.

A New Era of Legalised Religion

The 1992 reform represents a political and administrative transformation more than a transformation for believers. The relation­ships of most of the faithful with their pastors were not changed by the new law. The change is that different churches can now exist legally and benefit from different administrative and financial policies. Churches can legally be owners of buildings and be involved in teaching and medicine. The Mexican state respects and protects the different faiths in Mexico and recognises that the churches are an important factor in the wellbeing of the country. Pentecostal churches, taken together, are the form of Christianity with the largest numbers of believers after the Catholic Church. They are though fragmented into many different associations. The more unified Luz del Mundo and the Jehovah’s Witnesses compete to be the secondlargest religious group in Mexico. The Jehovah’s Witnesses experienced remarkable growth during the 1980s. Since 2000, the growth has slowed, but they continue to have a major presence in the north, particularly in the cities of Reynosa and Matamoros, as well as in the metro­politan zone of Mexico City. Difficulties arise from their policy of not registering with the government. Most of their evangelism is based on door-to-door preaching and is more successful where religious pluralism is already a reality. Following the analysis of sociologist Elio Masferrer Kan in his Pluralidad religiosa en México and that of Renée de la Torre and Cristina Gutiérrez Zúñiga in the Atlas de la diversidad religiosa en México, it is important to understand the development of Christianity at the national level but also at a more regional level. Some zones of the country are still dominated by Catholicism, with religious plurality still incipient, while other zones manifest a high level of religious plurality, even if Catholicism remains the faith of the majority.

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180  Yves Bernardo Roger Solis Nicot and Hugo Garibay Rodriguez By 2010, two states remained predominantly Catholic: Guanajuato and Zacatecas were both more than 93% Catholic. Another five states were more than 90% Catholic: Aguascalientes (92.88%), Jalisco (91.99%), Michoacán (91.55%), Queretaro (91.94%) and Tlaxcala (90.81%). These areas supplied many soldiers during the Cristero War and are considered strongholds of Catholicism within Mexico. Most of the Mexican states are in a situation of slight religious plurality (no longer linked with religious violence) and represent the average of the national data: almost one in five persons is not Catholic. Mexico City, for example, has more non-religious people than Protestants. In Jalisco, some Evangelical churches are very powerful, such as La Iglesia de la Luz del Mundo. People are mainly Protestant in some states, but in others there are growing numbers of people who profess to have no religion or to be ‘spiritual but not religious’. The government of Mexico was scheduled to conduct a large-scale population census in 2020 but was severely hampered by the coronavirus pandemic. However, its first results provide relevant information about religions in Mexico. The data indicate that trends evident in the previous census have continued. Catholicism is losing ground in percentage terms – 82.7% in the 2010 census and 77.7% in the 2020 census. Thanks to population growth, however, the total number of Catholics has increased by about 7 million. It remains by far the majority religion and has more members than ever. Meanwhile, the growing numbers of Protestants and Evangelicals today represent 11.2% of the Mexican population, more than 14 million people. However, the group that has grown the most with respect to previous censuses is that of people who do not identify with any religious denomination, which has reached 8.1% (compared with 4.7% in 2010). There is also a new category of people who are religious but are not part of any church, more than 3 million people and 2.5% of the population. From a gender perspective, women are more likely than men to profess religious belief, whether Catholic or Protestant. On the other hand, among those professing to have no religion or to be ‘spiritual but not religious’, men are in the majority. The challenge of secularisation in Mexico presents an issue for all denominations. Some states are experiencing a vigorous movement of conversion to Evangelical faith, sometimes with whole families being converted. Since the early 1980s, this pattern has been particularly evident in the four states of south-east Mexico, where Catholics are now barely in the majority: Campeche (60.1%), Chiapas (53.9%), Quintana Roo (54.7%) and Tabasco (62.2%). These are states where Protestant missions were sent to work with the Indigenous populations. In those states, religious plurality is

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now an established fact and the Catholic Church can barely maintain its hegemonic position. Chiapas appears to be the state where religious plurality is most developed. The Pentecostal practice of healing resonates with Indigenous traditions. The flexibility of Protestant worship allows it to incorporate the use of native languages and Indigenous costumes. Its emotional character and use of oral tradition have made it a real option for the Indigenous faithful. Presbyterians and the Church of the Nazarene have flourished in Chiapas. It is still an exceptional case, but Campeche, Quintana Roo and Tabasco seem to be moving in the same direction. Campeche is another case of religious plurality. Such is its importance for the Catholic Church that the third visit of Pope John Paul II to Mexico, in 1993, was dedicated to the Mexican south-east, mainly Merida, capital city of Yucatán. The southern states of Campeche and Chiapas challenge the domination of Catholicism. In Mexico, the secularisation process of the twentieth century does not appear to have taken effect like it did in Europe or the USA. Nevertheless, the number of persons without religion seems to grow in the cities, especially in Mexico City. The sectorisation of religion seems to be a more adequate model for understanding the transformation of the religious field in Mexico. Despite various studies that predicted Mexico would be more like Brazil, Catholicism – even if it is in decline – seems to resist the growing Protestant movement. In that sense, explanations for the growth of religious diversity in Mexico are multifactorial. For Renée de la Torre it has to do with the particular characteristics of each religion, the regional context in which that religious expression develops itself, and the type and characteristics of the population of believers who practise, modify and transform the popular or folk religion. The growth of Protestantism and especially Adventism is also linked to the process of urbanisation. The missions of the Adventists were directed first to the rural zone of Mexico, but in the 1970s they turned their attention to the marginal sections of the cities and found that their church life offered a communitarian referent and a successful tool to insert in the urban medium. It is important also to see how, in the cities, the conversion was facilitated by churches with a high level of institutional organisation, such as the Jehovah’s Witnesses, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the Light of the World Church (Iglesia de la Luz del Mundo). Patricia Fortuny Loret de Mola, a Mexican specialist on La Luz del Mundo, explains that it is a Mexican Evangelical church with the largest number of believers after the Catholic Church. In the 1970s it began to expand at the regional (central-western), national and international levels and the church became a transnational church. It constitutes a religious

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182  Yves Bernardo Roger Solis Nicot and Hugo Garibay Rodriguez system whose organisation transcends borders and transits over national, political and cultural specificities, forming a network of communities unified by an ideology, which is strongly linked to a single leader or authority – earlier the son of the founder and today his grandson. It is a global church, established in various nations, that maintains its head­ quarters in the Hermosa Provincia neighbourhood in Guadalajara, Jalisco. The ‘Beautiful Province’ is a sacred space where around 90% of the inhabitants are believers. Here the great temple of the community is located, as well as the house of the apostle Samuel or Náason, the main bureaucratic offices of the organisation, schools of various levels and a small hospital. In colloquial and affectionate terms, the faithful call this physical centre ‘The Province’ and regard it as a symbol of their belief. The centre works for members of the Iglesia de la Luz del Mundo in a similar way to the Vatican among Catholics around the world.

Migration and Christian Networking

Responses from religious groups to migration have been vast, both in the Catholic world but also in the plural Protestant world. Several grassroots, non-governmental and religious organisations provide services to migrants in Mexico and at the US border. Some have been at work for more than 30 years. For example, the Missionaries of Saint Charles (Scalabrinians) run a large number of research centres and migrant houses. Among them are the Migrant House of Tapachula, founded in 1987 by Father Flor María Rigioni, and the Tijuana Migrants house, under the charge of Luis Kendzierski. Another active order is the Jesuits, who created the Jesuit Refugee Service and its Program for Migrants; they work with other Catholic charities that have different ministries among migrants and refugees. It is common to find religious congregations or churches that provide support to immigrant groups ranging from food to language classes and legal assistance. Franciscans participate actively in ‘La 72’, a humanitarian shelter for migrants in Tenosique, Tabasco, which is 30 miles from the Guatemalan border. Along with food, shelter and clothing, La 72 provides health care, counselling and case management and receives a large number of migrants (over 15,000 in 2019). Guests also receive human rights education and legal and humanitarian assistance for accessing asylum and residency status. The main goal of La 72 is to change migration policies to guarantee all migrants safe passage in Mexico. Diocesan priests play an important role, such as Father Alejandro Solalinde, in charge of the Migrant House Brothers on the Road in Ixtepec, Oaxaca. Baptists and Evangelicals in the USA have been very active both in supporting migrants but also in preparing the population of the border cities. Regarding the route of the

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migrants, both Protestants and Catholics have created networks of houses that allow migrants to travel safely through Mexico. This collaboration has fostered ecumenical dialogue between the different Christian traditions. The problem of migration is more complex than simply the issue of mobility. The process implies dislocations and also reconfigurations. Migration can result in religious transformation. Migrants can be distant from traditional mechanisms of control, and they are exposed to major religious diversity, which can stimulate fresh thinking about their own identity. Their experience with a number of priests, for example, caused some migrants to change religion. Some Protestants have decided to become Catholics after their experiences in Catholic shelters or community. There are religious groups that focus their missionary efforts on migrants. The process involves a redefinition of symbolic references due to the need either to fight against a new context or to mould with it. After his election as President in 2018, Andrés Manuel López Obrador generated great expectations regarding the safety of the migrants and a change of the usual politics against migrants. But after pressure from US President Donald Trump, he changed his policies. The election in 2020 of Catholic Joe Biden as US President has generated hope for a profound change of migration policies in the US. President López Obrador, who is close to the Evangelicals, has divided opinion, especially among Catholic stakeholders. While Catholic layman and poet Javier Sicilia expressed disappointment, Catholic priest Alejandro Solalinde demonstrated his support for President López Obrador. Pastors of the Confraternidad Nacional de Iglesias Cristianas Evangélicas (Confraternice), the National Fellowship of Evangelical Christian Churches, have been received several times in the National Palace. The leader of the Confraternice, Pastor Arturo Farela, aims to be part of the moralisation campaign of President López Obrador. The Evangelicals distribute and promote the Cartilla Moral (Moral Primer) by Alfonso Reyes, reprinted and made available by the Mexican government.

Mexico siempre fiel

Today, Mexico is considered one of the major assets of the Catholic Church and plays an international role, particularly in the formation of priests. The Hispanic Seminary of Our Lady of Guadalupe, situated in Tlalpan, prepares Hispanic or Latino priests born and raised in the USA, giving special attention to the pastoral care of Latinos in the USA. The Popes have been conscious of the importance of Mexico and of Mexican Catholics. Between 1979 and 2016, Mexico was visited seven times by the Roman pontiff. John Paul II visited Mexico five times, Benedict XVI and Francis once each.

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184  Yves Bernardo Roger Solis Nicot and Hugo Garibay Rodriguez John Paul II’s first trip was made in February 1979 to attend the third conference of the Latin American Episcopal Council, held in Puebla. It was during this conference that the Pope applied the brakes to the development of liberation theology. In Medellín in 1968, the Latin American bishops had assumed that the Church in Latin America should be manifested, in an increasingly clear manner, as truly poor, missionary and paschal, separate from all temporal power and courageously committed to the liberation of all people. In Puebla, evangelisation, culture and human development were separated. This event provoked a division in the core of the Catholic Church, not only in Mexico but in Latin America as a whole. In the case of Mexico, the most affected bishops were Samuel Ruiz, Bishop of San Cristobal de las Casas (1959–99), and Sergio Méndez Arceo, Bishop of Cuernavaca (1953–83). Also, various members of religious orders and religious congregations were affected, principally Jesuits, Lasallista, ­Dominicans and Franciscans as well as many women’s congregations. John Paul II made four more trips to Mexico, in 1990, 1993, 1999 and 2002. On the last occasion, he went once again to Mexico City to participate in the Guadalupe Basilica’s canonisation of Juan Diego. Benedict XVI went to one of the most famous Catholic zones in Mexico, Leon and Silao in the state of Guanajuato, showing his support for the National Action Party leaders and visiting the national shrine of Cristo Rey, symbol of the Cristero War and the resistance of Catholicism against secularisation and the anti-clerical state in the late 1920s and 1930s. In 2016, Pope Francis visited Mexico. Just a month before his visit he posted a video on YouTube regarding the challenges of Mexico. The trip was very important because, for the first time, the Pope chose a public forum in which to call on the Mexican bishops to stop ‘hearing the voices of the Pharaohs’ and thinking of themselves as princes. He also asked them to be pastors and share with the people, and to be bishops who have a pure vision, a transparent soul and a joyful face. This was widely perceived to be a public reprimand to the Mexican bishops. Francis also visited Our Lady of Guadalupe and Ecatepec, one of the most impoverished and violent zones of Mexico City. However, due to the visit, the neighbourhood was cleaned and smartened up by the state authorities. Another important stop in his journey was the Mayan area, where he began his homily in Tzotzil and received the Bible translated in Tzeltal and in Tzotzil. In San Cristobal, he asked for forgiveness from the Indigenous people who were stripped of their lands and culture through the evangelisation of the Catholic Church. On his way back, Francis decided to go and pray at the tomb of Tatic (Father) Samuel Ruiz. In this way, he effected a symbolic reconciliation with liberation theology, which had been condemned by his two predecessors, John Paul II and

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Benedict XVI. Before leaving, he visited Tuxtla Gutiérrez to meet with families, Morelia to meet with the youth, and Ciudad Juárez to visit a prison. At the Mexico–US border, as a symbol of his constant fight for the migrants, he celebrated a Mass attended by people from both countries.

Christianity, Art and Showbiz

Christianity has had a huge impact not only on sacred art but also on profane. In the case of sacred art, Catholic priests and religious have made an unmistakable contribution to design and architecture. One example is Fray Gabriel Chávez de la Mora, a Benedictine brother. He is possibly the most prolific Mexican designer of religious architecture in history. His work is essential to understanding the reception and development of the litur­gical reform in Mexico, mainly in its architectural and aesthetic aspects. Also, his huge production of architecture, painting, sculpture, engraving, typography, crafts and graphic, textile and industrial design has been key in the construction of the visual identity of the Mexican Catholic Church of the second half of the twentieth century and the beginning of the twenty-first. Regarding Protestants and Pentecostals, one of their major contributions is in the realm of music. Music is an important component in Pentecostal worship. Hymns and songs allow worshippers to become familiar with biblical passages and religious norms. Music is understood by persons of all backgrounds, whether natives, peasants, urban workers, housewives or young students. The musical portion of worship services is known as la alabanza, or praise. La alabanza marks different parts of the ritual, such as the entrance of a speaker or the moment of contact with the Holy Spirit. Evangelical music in Mexico is highly syncretic. African American gospel songs and spirituals are often translated into Spanish. Musical groups also use rhythms such as the bolero, norteño and salsa, while the mariachi evangélico is probably the most popular form of Christian music in Mexico. Evangelical rock, Christian rap and Christian hip hop are popular among young people, but some conservative pastors mistrust the use of this music because they feel that it is too worldly. Meanwhile, many singers, musicians and choreographers are seeing the Evangelical and Pentecostal movements as a way to convert and change their life. Famous cases include José José’s children, Marcos Witt, Ivette, Yuri and Fermin IV. Even Christian Castro has converted and is attending River Church in Anaheim, California, led by Argentinian pastors Dante and Liliana Gebel.

Christianity and Scandals

Christianity and especially Christian pastors have been involved in scandals. The most famous cases are those involving the Catholic Church,

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186  Yves Bernardo Roger Solis Nicot and Hugo Garibay Rodriguez but they are not the only ones. The scandals include involvement with narco-traffickers and money laundering, lack of transparency in the use of financial resources and the use of tithing, and sexual misconduct and the sexual abuse of children. One of the most famous cases concerns the death of Cardinal Juan Jesús Posadas Ocampo, who was shot in Guadalajara airport in 1993. A government inquiry concluded he was caught in a shoot-out between rival cocaine cartels and was mistakenly identified as a drug lord. According to a cable of the Defense Intelligence Agency, the Cardinal was mistaken for Joaquín Guzmán Loera, El Chapo Guzmán. Another scandal involved the founder of the Legionaries of Christ and the lay movement Regnum Christi, Marcial Maciel Degollado, nephew of the Cristero General Jesús Degollado Guízar and St Rafael Guízar y Valencia. Marcial Maciel underwent three investigations at the Vatican, the first one during the papacy of John XXIII, the second during the papacy of Paul VI and the third during the papacy of John Paul II. Each time Maciel was found innocent, and John Paul II was a great protector of the Mexican priest. However, in 2006 Pope Benedict XVI found Maciel guilty, and he was condemned to a life of penitence and prayers. Maciel had abused young seminarians and had a family and a daughter in Spain. In Mexico, Maciel was supported by Norberto Rivera, Archbishop of Mexico City. This and many other sexual scandals and his taste for a life of spending and opulence explained why Pope Francis accepted the resignation of Rivera and put Carlos Aguiar Retes in charge of the very important archdiocese. In 2019, the Iglesia Luz del Mundo was also struck by scandal when Naasón Joaquín García, leader and apostle of the church, was arrested on suspicion of human trafficking, production of child pornography, forcible rape of a minor and other felonies. Another cause of scandals involving the faithful is related to the lack of transparency in financial management, particularly the imposition of the tithe in churches influenced by prosperity theology. Arrangements for collection of the tithe remain obscure, and it is made in cash. Most of the pastors do not have a transparent disclosure of their expenditure. Some church leaders are advocating more pro­ fessional methods of financial accountability.

Progressive Theological and Pastoral Currents

Seven pastors, known as the Grupo de Obispos Amigos (Group of Bishop Friends), supported liberationist pastoral practice in their dioceses with particular resolve: Sergio Méndez Arceo (Cuernavaca), Samuel Ruiz (San Cristóbal de las Casas), Arturo Lona (Tehuantepec), Bartolomé Carrasco (Oaxaca), José Llaguno (Tarahumara), Sergio Obeso (Xalapa) and Serafín García (Ciudad Guzmán). Their dioceses enjoyed a special freedom to

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develop social projects, base ecclesial communities and experiences of inculturated Indigenous pastoral life. At the same time, the seminary of the dioceses of Tula and Hidalgo, and the Regional Seminary of the Southeast (Seresure) of Tehuacán, Puebla, undertook a shift from traditional theology towards the liberationist proposal. The journal Servir from the Xalapa Seminary was an important vehicle for disseminating the work of this Latin American school of thought. Mexican religious orders and congregational communities followed the decisions of the Latin American Confederation of Religious (CLAR) regarding the Second Vatican Council documents and Paul VI’s request for a return to the sources and adaption to new historical challenges. Mexican Jesuits were called by their Superior General to renew and strengthen a pastoral commitment to justice. Inspired by the new guidelines and the Medellín documents, the Mexican Jesuits used much of their powerful institutional machinery to give concrete shape to their preferential option for the poor. One of its most eloquent signs was the closure of the Instituto Patria, the Jesuit college in the country’s capital, which had trained the children of the local elite for many generations. Considering that their educational work had done nothing more than to perpetuate the inequalities that afflicted the country, the Jesuits got rid of the school and used its resources to launch a wide variety of social integration and development projects in grassroots areas. Their magazine Christus became an important means of communication for Mexican liberationist theology and their Centre for Theological Reflection was highly influential. Some of its members collaborated in the preparation of Mysterium Liberationis, the monumental collective work that in the 1990s attempted to systematise Latin American theological thinking. In the years that followed, many male and female religious orders followed suit and sent increasing numbers of their members to live in highly marginalised contexts. This option for the poor taken by many religious orders in Mexico was strengthened in 1979 when the Conference of Major Superiors of Religious of Mexico created the Religious Communities Inserted in Popular Mediums (CRIMPO), a system to accompany and train religious communities for their mission. The Dominican friars of the Cultural University Centre (CUC) of Mexico City, for their part, became an important centre of liberationist theological reflection and defence of human rights. They created the Fray Francisco Vitoria Centre for Human Rights. The First Latin American Congress of Theology was held in 1974 at the CUC. The Franciscans also saw a flourishing of liberationist thought under the guidance of teachers and provincials such as Fray Jorge Domínguez Rojo. The Theological Institute of Higher Studies (ITES) of the Conference of Religious Institutes

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188  Yves Bernardo Roger Solis Nicot and Hugo Garibay Rodriguez of Mexico (CIRM) and the Higher Institute of Ecclesiastical Studies (ISEE), together with the theological training centres of different orders, were also spaces where liberation theology was cultivated and spread throughout the field of consecrated life. The third area of propagation and action of liberationist thought in Mexico was different centres and organisations constituted by the collaboration of lay people, priests and religious. These centres initially received the recognition of the Catholic hierarchy and were developed as ecclesial organisations. They include the National Centre for Social Communication (Cencos), led by layman José Álvarez-Icaza. The Mexican Social Secretariat was renewed but stayed more focused on social Catholicism and was directed by two priests who adopted liberation theology, Pedro and Manuel Velázquez. The National Centre for Aid to Indigenous Missions (CENAMI) was animated by two young priests, Clodomiro Siller and Eleazar López. Another significant contributor was the Antonio de Montesinos Centre for Social and Cultural Studies (CAM). On the other hand, the national development of the base ecclesial communities helped the formation of thousands of lay people in the principles of liberationist thought. On the ecumenical plane, liberation theology has been cultivated in such interfaith organisations as the Theological Community of Mexico and the Centre for Ecumenical Studies. Of great significance was the work of Enrique Dussel, the lay founder of the Commission for the Study of the History of Churches in Latin America and the Caribbean (CEHILA), a great Argentinian thinker who developed much of his work in Mexico. The celebration in Puebla of the third conference of the Latin American Episcopal Council in 1979 gave an important boost to liberationist thought in Mexico. A large number of different theologians of this trend, who had participated as advisers in the Medellín conference, were vetoed for the new meeting by the new authorities in CELAM. Since 1973 this important and leading church institution had completely changed its direction under a highly conservative Latin American episcopacy. Due to this veto, in 1979 many liberation theologians went to Mexico invited by progressive bishops to meet also in Puebla, to closely follow the development of the event and conduct improvised parallel conversations. From the mid-1980s, under Jean Paul II’s pontificate, Vatican policy began to block the path to liberation theology through instructions from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, such as Libertatis nuntius of 1984 and Libertatis conscientia of 1986, in addition to the trials of theologians like Leonardo Boff and Jon Sobrino. In Mexico, this policy was orchestrated by the apostolic delegate Girolamo Prigione and by a group of influential local bishops. The seminaries and the centres of studies of religion with a liberationist tendency were closed, disciplined

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or reoriented. The bishops related to this theology, after their retirement, were systematically replaced by successors with a neo-conservative profile. A similar operation occurred in the direction of religious orders and in the coordination of inter-congregational bodies. Religious orders that had moved to poor neighbourhoods and rural areas to support the mission of church, as requested by previous bishops, were removed from those neighbourhoods and required to return to their monasteries and convents by the incoming conservative bishops. Latin America-based lay organisations lost ecclesiastical recognition and had to continue on their path as civil society organisations. The base ecclesial community, as a way of organisation, lost independence and had to submit more and more to the guidelines of the parishes. Many of the priests, religious and laity who made liberation theology their pastoral option embarked on a phase of isolation within their diocesan boundaries or from within their congregations. That is why, to give continuity to their work, they chose to migrate to social advocacy work in (often faith-based) non-governmental organisations. Specifically, many liberationist agents ventured into the field of defending human rights, which explains the emergence of hundreds of associations of this nature throughout the country. Also, the remnants of liberation theology can be found in various movements to accompany victims of the state in different areas. Recently, the work of priests, religious and laity trained in liberation theology has become especially visible in the emergence of a network of migrant care homes in different strategic and highly conflictive points in the country, as discussed above. On the other hand, in 2017 the so-called Ibero-American Theology Group was set up. Its members are veterans or heirs of liberation theology who, in line with the teaching of Pope Francis, intend to articulate a new Latin American theology committed to the current victims of exclusion and new forms of poverty. Mexicans Carlos Mendoza-Álvarez and José de Jesús Legorreta Zepeda, as well as Spaniard José Sols Lucia (all three members of the Department of Religious Sciences of the Jesuit Universidad Iberoamericana of Mexico City), are members of the Group. As a result of their first meeting in 2017 at Boston College of the American Jesuits, the Group’s ideas crystallised in the so-called ‘Boston Declaration’. Members of the Group met in 2018 in Bogotá, Colombia, and in 2019 in Puebla, Mexico, and in Caracas, Venezuela. Their next meeting was due to be held in Mexico City in November 2020 but was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, another result of the crisis in liberation theology, both because of the opposition it received from Rome and because of its internal development of self-criticism (specifically, because of the philosophical

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190  Yves Bernardo Roger Solis Nicot and Hugo Garibay Rodriguez and sociological criticism of the category of ‘poor’), has been the transformation into so-called contextual theologies. These proposals assume that theological work can be done only from specific realities, historically and geographically situated. Therefore, they renounce the elaboration of discourses of universal scope and try to systematise and deepen the ex­ perience of God within certain groups marked by violence, oppression and discrimination, which must constantly be overcome through struggles and resistance. In this context, some of the contextual theologies have had particular resonance within Mexico. Indian theology is perhaps the one with the longest tradition and has in the National Centre for the Support of Indigenous Missions its main and oldest institutional base. Use of the adjective ‘Indian’ is made with full awareness of the colonialist and derogatory meaning that it carries, as a form of subversion and reinvention of its original meaning. Its history in Mexico owes much to Samuel Ruiz (1924– 2011), Bishop of San Cristóbal de las Casas. Inspired by the mandate of the Second Vatican Council to find the ‘seeds of the Word’ in the cultures of different peoples, and alerted by the 1968 Medellín conference to the risks of a colonising evangelisation, Bishop Ruiz gave a 180-degree turn to his pastoral plan and, like few Catholic leaders in the entire continent, undertook an ambitious project among the different Mayan ethnic groups of his diocese, whose ultimate goal was the emergence of an authentic Mayan Christianity, adapting the ecclesial organisation to Indigenous forms of sociality. The objective, then, was not to impose the gospel with Western categories but to translate it into Mayan religious thought. With the support of the Jesuits of the Bachajón mission, the Dominicans of the Ocosingo mission and religious men and women of different orders, Samuel Ruiz launched one of the most ambitious liberation ministries on the continent, which led to the formation of thousands of catechists and the ordination of hundreds of married Mayan Indians as permanent deacons. An attempt was made to take the next step and to ordain married priests, but the Vatican flatly opposed this and even suspended the ordination of more deacons, a situation similar to the one expressed at the conclusion of the Amazonian Synod held in 2019 in Brazil. At the national level, the Conference of the Mexican Episcopate began in 1961 and was formally registered the following year. The Centre depended first on the apostolic delegation and then on the Episcopal Commission for Indigenous People (CEPI). Between 1964 and 1966, Jesús Sahagún, Bishop of Tula, gave CENAMI a great boost, with a welfarebased and uncultivated approach. In other words, catechising was sought, but the evangelical message was not translated into the cultural co­ ordinates of Indigenous communities, nor was the Indigenous experience

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of God sought in them. This was started only when in 1969 Bishop Samuel Ruiz joined CEPI and definitively changed the orientation of CENAMI. A milestone of this work was the Indigenous Congress held in 1974 in San Cristóbal de las Casas. CEPI and CENAMI’s new approach was continued and deepened in 1976 by Bishop Arturo Lona of Tehuantepec and in 1980 by Bartolomé Carrasco, Bishop of Oaxaca. José Alberto Llaguno, Bishop of Tarahumara, was also an important companion and promoter of this process. Thus, four members of the aforementioned Group of Bishop Friends (Ruiz, Lona, Carrasco and Llaguno) were the pillars that, from the episcopate, made possible the development of the theology and the pastoral ministry of Mexico, until it became one of the most advanced in the entire continent. Within CENAMI, three of its main animators have also stood out as original producers of Indian theology: Clodomiro Siller, Eleazar López and Juan Manuel García Quintanar. In particular, Eleazar López, a priest and an Indigenous Zapotec, has emerged as one of the most important and influential authors of Indian theology on a continental level. On the other hand, it also highlights the work of the Jesuits of the Bachajón mission, who, among other important translation works, published in 2006 the bilingual Tzeltal Bachajón–Spanish Bible. Likewise, the inculturation work and the publications of the priest Francisco Martínez Gracián from the Diocese of Zamora, Michoacán, among the towns of the Meseta Purhépecha, should be highlighted. The Mexican population of Oaxtepec, Morelos, hosted the 1986 Inter­ continental Conference of Women Theologians of the Third World, a milestone for feminist theological thought in the region. During the following years, despite the adverse climate generated by Vatican policies, several Mexican feminist theologians managed to publish their work and carry the reflection forwards. These include Georgina Zubiría Maqueo, Maricarmen Bracamontes and Marilú Rojas. The year 2004 represented a turning point for Mexican feminist theology thanks to the foundation of the Chair of Feminist Theology at the Iberoamerican University in Mexico City. This academic space, a pioneer of its kind in the region, has served to articulate the work of the different theologians who cultivate feminism in Mexico, as well as to train new generations of lay and religious in this current of critical thought. Likewise, in 2013 the Mexican Association of Feminist Theological Reflection was founded. Feminist theological reflection and gender studies have also given rise to another critical current, known as queer theology, which seeks to discursively articulate the specific experience of God of people who claim alternative sexual identities to the hegemonic ones of the male/female binary model. These are experiences marginalised by society, highly

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192  Yves Bernardo Roger Solis Nicot and Hugo Garibay Rodriguez vulnerable and violated, which had not been adequately addressed either in the category of ‘poor’ in liberation theology or in the feminist criticism of Christian theology. The use of the Spanish adjective cuir instead of the English ‘queer’ expresses the need to place theological reflection in the specific context of the members of the LGBT+ community in Latin American countries, where the fight for the respect of the rights of this group has been faced with fierce resistance from various traditionalist social sectors, as well as a context of extreme poverty and stigmatisation. In Mexico, this theology has been cultivated mainly by Carlos MendozaÁlvarez, Marilú Rojas Salazar and Ángel Francisco Méndez Montoya. In the pastoral field, it is worth highlighting the work of the already mentioned La 72 shelter or migrant house in Tenosique, Tabasco. Animated in its origins by the Franciscan friar Tomás González Castillo and by the Franciscan Province of San Felipe de Jesús, the house has distinguished itself internationally as a model of best practice in terms of care for the migrant population in general and LGBT+ migrants in particular. Thanks to this, it has become a very important benchmark for members of the LGBT+ community who flee from gender violence in Central America. Finally, as an evolution of liberation theology, a trend known as de­ colonial theology has flourished in recent years. In Mexico, decolonial criticism with a theological background has been cultivated mainly, but not exclusively, in different think-tanks inherited from both the Iván Illich school of thought at the Centro inter-cultural de Documentación (CIDOC) de Cuernavaca and the San Cristóbal de las Casas school. Such is the case of the Jesuit mission of Bachajón and the Universidad de la Tierra (Unitierra) of Chiapas and Oaxaca. The publication in 2020 of Pope Francis’s encyclical Fratelli Tutti represents a boost to liberation theology in Mexico. In February 2021, Pope Francis accepted the resignation for reasons of age of the Dominican Raúl Vera, Bishop of Saltillo and the last representative of the brilliant group of progressive bishops who promoted Latin American pastoral theology in Mexico. Following his retirement and the death in October 2020 of Arturo Lona, Bishop of Tehuantepec, the Mexican episcopate seems to lack figures who can give continuity to the popular church project, although some bishops, trained in the line of the conferences of the Latin American Episcopal Council at Santo Domingo and Aparecida, are not alien to the concerns of social Catholicism and make an effort to align their pastoral programmes with the guidelines set by Pope Francis.

The COVID-19 Pandemic

The pandemic arrived in March 2020 in Mexico, so we cannot yet have a clear view regarding its impact. However, some trends can be detected.

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Mexico is well known for the faith in and love of La Guadalupana. The Virgin of Guadaloupe is a very strong symbol of Mexicanity for practising Catholics but also for non-Catholics and even non-religious Mexicans. It is both the symbol of the beloved mother of Jesus who chose to appear before an Indigenous Mexican and the symbol of independent Mexico, as opposed to the Virgin of the Sorrow, an object of devotion of the Spaniard. The morenita, as Mexicans call her fondly, is one of the major figures of Catholicism. The biggest pilgrimage on the continent is enacted by those who converge on the Tepeyac, the mountain where the old and new basilicas form part of the national shrine. COVID-19 has strengthened love and devotion to Our Lady of Guadeloupe but at the same time caused the Catholic Church to close the basilica during the traditional festivities in December 2020. Such an event is exceedingly rare in Mexican history, the only precedent being in 1919 during the Spanish influenza pandemic. Known as a religious symbol, the figure of La Guadalupana is clearly a mark of popular piety, but the official hierarchy have known how to take advantage of her popularity. Much commercial activity includes the figure of the Mexican version of the Mother of Jesus, from the Virgencita plis (of the Mexican company Distroller creating dolls and backpacks for young children) to the T-shirts and small replicas of the Virgin. Such gifts can be bought in the most exclusive store in Mexico and in the poorest tianguis (street market). The figure of Our Lady of Guadeloupe is part of the cultural landscape in all Mexico. After St Peter’s in Rome, the most visited chapel in the world is that of the Guadalupana. During the pandemic, Our Lady of Guadaloupe has become the hope of the Mexican people. Every Sunday, the archbishop takes noon Mass at the basilica and shares it through traditional media (television and radio) but also through Facebook Watch and Facebook Live. The Catholic Church has demonstrated that it is able to use social networks as well as traditional media in order to give hope during the emergency. Even if some priests have their own streaming strategies, like the Protestant pastors, most of the energy has come from the bishops and the Pope himself. It is a two-level strategy that has put the Catholic Church at the vanguard of spirituality both through traditional mass media and in social networks. It could be that the pandemic is allowing the Catholic Church to be more present than before among the faithful, who have seen their priests come closer to them, organising special hotlines for people who are feeling bad and also offering all the money of the collection to social organisations such as Caritas. It is still too soon to evaluate clearly the impact of the crisis on the religious field within Mexico, but the Catholic Church seems to have reduced the gap between Protestant churches and itself, at least in the digital world. It remains to be seen whether the strength

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194  Yves Bernardo Roger Solis Nicot and Hugo Garibay Rodriguez it has demonstrated during the crisis will continue in the post-pandemic situation. The 2030 census will be revealing.

Bibliography

Carpio, Amilcar and Yves Bernardo Roger Solis Nicot, Migración y religión (Mexico City: Universidad Iberoamericana, 2019). De la Torre, Renée and Cristina Gutiérrez Zúniga (eds), Atlas de la diversidad religiosa en México (Mexico City: CIESAS: Secretaría de Gobernación, Subsecretaría de Población, Migración y Asuntos Religiosos; Zapopan, Jalisco: El Colegio de Jalisco; Tijuana, Baja California: El Colegio de la Frontera Norte; Zamora, Michoacán: El Colegio de Michoacán; Chetuman, Quintana Roo: Universidad de Quintana Roo, 2007). Hernández, Alberto Hernández, Cristina Gutiérrez Zúniga and Renée de la Torre, Religious Beliefs and Practices in Mexico National Survey (Mexico City: Red de Investigadores del Fenómeno Religioso en México [RIFREM], 2017). Kan, Elio Masferrer, Pluralidad religiosa en México. Cifras y proyecciones (Mexico City: Libros de la Araucaria, 2011). Sánchez Guajardo, Débora Roberta, Gerardo Cruz González, Gineth Álvarez Satizabal, Maria Luis Aspe Armella, Marisol López Meneendez and Valentina Torres Septién, ‘Creer en México’: encuesta nacional de cultura y práctica religiosa, 2013 (Mexico City: Fundación Konrad Adenauer en México, Instituto Mexicano de Doctrina Social Cristiana, 2015).

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Cuba Petra Kuivala

Christianity is the historically predominant religious tradition in Cuba, although Cubans have generally seen lower affiliation and activity in religious practices compared with the rest of Latin America. In contemporary Cuba, religion exists in a dialectical, multidimensional relationship with the political, social and lived realities of the Cuban revolution. Since 1959 and the rise of Fidel Castro to power, the revolution has formed the immediate political, social and cultural context within which both institutional religious organisations and religious Cubans have navigated their identities and lives. Alongside Christianity, small Islamic, Jewish and Chinese religious communities subsist on the island. Following the establishment of the socialist state and communism as the ideological foundation of the revolution in the early 1960s, Christianity came into conflict with the revolutionary regime. Religious communities experienced varying levels of confrontation and tension with the state. Experiences of discrimination based on religious beliefs and public partici­ pation in religious practices prevailed, particularly in the early stages of the revolution. The state limited the public life of religious communities, controlled religious expression and excluded religious institutions from national media and education. Known practitioners of Christian faith experienced discrimination in their educational and professional trajectories. As a result of state-sanctioned atheism and social polarisation, large numbers of contemporary Cubans have experienced alienation from religious traditions, either by choice or by circumstance. Until 1991, Cuba was a constitutionally atheist state with an officially sanctioned materialistic worldview in which religion played a role of marginalised otherness, excluded from the all-encompassing framework of the revolution, ideal citizenry and public participation. Following the economic hardship on the island after the collapse of the Soviet Union and the consequent ideological and existential crisis, the emerging societal and charitable dimensions of institutional Christianity paved the way for a gradual increase in the public visibility and influence of religion in Cuban society. In contemporary Cuba, the revolution is understood as an ongoing, dynamic process that continues to provide the frameworks for sociopolitical, economic and cultural life. A special department in the Central

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196  Petra Kuivala Committee of the Cuban Communist Party called the Oficina de Atención a Asuntos Religiosos (Office of Religious Affairs) manages and oversees the organisational activities of religious institutions in society. Representatives of its administration are present in each province, and they work on local matters of state–religion affairs. The Office is in charge of, for instance, granting permits for establishing premises for religious activities and travel permits to and from Cuba for religious purposes. In 2019, the Catholic Church inaugurated the first new church buildings constructed since 1959. Contemporary Christian communities bear witness to the complex experiences of living in socialist Cuba as believers, with a significant representation by the first generations of the revolutionary period who continue to actively participate in both religious and social life on the island. The role of women is important both for sustaining religiosity and religious practices in the domestic sphere and for assuming active agency in the daily life of religious communities. In the lived experience of the nation, religious identification continues to contribute to the myriad of personal and collective narratives of everyday life in the socialist society. In the twenty-first century, Christian communities as a whole strive to establish more structures and channels for religious agency in Cuban society. A significant factor in the Cuban religious landscape is the exodus of Cubans from the island, both historically and at present. The patterns of migration continue to shape the composition of religious communities and their activities, pastoral work and theological characteristics. In social discourse, religious institutions attempt to assume stronger and more visible roles as representatives of civil society and non-governmental agents in Cuba. Alongside the evolving relationship between religious groups and the state, Christian communities engage in self-determination and self-reflection on the role of religion in contemporary Cuba. Christianity in Cuba, 1970 and 2020 Tradition Christians  Anglicans  Independents  Orthodox  Protestants  Catholics Evangelicals Pentecostals/Charismatics Total population

1970 Population 4,026,000 12,000 65,600 2,000 89,100 3,819,000 55,400 55,800 8,715,000

%

2020 Population

%

46.2% 0.1% 0.8% 0.0% 1.0% 43.8% 0.6% 0.6% 100.0%

7,088,000 10,000 410,000 45,000 293,000 6,150,000 185,000 960,000 11,495,000

61.7% 0.1% 3.6% 0.4% 2.6% 53.5% 1.6% 8.4% 100.0%

Average annual growth rate (%), 1970–2020 1.1% –0.4% 3.7% 6.4% 2.4% 1.0% 2.4% 5.9% 0.6%

Source: Todd M. Johnson and Gina A. Zurlo (eds), World Christian Database (Leiden/Boston: Brill), accessed January 2021.

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Catholicism in Cuba

Catholicism is the majority Christian tradition of Cuba. The character of Cuban Catholicism is culturally prevalent through its link to the historical development of national identity and popular expression during the colonial period of Cuba’s history. The Catholic Church in Cuba consists of 11 dioceses, three of which hold the title of archdiocese. The Archbishop of Havana, Juan García Rodriguez, was appointed Cardinal in 2019 and became a member of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America in 2020. On the island, two seminaries assume the responsibility of training new priests as the church continues to struggle with a lack of clergy, especially in rural areas. In eastern Cuba, the diocesan seminary prepares the area’s aspirants for studies in the national seminary, Seminario San Carlos y San Ambrosio, located near the capital city, Havana. The contemporary theology of the Cuban church reflects both the geographical and cultural position of Cuba as a country as well as the local circumstances on the island. By its character and self-identification, the Cuban church has placed itself between European and Latin American theology within modern Catholicism, experiencing both inclusion in and isolation from the global Catholic community. Although the church has consciously reoriented itself away from a historically European, colonial church towards a distinctively Cuban church that interacts with Latin American theology, it has not employed liberation theology as an institutionally appraised theological framework. The key events in the history of the Cuban Catholic Church for the twenty-first century reflect the long-evolving process of theological selfdefinition and reorientation in the distinctively Cuban context. The REC (Reflexión Eclesial Cubana, or Cuban Ecclesial Reflection) and ENEC (Encuentro Nacional Eclesial Cubano, or Cuban National Ecclesial Meeting) processes in the first half of the 1980s set the continuing theological and pastoral frameworks for the Cuban church in alignment with the Second Vatican Council and contributed to the emergence of the church in Cuban society with renewed social consciousness and commitment. The processes enabled the church to establish a dialogue with the government and to present itself as a Cuban church for the Cuban people. The work of implementing the Council’s ecclesiological, liturgical, pastoral and socioethical principles continues in the present. The exclusion of religion from the public, societal and civic spheres of the socialist society has resulted in a mismatched development of Catholic social doctrine, pastoral work and liturgical life. While liturgical renewal has been implemented swiftly, revising the teaching on contemporary social conditions and ethics has taken considerably longer. Since the

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198  Petra Kuivala 1990s, the Catholic Church has increasingly engaged in discourses on the social and economic conditions on the island, including criticism of the economic embargo on Cuba by the USA, and the effects of migration from the island on the nation and its socio-cultural prospects. Commitment to the ­experience-based theological method of ‘See, Judge, Act’, which was affirmed as the church’s theological framework in the early 1980s, continues to place lived reality at the centre of the church’s theological and pastoral focus. An ongoing theological emphasis of the Cuban church is the articulation of missionary self-understanding. In daily activities at the diocesan and local levels, this orientation materialises in the expansion of evangelis­ation into rural areas of the island. A particularly vital locus of religious activity is the mission houses, casas de misión: private homes of laypeople in which all age groups of the local communities gather for worship and formation. Since rural areas, in particular, suffer from a lack of priests, laypeople and members of religious orders assume significant responsibility for liturgical and pastoral activities as well. They also actively organise educational campaigns from the provincial centres to the rural countryside, providing evangelisation and teaching in areas that do not have a consistent presence of ordained religious personnel. Women in religious orders and laity are key actors in local communities in both rural and urban settings. Large numbers of formerly practising Catholics, most of them working-age adults, left the church either through the waves of emigration or by integration in the revolutionary framework of life. The fluctuation, together with state-enforced atheism, has resulted in the decline of religious agency, the consequences of which are still felt as a cross-­ generational alienation from institutional religious participation. From the perspective of the church, the generational gaps among Cuban Catholics have emphasised the urgency of the religious formation of minors and recapturing the attention of adults. Migration is a continuing reality in Cuban Catholicism, contributing to the creation of the Cuban diaspora with its transnational religious presence, most affluent in the USA, where religion, national identity and politics have become intertwined in the Cuban-American identity. In Cuba, Catholicism represents a rare transnational presence from within. As a sign of the global nature of Catholicism, Cuba has received visits from three successive Popes: John Paul II in 1998, Benedict XVI in 2012 and Francis in 2015, each marking distinctive chapters in Cuban church–state relations as well. The papal interventions testify to the role the Holy See has assumed in negotiating Cuban church–state relations from a diplomatic perspective, reinforced by the uninterrupted diplomatic relations between Cuba and the Holy See. During the papacy of Francis,

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the role of the Holy See in Cuba has appeared more openly geopolitical: the Catholic Church intervened in, for instance, the re­establishment of diplomatic relations between Cuba and the USA in 2014. Havana’s former archbishop, Cardinal Jaime Ortega (1936–2019), actively participated in the process as an intermediary between Cuba, the USA and the Vatican. During the papacy of Pope Francis, the Cuban church has experienced increasing public visibility and influence in civil society. The growing number of mobile phones and internet connections on the island also contributes to the public participation of the Catholic Church: numerous national offices, dioceses, publications and religious actors employ social media in their communication strategies. The increasing availability of the internet also enables religious groups to foster contacts and communication with the global Christian community in new, more coherent ways and to participate in online discourses on religion in contemporary Cuban society. A significant advance in the online presence of the church was witnessed during the COVID-19 pandemic in the spring of 2020. Catholicism and the institutional church remain potent agents in Cuban civil society, often providing services otherwise unavailable on the island, such as training for entrepreneurship and professional workshops. Recurring topics of advocacy with the Cuban government also include the conditions and the release of political prisoners, the economy, and inequality in Cuban society. Alongside national and diocesan structures for charity, Caritas Cuba assumes significant responsibilities in charit­able work by representing one of the few international organisations permanently present on the island. Among the prospects and challenges on which the Catholic Church continues to negotiate with the Cuban state are systematic access to national mass media and an established role of public religious education. In the spring of 2020, the church was allowed by the government to broadcast worship services and pastoral messages on television and radio due to the COVID-19 pandemic, after a campaign by the church to promote the visibility of religion in Cuban state media.

Other Christian Churches and Communities

The established minority churches on the island include Adventist, Baptist, Methodist, Lutheran and Presbyterian communities. Pentecostalism is represented by the Assemblies of God, while the Greek Orthodox Church consists of a small community located mainly in Havana. The Metropolitan Community Church advocates for the rights of the LGBTQ+ community on the island. Generally, information on the volume and structure of smaller religious groups remains within the communities. The historical roots of Protestant churches on the island are located mainly in the USA and the period of continuous exchange between

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200  Petra Kuivala Cuba and the USA in economic, cultural and social relations in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. While the revolution dissolved much of the direct North American presence in ecclesial life, Protestant churches, too, experienced a revival in the early 1990s as a consequence of the political and economic changes and the newly assumed role of Christian churches as charitable agents in society. More recently, the brief thaw in political and diplomatic relations between Cuba and the USA in 2014 established Cuba as a potential missionary field from the perspective of several Protestant churches in the USA. On the island the Consejo de Iglesias (the Council of Churches) is an umbrella organisation for Protestant churches, providing space for interecclesial encounters and dialogue. The member churches of the Council include, among others, the Methodist, Lutheran, and Baptist churches as well as several Evangelical and Pentecostal churches. In the town of Matanzas, Seminario Evangélico de Teología operates as an ecumenical pastoral training centre for more than a dozen Protestant denominations, providing education and training for both pastors and lay leaders. The primary international affiliations of the seminary are with Protestant organisations in Latin America and the USA. It is also affiliated with the World Council of Churches. The first Lutheran church in Cuba joined the Lutheran World Federation in 2019. In many of the Protestant churches, women assume considerable responsibility and leadership in both ordained ministry and the laity. Among the globally recognised, influential Christian leaders of Cuban Protestantism is Ofelia Ortega, the first Presbyterian woman ordained in Cuba. In the town of Cardenas, near Matanzas, the Centro Cristiano de Reflexión y Diálogo – Cuba brings together Protestant churches for education, dialogue and social agency. Through the Centre, churches actively participate in social work through food charity, healthcare and agriculture, for instance, and maintain an established institutional role in Cuban civil society. This includes working relations with the Cuban state as well as a long-standing network of international collaboration, mainly with European diplomatic and ecclesial actors. The Protestant churches participate actively in socio-political discourse. For instance, in 2018–19, several Protestant churches as well as the Catholic Church assumed authority to comment on and to influence the process of drafting the new Constitution in Cuba.

Spirituality, Culture and Society

A central figure of Cuban spirituality is La Virgen de la Caridad del Cobre, Cuba’s Catholic patron saint, who embodies a strong historical connection to the national identity of Cubans. In the village of El Cobre, the effigy of

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Cuba  201

the Virgin is housed in the basilica and serves as a site of pilgrimage, representing a nationally recognised site of heritage and identity for Cubans regardless of denominational and political affiliations. Devotion to the Virgin connects the historical roots of colonial Catholicism, religiosity and spirituality as dimensions of la Cubanidad (Cubanness) to the dynamics of race, class and gender. Public devotion to La Virgen, manifested throughout the island on 8 September in particular, is also connected to patriotism and national identity. Through the role ascribed to the Virgin as a unifying maternal figure, faith and culture remain intertwined in the lived reality of Cubans, moving in between religious traditions and institutional religious doctrine as an emblem of sustained religiosity in the post-socialist state. A similar phenomenon of sustained yet fluid spirituality can be seen in the expressions and practices of religiosidad popular, grassroots-level Catholic devotional piety in Cuba. Among the powerful local expressions of popular devotion is the cult of San Lazaro, which gathers thousands of Cubans each month to the national shrine on the outskirts of Havana. Similarly, the annual feast day of La Virgen de Regla draws a large crowd to display religiosity in the streets. These expressions are also connected to the most rapidly growing religious tradition of the twenty-first century in Cuba: Santería, as it is generally called on the island, an Afro-Caribbean religious tradition that originates from the African Yoruba religion. In Cuba, the Yoruba/Santería tradition intersects with Catholicism in both its belief system and its practices. The merging daily expressions of Catholicism and Santería are visible on the streets of Cuban towns, in public spaces such as parks and graveyards, and in private homes. Central for Santería’s practitioners is the following and worshipping of orishas, divine beings that take care of the world. Orishas are associated with Catholic saints, which contributes to the merging of the two devotional traditions. The practice of Santería in Cuba often also entails an exchange from one tradition to another, such as baptising children and attending Catholic Mass while practising Santería in more domestic spheres of individual life. As the intersecting spaces of Santería and Christian religious traditions are both the homes and streets, lived religiosity fluidly crosses the boundaries of more institutional forms of religious identification. For Christian communities on the island, the marginalisation of religion by the socialist society has contributed to a strong focus on worship, devotional spirituality and an intra-ecclesial emphasis of pastoral work. The experience has resulted in, on the one hand, the privatisation of religion and spirituality and, on the other, the high significance of the religious community, la comunidad, as the locus of religious practice and expression. The focus on a strongly communitarian dimension of faith can be seen

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202  Petra Kuivala as a shared feature of Christianity in Cuba, characteristic of all religious communities. In pastoral and liturgical life, Christian communities in Cuba often cultivate their practices with scarce human and material resources. Through the waves of emigration, Cuban spirituality has been marked by a sense of the dualistic presence of religion aquí y allá (here and there): religious Cubans on the island and in the diaspora, and a transnational sense of belonging and exchange through religious identification. For the future, a collective aspiration of Christian communities in Cuba is to gain a stronger public foothold, with increasing economic resources, and to engage in social discourse on the island. At the same time, another future task is to develop and deepen ecumenical dialogue and cooperation among the Christian communities on the island.

Bibliography

Crahan, Margaret, Civil Society and Religion in Cuba – A Contemporary Cuba Reader. Reinventing the Revolution (Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield, 2008). Hearn, Adrian, Cuba: Religion, Social Capital, and Development (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2008). Kirk, John M., Between God and the Party: Religion and Politics in Revolutionary Cuba (Tampa, FL: University of South Florida Press, 1989). Kuivala, Petra, ‘Never a Church of Silence: The Catholic Church in Revolutionary Cuba, 1959–1986’, PhD thesis, University of Helsinki, 2019. Schmidt, Jalane D., Cachita’s Streets: The Virgin of Charity, Race, and Revolution in Cuba (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2015).

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Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Jamaica, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Guyana, Anguilla, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Montserrat, Turks and Caicos Islands, Trinidad and Tobago Roderick R. Hewitt

This essay surveys contemporary challenges facing Christian communities across the English-speaking Caribbean. The area described as the Caribbean region consists of the lands within the Caribbean Sea – all of the islands and the surrounding coasts. It stretches from the south-east of the Gulf of Mexico and the southern coast of the USA to the eastern coast of Central America and the northern coast of South America. The Anglophone Caribbean includes the following independent states: Antigua and Barbuda, the Bahamas, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, Jamaica, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grena­ dines, and Trinidad and Tobago. Guyana and Belize are referred to as Mainland Caribbean. There are five British overseas Caribbean territories, namely Anguilla, the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, Montserrat, and the Turks and Caicos Islands.

Colonial Legacy

From the late fifteenth century, European imperial powers competed for ownership of the Caribbean lands. Beginning with the Spanish, constant competitive conquest continued with English, French and Dutch explorers, who colonised the different lands. The original name given by European colonisers to the area was West Indies, and to the people West Indians, based upon a mistaken understanding that they had found a westerly route to India. The terms therefore belong to a colonial and imperial concept of classifying and prescribing colonised Indigenous peoples and those of African and Asian ancestry with an identity rooted in an inherent

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204  Roderick R. Hewitt colonial contradiction. A mass movement of peoples into the Caribbean resulted in a mosaic of ethnic diversity with competing cultural traditions, which also became a distinctive feature of Caribbean Christianity. As a result of military, political and economic conquest, many of the Indigenous peoples experienced genocide at the hands of the Europeans, whose worldview classified them as not being ‘fully human’. Their vulnerability to European diseases and enslavement fast-tracked their death. The European colonisation project received the strategic support of mission­ ary Christianity within the Caribbean. Roman Catholic and Protestant missions, with their different religio-cultural traditions, were transported and transplanted within the Caribbean. The early missionary movements included the Church of England (Anglican), Church of Scotland (Presbyterian) and others labelled as Nonconformist, such as Baptists, Congregationalists, Methodists and Moravians. Since the rise of the USA as a world power, its brand of contemporary conservative Evangelical Christianity, Seventh-day Adventists and prosperity Pentecostal churches have penetrated Caribbean nations and displaced many of the

Christianity in Antigua and Barbuda, 1970 and 2020 Tradition Christians  Anglicans  Independents  Protestants  Catholics Evangelicals Pentecostals/Charismatics Total population

1970 Population

%

2020 Population

%

65,700 29,500 350 21,700 6,400 7,900 830 67,100

97.9% 44.0% 0.5% 32.3% 9.5% 11.8% 1.2% 100.0%

98,000 26,900 3,400 38,300 8,600 22,000 16,800 105,000

93.2% 25.6% 3.2% 36.4% 8.2% 20.9% 16.0% 100.0%

Average annual growth rate (%), 1970–2020 0.8% –0.2% 4.7% 1.1% 0.6% 2.1% 6.2% 0.9%

Source: Todd M. Johnson and Gina A. Zurlo (eds), World Christian Database (Leiden/Boston: Brill), accessed January 2021.

Christianity in the Bahamas, 1970 and 2020 Tradition Christians  Anglicans  Independents  Orthodox  Protestants  Catholics Evangelicals Pentecostals/Charismatics Total population

1970 Population

%

2020 Population

%

164,000 30,000 4,200 460 85,800 33,200 45,900 11,500 169,000

97.1% 17.7% 2.5% 0.3% 50.7% 19.6% 27.1% 6.8% 100.0%

378,000 51,200 30,000 500 244,000 53,500 136,000 52,000 407,000

93.0% 12.6% 7.4% 0.1% 60.0% 13.2% 33.4% 12.8% 100.0%

Average annual growth rate (%), 1970–2020 1.7% 1.1% 4.0% 0.2% 2.1% 1.0% 2.2% 3.1% 1.8%

Source: Todd M. Johnson and Gina A. Zurlo (eds), World Christian Database (Leiden/Boston: Brill), accessed January 2021.

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Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas and the Rest of the English-speaking Caribbean  205



older British missionary-founded churches to become the dominant expression of contemporary Christianity. The military, political, economic and religious dominance of the USA within the Caribbean region since the beginning of the twentieth century has eroded traditional British and European influence. However, the Caribbean in general and the English-speaking nations in particular have become a polyphonic, hybrid and contradictory melting pot of peoples and cultures. The forced and voluntary transportation and transplantation of peoples with their cultures from Africa, Asia and the Middle East into the Caribbean has transformed the religious environment into a pluriformity of faith expressions, with Christianity as the dominant religion. It can be argued that Christianity’s dominance within the region is based upon historical error that is full of inconsistencies and on distorted views of the peoples that were constructed to satisfy imperial prejudices and control. Therefore, one must be very careful not to present a homo­ geneous view of Christianity in the region. Christianity’s understanding and practice are best described as a double-edged sword that has served

Christianity in Barbados, 1970 and 2020 Tradition Christians  Anglicans  Independents  Orthodox  Protestants  Catholics Evangelicals Pentecostals/Charismatics Total population

1970 Population

%

2020 Population

%

235,000 89,600 10,400 200 50,100 9,000 66,300 15,900 239,000

98.2% 37.5% 4.4% 0.1% 21.0% 3.8% 27.8% 6.7% 100.0%

272,000 72,000 22,200 500 102,000 11,000 114,000 62,000 288,000

94.7% 25.0% 7.7% 0.2% 35.5% 3.8% 39.6% 21.6% 100.0%

Average annual growth rate (%), 1970–2020 0.3% –0.4% 1.5% 1.8% 1.4% 0.4% 1.1% 2.8% 0.4%

Source: Todd M. Johnson and Gina A. Zurlo (eds), World Christian Database (Leiden/Boston: Brill), accessed January 2021.

Christianity in Belize, 1970 and 2020 Tradition Christians  Anglicans  Independents  Protestants  Catholics Evangelicals Pentecostals/Charismatics Total population

1970 Population

%

2020 Population

%

117,000 16,000 2,800 18,100 74,500 14,400 2,000 122,000

95.4% 13.1% 2.3% 14.8% 61.0% 11.8% 1.7% 100.0%

369,000 10,000 25,000 114,000 284,000 60,000 65,000 398,000

92.6% 2.5% 6.3% 28.6% 71.4% 15.1% 16.3% 100.0%

Average annual growth rate (%), 1970–2020 2.3% –0.9% 4.5% 3.7% 2.7% 2.9% 7.2% 2.4%

Source: Todd M. Johnson and Gina A. Zurlo (eds), World Christian Database (Leiden/Boston: Brill), accessed January 2021.

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206  Roderick R. Hewitt as a partner and instrument of colonial conquest and oppression but also as an instrument of liberation for oppressed peoples. Both defective and liberative Christianity have journeyed together in competition for the allegiance of Caribbean peoples. With the majority of the population being people of African lineage whose ancestors were enslaved, their allegiance to British/European Christianity existed at tenuous and superficial levels with ‘one foot in and the other out’. Any understanding of contemporary Christianity within Anglo-Caribbean society must begin with the effects of colonialism and slavery upon African-Caribbean identities. White supremacists’ racist thought that was intended to humiliate, undermine and ultimately destroy Africans’ sense of self-worth and connectedness was also incorporated in their understanding and practice of Christianity. The British government’s approval of human violence through slavery did lasting damage. Even after emancipation in 1834 and abolition in 1836, its effects continued to be felt. At the core were damaged human relationships fed by experiences of conflict, violence and alienation that continue to negatively affect the people’s wellbeing. Many of those who were enslaved used their freedom Christianity in Dominica, 1970 and 2020 Tradition Christians  Anglicans  Independents  Protestants  Catholics Evangelicals Pentecostals/Charismatics Total population

1970 Population 70,000 1,000 500 4,200 63,000 1,000 330 71,100

%

2020 Population

%

98.4% 1.4% 0.7% 5.9% 88.6% 1.4% 0.5% 100.0%

70,900 1,400 2,500 32,600 42,000 22,100 21,000 75,100

94.4% 1.9% 3.3% 43.4% 56.0% 29.4% 28.0% 100.0%

Average annual growth rate (%), 1970–2020 0.0% 0.7% 3.2% 4.2% –0.8% 6.3% 8.7% 0.1%

Source: Todd M. Johnson and Gina A. Zurlo (eds), World Christian Database (Leiden/Boston: Brill), accessed January 2021.

Christianity in Grenada, 1970 and 2020 Tradition Christians  Anglicans  Independents  Protestants  Catholics Evangelicals Pentecostals/Charismatics Total population

1970 Population 93,500 20,000 1,700 9,900 60,000 4,500 1,900 94,400

%

2020 Population

%

99.0% 21.2% 1.8% 10.5% 63.5% 4.8% 2.1% 100.0%

105,000 12,100 6,900 32,000 54,700 15,000 18,000 109,000

96.3% 11.1% 6.3% 29.3% 50.0% 13.7% 16.5% 100.0%

Average annual growth rate (%), 1970–2020 0.2% –1.0% 2.8% 2.4% –0.2% 2.4% 4.6% 0.3%

Source: Todd M. Johnson and Gina A. Zurlo (eds), World Christian Database (Leiden/Boston: Brill), accessed January 2021.

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as an opportunity to move away from the colonial churches that had participated in their enslavement. Contemporary forms of Christianity in Anglo-Caribbean contexts function in contradiction and tension between different worldviews and identities. The deep survival instincts of Anglo-Caribbean peoples seeking spiritual and personal empowerment within an oppressive social milieu have created a strategy of picking and choosing resources as required. The Anglo-Caribbean experience of Christianity has for centuries been an appendage of the dominant British and later American Christian traditions. Authentic indigenisation and enculturation of Christianity within the Anglo-Caribbean will be a slow and difficult process because of the profound impact of overbearing British/American cultural influences. The Church of England, also called the Anglican Church, once served as the state church or the official church, doing the bidding of the state, granting divine blessings upon the social, political and economic authority. In these Caribbean lands, religious tolerance and structural racism were critical components of social control. After 1816, the Anglican Church became disestablished from the state, but its sphere of influence remained Christianity in Jamaica, 1970 and 2020 Tradition Christians  Anglicans  Independents  Orthodox  Protestants  Catholics Evangelicals Pentecostals/Charismatics Total population

1970 Population

%

2020 Population

%

1,714,000 100,000 161,000 5,000 488,000 161,000 299,000 199,000 1,875,000

91.4% 5.3% 8.6% 0.3% 26.0% 8.6% 16.0% 10.6% 100.0%

2,471,000 88,000 300,000 2,000 912,000 80,000 608,000 460,000 2,913,000

84.8% 3.0% 10.3% 0.1% 31.3% 2.7% 20.9% 15.8% 100.0%

Average annual growth rate (%), 1970–2020 0.7% –0.3% 1.3% –1.8% 1.3% –1.4% 1.4% 1.7% 0.9%

Source: Todd M. Johnson and Gina A. Zurlo (eds), World Christian Database (Leiden/Boston: Brill), accessed January 2021.

Christianity in Saint Kitts and Nevis, 1970 and 2020 Tradition Christians  Anglicans  Independents  Protestants  Catholics Evangelicals Pentecostals/Charismatics Total population

1970 Population

%

2020 Population

%

44,400 17,500 1,700 25,800 4,000 8,900 3,000 44,900

99.0% 39.0% 3.7% 57.5% 8.9% 19.8% 6.7% 100.0%

53,500 18,300 4,600 24,900 4,800 11,000 11,000 56,800

94.2% 32.2% 8.1% 43.9% 8.4% 19.4% 19.4% 100.0%

Average annual growth rate (%), 1970–2020 0.4% 0.1% 2.1% –0.1% 0.4% 0.4% 2.6% 0.5%

Source: Todd M. Johnson and Gina A. Zurlo (eds), World Christian Database (Leiden/Boston: Brill), accessed January 2021.

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208  Roderick R. Hewitt significant among the ruling elites. Political fragmentation among the former British Caribbean colonies and their realignment with the political and economic magnet of the USA resulted in a weakening of the influence of Britain in contemporary Caribbean affairs. The contem­porary Caribbean has been shaped by legacies from a plantation economy and its accompanying issues of underdevelopment. At the heart of the human condition that colonialism and slavery bequeathed was the denial of land ownership for the majority of people of African descent. Without land, the people were powerless. In addition, like the absentee owner of the land who lived in Britain, the God brought by the colonists and mission­aries was also an absentee. The religio-cultural quest for the local people who were enslaved was focused on their quest for freedom and justice. Political independence among the British Caribbean colonies began in 1962, when Jamaica became independent. This was followed by Trinidad (1962), Guyana and Barbados (both 1966), with other territories following this course into the 1990s. Five countries have declined to opt for independence, fearing that it is not in their economic interest. The formation of

Christianity in Saint Lucia, 1970 and 2020 Tradition Christians  Anglicans  Independents  Protestants  Catholics Evangelicals Pentecostals/Charismatics Total population

1970 Population

%

2020 Population

%

102,000 3,000 1,700 5,900 91,000 2,900 940 104,000

98.4% 2.9% 1.6% 5.7% 87.4% 2.8% 0.9% 100.0%

173,000 3,500 5,600 37,000 125,000 15,500 15,000 181,000

95.6% 1.9% 3.1% 20.4% 68.8% 8.6% 8.3% 100.0%

Average annual growth rate (%), 1970–2020 1.1% 0.3% 2.4% 3.7% 0.6% 3.4% 5.7% 1.1%

Source: Todd M. Johnson and Gina A. Zurlo (eds), World Christian Database (Leiden/Boston: Brill), accessed January 2021.

Christianity in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, 1970 and 2020 Tradition Christians  Anglicans  Independents  Orthodox  Protestants  Catholics Evangelicals Pentecostals/Charismatics Total population

1970 Population

%

2020 Population

%

87,700 30,000 2,800 0 17,400 14,300 7,400 2,900 90,500

96.9% 33.2% 3.1% 0.0% 19.3% 15.8% 8.2% 3.2% 100.0%

98,100 17,400 29,500 110 60,500 7,600 28,900 37,500 111,000

88.6% 15.7% 26.6% 0.1% 54.6% 6.9% 26.1% 33.9% 100.0%

Average annual growth rate (%), 1970–2020 0.2% –1.1% 4.8% 4.9% 2.5% –1.3% 2.8% 5.3% 0.4%

Source: Todd M. Johnson and Gina A. Zurlo (eds), World Christian Database (Leiden/Boston: Brill), accessed January 2021.

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the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) in 1973 brought together former British Caribbean colonies with those that became independent from other European nations. However, this new political arrangement failed to unite the Caribbean region, and fragmentation is still a political and economic reality preventing genuine development.

Country Profiles

Jamaica constitutes the largest English-speaking country in the Caribbean, with almost 3 million people and a legacy of colonial Christianity characterised by diverse church traditions claiming the allegiance of the majority of the population. The indigenising forces of African retention religions such as Revivalism and Rastafari, along with Pentecostalism and Evangelical Christianity, have created a place for Jamaican cultural practices informed by African worldviews in the understanding and practice of Christianity. These religious groups have found creative and flexible ways to adapt and adjust to new circumstances. With more than 60% of the population claiming to be Christians, Christianity is an inextricable part Christianity in Guyana, 1970 and 2020 Tradition Christians  Anglicans  Independents  Orthodox  Protestants  Catholics Evangelicals Pentecostals/Charismatics Total population

1970 Population

%

2020 Population

%

387,000 100,000 22,200 6,000 96,000 110,000 40,100 24,900 705,000

54.9% 14.2% 3.2% 0.9% 13.6% 15.6% 5.7% 3.5% 100.0%

430,000 55,000 92,000 11,000 225,000 63,000 120,000 180,000 791,000

54.4% 7.0% 11.6% 1.4% 28.5% 8.0% 15.2% 22.8% 100.0%

Average annual growth rate (%), 1970–2020 0.2% –1.2% 2.9% 1.2% 1.7% –1.1% 2.2% 4.0% 0.2%

Source: Todd M. Johnson and Gina A. Zurlo (eds), World Christian Database (Leiden/Boston: Brill), accessed January 2021.

Christianity in Anguilla, 1970 and 2020 Tradition Christians  Anglicans  Independents  Protestants  Catholics Evangelicals Pentecostals/Charismatics Total population

1970 Population

%

2020 Population

%

6,200 2,800 110 2,500 100 440 0 6,400

96.1% 43.7% 1.7% 39.0% 1.6% 6.9% 0.0% 100.0%

13,600 3,900 1,400 6,900 720 3,100 2,800 15,300

88.9% 25.5% 8.9% 45.1% 4.7% 20.3% 18.3% 100.0%

Average annual growth rate (%), 1970–2020 1.6% 0.7% 5.2% 2.1% 4.0% 4.0% 11.9% 1.8%

Source: Todd M. Johnson and Gina A. Zurlo (eds), World Christian Database (Leiden/Boston: Brill), accessed January 2021.

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210  Roderick R. Hewitt of Jamaican society. The shifting landscape of denominational affiliation since independence in 1962 has seen phenomenal growth in the Seventhday Adventist Church and the Evangelical and Charismatic/Pentecostal churches. There is a kaleidoscope of religious practices, shaped by the diverse immigrant population. Rastafari is the fastest-growing faith, especially among young males. Its cultural vibrancy and affirmation of the blackness of God and the beauty and dignity of black humanity make it an anti-imperial religion that rejects the white supremacist legacies of colonial Christianity. The Cayman Islands were once united with Jamaica under British rule. However, after Jamaica became independent in 1962, the Caymans remained with Britain to protect their economy and security. The cultural, economic and religious bonds with Jamaica remain strong, however. Residents of Jamaican heritage provide leadership in the churches and other areas of social and economic life. The main denominations are the United Church in Jamaica and the Cayman Islands (Presbyterian, Congregational and Disciples of Christ), the Church of God, Baptists, Anglicans, Roman Catholics and Seventh-day Adventists.

Christianity in the British Virgin Islands, 1970 and 2020 Tradition Christians  Anglicans  Independents  Protestants  Catholics Evangelicals Pentecostals/Charismatics Total population

1970 Population

%

2020 Population

%

8,900 1,500 370 5,400 500 1,700 32 9,800

91.0% 15.3% 3.8% 55.2% 5.1% 17.5% 0.3% 100.0%

26,800 3,600 2,300 16,200 850 8,500 5,300 32,600

82.3% 11.0% 6.9% 49.6% 2.6% 26.0% 16.2% 100.0%

Average annual growth rate (%), 1970–2020 2.2% 1.8% 3.7% 2.2% 1.1% 3.3% 10.8% 2.4%

Source: Todd M. Johnson and Gina A. Zurlo (eds), World Christian Database (Leiden/Boston: Brill), accessed January 2021.

Christianity in the Cayman Islands, 1970 and 2020 Tradition Christians  Anglicans  Independents  Protestants  Catholics Evangelicals Pentecostals/Charismatics Total population

1970 Population

%

2020 Population

%

8,300 100 700 7,300 0 2,700 290 9,100

90.6% 1.1% 7.7% 79.4% 0.0% 29.9% 3.1% 100.0%

51,700 4,000 6,100 22,000 8,100 9,400 9,200 63,900

80.9% 6.3% 9.6% 34.5% 12.7% 14.7% 14.4% 100.0%

Average annual growth rate (%), 1970–2020 3.7% 7.7% 4.4% 2.2% 14.3% 2.5% 7.2% 4.0%

Source: Todd M. Johnson and Gina A. Zurlo (eds), World Christian Database (Leiden/Boston: Brill), accessed January 2021.

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In Trinidad and Tobago, the Indigenous population of Arawak and Carib Amerindians was eradicated through Spanish colonialism. When the British took over in 1889, Africans and Indians formed the two main ethnic groups. Ethnicities from Europe and the Middle East are present as well. Politics, economics and religion shape the country’s ethnic divide. The church also reflects these social divisions, in addition to the baggage of the British/American cultural stranglehold on its beliefs. The religious milieu is enriched through the presence of vibrant Hinduism, Islamic traditions and Afro-Trinidadian religions, creating a melting pot of religious expressions that is uniquely Caribbean. Spanish rule from 1493 ensured that the Catholic Church was firmly established, and it maintains a strong influence in the country. Along with the older British missionary churches such as Anglicans, Presbyterians, Methodists, Moravians and Baptists, newer groups such as the Seventh-day Adventists, Salvation Army, Ethiopian Orthodox and Pentecostals/Evangelicals form a diverse Christian community. Christianity in Barbados is pervasive, permeating the entire fabric of the nation with Protestant churches that reflect missionary penetrations

Christianity in Montserrat, 1970 and 2020 Tradition Christians  Anglicans  Independents  Protestants  Catholics Evangelicals Pentecostals/Charismatics Total population

1970 Population

%

2020 Population

%

11,300 4,000 0 4,400 1,300 2,200 1,300 11,600

97.6% 34.6% 0.0% 37.4% 11.2% 18.6% 10.8% 100.0%

4,700 1,400 500 2,800 400 1,200 1,400 5,200

89.5% 26.7% 9.5% 53.4% 7.6% 22.9% 25.7% 100.0%

Average annual growth rate (%), 1970–2020 –1.7% –2.1% 8.1% –0.9% –2.3% –1.2% 0.2% –1.6%

Source: Todd M. Johnson and Gina A. Zurlo (eds), World Christian Database (Leiden/Boston: Brill), accessed January 2021.

Christianity in the Turks and Caicos Islands, 1970 and 2020 Tradition Christians  Anglicans  Independents  Protestants  Catholics Evangelicals Pentecostals/Charismatics Total population

1970 Population

%

2020 Population

%

5,600 1,100 430 3,800 0 1,600 960 5,600

99.5% 19.5% 7.6% 68.0% 0.0% 28.6% 17.0% 100.0%

33,600 2,700 5,800 15,100 600 6,900 7,800 37,000

90.9% 7.3% 15.7% 40.8% 1.6% 18.7% 21.1% 100.0%

Average annual growth rate (%), 1970–2020 3.6% 1.8% 5.3% 2.8% 8.5% 3.0% 4.3% 3.8%

Source: Todd M. Johnson and Gina A. Zurlo (eds), World Christian Database (Leiden/Boston: Brill), accessed January 2021.

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212  Roderick R. Hewitt since the colonial period. The Anglican Church through its historic privileged ties with the state constitutes the main denomination. The Bahamas, like other Anglophone countries within the northern Caribbean, reflects different periods of missionary penetration, and the churches vary in strength according to the social and economic forces that gave shape to the nation. The Bahamas’ proximity to the USA opens the door to foreign cultural influences. With over 70% of the population claiming adherence to Christianity, the landscape includes Baptists, Anglicans, Methodists, Seventh-day Adventists, Pentecostals, the Church of God, Brethren and Roman Catholics. Next door to the Bahamas is the Turks and Caicos Islands, a British overseas territory. Earlier it was ruled by Britain through Bermuda, the Bahamas and finally Jamaica, but now it has self-government. Christi­anity is the dominant religion, its presence and impact similar to those in the Bahamian context. On the northern cost of South America is Guyana, the former British Guiana, with a diverse population of about 800,000, comprising Indo-­ Guyanese, Afro-Guyanese, mixed Indian, African and Amerindian. The diverse ethnic groups are also reflected in the Christian presence and witness within the country. With the strong presence of Islam and Hinduism, Christianity claims the allegiance of more than half of the population, with the majority belonging to Pentecostal, Roman Catholic or Anglican churches and others embracing Seventh-day Adventism, Methodism, Presbyterianism, Congregationalism or Lutheranism. Most Christians are Afro-Guyanese because they were the first immigrants, brought as slaves by the British, who suppressed their African religions and ensured their indoctrination and conversion to Christianity. After emancipation, East Indians arrived as indentured servants, with their

Christianity in Trinidad and Tobago, 1970 and 2020 Tradition Christians  Anglicans  Independents  Orthodox  Protestants  Catholics Evangelicals Pentecostals/Charismatics Total population

1970 Population

%

2020 Population

%

650,000 150,000 39,000 4,100 117,000 363,000 111,000 67,200 946,000

68.7% 15.9% 4.1% 0.4% 12.4% 38.3% 11.8% 7.1% 100.0%

878,000 73,000 156,000 11,200 280,000 380,000 228,000 262,000 1,378,000

63.7% 5.3% 11.3% 0.8% 20.3% 27.6% 16.5% 19.0% 100.0%

Average annual growth rate (%), 1970–2020 0.6% –1.4% 2.8% 2.0% 1.8% 0.1% 1.4% 2.8% 0.8%

Source: Todd M. Johnson and Gina A. Zurlo (eds), World Christian Database (Leiden/Boston: Brill), accessed January 2021.

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Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas and the Rest of the English-speaking Caribbean  213

religions of Hinduism and Islam. These religions continue along with Christianity to shape the nation’s values. In the Central American region the only English-speaking nation is Belize, surrounded by Spanish-speaking nations. Roman Catholicism is the dominant faith, claiming about 40% of the population, with Protestants representing 32%, including Pentecostals, Seventh-day Adventists, Anglicans, Mennonites, Baptists, Methodists and the Church of the Nazarene. Other, smaller Christian groups add to the broad rainbow of Christian witness. North of Trinidad is the nation of Grenada, which includes the islands of Carriacou and Petite Martinique. Known as the Island of Spice because of its large-scale cultivation of nutmegs, Grenada has been an Englishspeaking nation since 1762. Christianity claims the allegiance of the majority of the population. British colonial rule of the islands ensured that Christianity functioned as the dominant faith, with around half of the population being Protestants and a third Roman Catholics. However, there are other church groups operating such as Anglicans, Pentecostals and Seventh-day Adventists. Saint Vincent and the Grenadines is similar to Grenada in its religious outlook, with some 70% claiming adherence to Christianity. The wide variety of denominations includes Anglicans, Methodists, Roman Catholics and Seventh-day Adventists. The British took Saint Lucia from the French in 1814. However, throughout its earlier colonial history the nation switched loyalty between the French and the British on several occasions. Most of the population belong to the Roman Catholic Church because of the strong influence of the French. With the adherence of over 90% of citizens, the Christian faith is pervasive, with Rastafari being the fastest-growing minority faith. Saint Kitts and Nevis gained independence from the UK in 1984. Less than half of the population are adherents of Christianity, of whom most are Protestants, with Anglicans as the leading denomination. This points to an increasingly secular nation, with many claiming no adherence to organised religion or being declared atheists. Part of the island chain grouped as the Lesser Antilles are the twin islands of Antigua and Barbuda. This Anglophone nation also gained its independence from the UK in 1984. As with the other islands of the Lesser Antilles, the majority of the population are Christians. The Anglican Church is the dominant denomination, with a wide spread of other groups including Pentecostals, Seventh-day Adventists, Methodists, Moravians and Roman Catholics. Anguilla is one of the most northerly of the Leeward Islands in the Lesser Antilles. Since it broke away from federation with Saint Kitts

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214  Roderick R. Hewitt and Nevis in 1980, it has been ruled directly by the UK, now as a British overseas territory. The island is predominantly Christian, with a strong presence of Anglicanism and Methodism. Other churches represented include Seventh-day Adventists, Baptists, Roman Catholics and Jehovah’s Witnesses. From the late twentieth century, a growing Pentecostal movement has made an impact. The British Virgin Islands, a colony of Britain since 1666 and overseas territory since 2002, is situated close to Puerto Rico. It comprises four main islands – Tortola, Anegada, Virgin Gorda and Jost Van Dyke – along with 32 smaller islands. The majority population are people of African descent whose forebears were enslaved by the British. Most are Christians belonging to the Methodist, Anglican or Roman Catholic churches, though there is increasing growth of Evangelical and Pentecostal churches. The eastern Caribbean island of Monserrat was first colonised by the Spaniards from 1493, followed by the French, before the British claimed the territory in 1632. After a contest between the French and the British, the British finally took control in 1732, and it has remained under British governance since that time. With the support of the British government, the Anglican Church gained a strong foothold in the territory and remains the most influential denomination. The missionary work of the Methodists also gained strong support from the people. The legacy of strong French influence secures the role of the Roman Catholic Church in the society. The contemporary landscape includes new forms of Christianity originating in the USA, including Seventh-day Adventists, Pentecostals, Evangelicals and conservative prosperity-driven church mission groups.

Decolonising Faith and Life

Religious understanding and practice are generally woven into Caribbean culture. Therefore, the challenges facing Christianity are directly linked to those affecting the wider society. Kortright Davis identified six challenges that contemporary Caribbean societies are facing: poverty, migration, cultural alienation, dependence, fragmentation, and drug trafficking and narcotics abuse. These are the issues to which Caribbean Christianity must give attention to achieve social change and human development. In general, the Anglophone Caribbean nations enjoy full protection of religious freedom. This is significant because of the diverse ethnicities that shaped the different nations. With the dominance of Christianity, strong democratic forms of political governance and freedom to engage in legal economic practices, nationals have no fear of losing their constitutional rights to worship, propagate their faith and evangelise through education. In earlier times, it was thought that loyalty to one’s parents’ religious tradition was sacred and that children would remain faithful to the

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Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas and the Rest of the English-speaking Caribbean  215

religion of their parents. However, contemporary trends in Christianity indicate a radical shift away from the colonial missionary denominations to Evangelical, conservative and ‘prosperity gospel’ Christian expressions. The Anglophone nations of the Caribbean are united around a shared experience of British colonialism and slavery. The experience of Christianity has mirrored to a great extent the socio-economic and political evolution of the nations’ struggles with the legacies of colonial rule and the effects of dependency. The Christian community in this postcolonial period has sought to foster the emergence of a new humanity with a faith that is liberative (personal and structural) and developmental. The residual colonial impact of race, class and colour in the socialisation of citizens creates schizophrenic personalities, suggesting that Christianity has not fully thrown off the legacy created by the racist injection of white supremacy. Christianity, being a majority faith within the region, tends to function with a false triumphalist pride. It has yet to adequately embrace that it is living within a complex reality of plurality that challenges its ‘me alone’ culture. The maturation of Christianity will depend to a great extent on its capacity to positively appropriate the changing landscape in which fresh resources must be found through accepting, learning from and recog­nising mutual human indebtedness, regardless of race, class, creed or colour. After centuries of inculturation the Anglo-Caribbean Christ still appears to be ‘a migrant from Europe’ rather than being an Indigenous Saviour who has always been at work with the people. This suggests that inculturation has been a very slow process of social change and that the forces of imperial theology are still strong within the Caribbean. Of major significance in the liberation of Anglo-Caribbean Christianity is the question of language. The suppression of Indigenous languages in favour of English as the common language of state and church ensured that the people remained in a perpetual state of ‘arrested development’ of their personhood. Even in the important area of reading and understanding the Bible as the sacred text of Christianity, there is need to develop distinctively Caribbean hermeneutics. Scholars like Noel Leo Erskine have convincingly argued that within the Anglophone Caribbean, where the majority are of African ethnicity, there is need for the emergence of a decolonising theology. This theology must effectively engage with God and the black religious experience because only by doing so will the people journey towards a theology of freedom in which God is experienced as the giver of human freedom and fullness of life.

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216  Roderick R. Hewitt

Bibliography

Davis, Kortright, Emancipation Still Comin’ (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 1990). Erskine, Noel Leo, Decolonizing Theology: A Caribbean Perspective (Trenton, NJ: Africa World Press, 1998). Hamber, Shirley and Robert Greenwood, Emancipation to Emigration (London: Macmillan Caribbean, 1979). Hewitt, Roderick R., Church and Culture: An Anglo-Caribbean Experience of Hybridity and Contradiction (Pietermaritzburg: Cluster, 2012). Thomas, Oral A. W., Biblical Resistance Hermeneutics within a Caribbean Context (London: Equinox, 2010).

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Haiti Laënnec Hurbon

Christianity historically has been interconnected with Haiti’s social and political life and continues to be influential today. For instance, the influence of liberation theology predicated the fall of the Duvalier dictator­ ship and paved the way for the 1987 Constitution, founded on human rights and recognition of religious pluralism. In fact, Christianity has played such a strong socio-political role that it has not only impacted the very foundations of the country but continues to be influential in national and civic affairs, including at times of national crisis such as the earthquake disaster of 2010. As a result of the voyage of Christopher Columbus, the island called Ayti by the Amerindians was transformed into Hispaniola, possession of Spain. The inhabitants, then known as Taínos, were enslaved and forcibly ­ ontesinos, converted to Christianity. The Dominican religious Antonio M followed by Bartolomé de Las Casas, argued for the defence of the Taínos against the mistreatment of the conquerors and opened an era of theological debates (in Valladolid) on the rights of the people to decide for themselves. The French, through the West India Company in 1635, justified the enslavement of black Africans through the imposition of a Catholic baptism on all slaves and therefore their forced conversion. With the promulgation of the Black Code in 1685, in the context of the revocation of the Edict of Nantes, both Protestant worship and African religious practices were prohibited. Paradoxically, the slaves showed exceptional enthusiasm for Catholic practices; the worship of saints was adapted to honour the African deities, leading to the birth of Vodou. This mixture of Catholic and Vodou practices gave Christianity in Haiti a particular form that lasts to this day. Many parishes remain important pilgrimage sites, attracting tens of thousands of faithful Catholics and Vodouists every year. Having a different interpretation of Christianity, during the eighteenth century Vodou religious leaders organised resistance against slavery. In 1791, a general insurrection was conceived with the support of several priests. In 1804, following the military expedition of Napoleon to re­institute slavery, Haiti became independent. The resulting Haitian authority, spurred by the presence of colonial slave powers surrounding

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218  Laënnec Hurbon the country, continued to recognise Catholicism as the official religion, in order to seek recognition from Rome, which was achieved only in 1860, after the signing of a concordat. Since then, the Catholic Church has been active in culture and public education through religious congregations (such as the Brothers of Christian Instruction, Fathers of the Holy Spirit, Sisters of Saint Joseph of Cluny of the Sacred Heart, Daughters of Mary). However, though the Holy See was one of the first states to recognise the independence of Haiti, it was also insensitive to tolerance towards other religions, and especially towards Vodou, which was considered a set of magic and witchcraft practices. Until the years of the Second Vatican Council, the clergy continued to attack with great zeal the mixture of Catholicism and Vodou in their parishes, launching anti-superstition campaigns and the Great National Campaign of 1941 to enforce the renunciation of Vodou, hence a renunciation of Satan. However, in 1956 a group of young African and Haitian priests published a collective work entitled Black Priests Question Themselves (Des prêtres noirs s’interrogent – Editions du Cerf), in which they explained how Catholic theology was not suitable for the black communities as it took little of their history and culture into account. However, thanks to Second Vatican Council, the Church opened up to the national culture and abandoned the practices of intolerance towards Protestantism, Freemasonry and Vodou. Liturgical texts and hymns were translated into Creole, a language spoken by the entire population, but traditionally considered inferior to French, which had and still has a considerable influence on the development of the arts and literature. On the other hand, in 1966 the authority of the clergy was transferred from Breton missionaries to an Indigenous episcopate. Today, foreign priests are a minority and the Church has 12 bishops, three archbishops and a cardinal, Chibly Langlois, all Haitians. It is significant that the Catholic Church is now no longer obsessed with the task of eradicating Vodou. Christianity in Haiti, 1970 and 2020 Tradition Christians  Anglicans  Independents  Protestants  Catholics Evangelicals Pentecostals/Charismatics Total population

1970 Population

%

2020 Population

%

4,551,000 38,500 113,000 394,000 3,797,000 367,000 184,000 4,709,000

96.6% 0.8% 2.4% 8.4% 80.6% 7.8% 3.9% 100.0%

10,697,000 135,000 805,000 2,040,000 7,600,000 1,367,000 2,000,000 11,371,000

94.1% 1.2% 7.1% 17.9% 66.8% 12.0% 17.6% 100.0%

Average annual growth rate (%), 1970–2020 1.7% 2.5% 4.0% 3.3% 1.4% 2.7% 4.9% 1.8%

Source: Todd M. Johnson and Gina A. Zurlo (eds), World Christian Database (Leiden/Boston: Brill), accessed January 2021.

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Haiti  219

Today, religious pluralism is a hallmark of Christianity in Haiti. Protestantism began timidly with Methodists in 1816 and Baptists in 1823. Having gained momentum during the dictatorship of François Duvalier, Protestantism was forged by a rejection of Vodou, drawing believers away from serving ancestral spirits. Certain Protestant groups, particularly Pente­costals, promote a preaching centred on the demonisation of the Vodou deities. Concomitantly and paradoxically, however, they encompass various aspects of imaginary Vodou, such as the continuous action of invisible forces, the trances of the Holy Spirit and dreams. Active Protestant churches in Haiti include Baptists, Adventists, Wesleyans, L’Eglise de Dieu (Church of God), Church of the Nazarene, Anglicans and the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church. Inspired by the Haitian revolution, black members of the AME Church emigrated from the USA to Haiti in the early nineteenth century. Though many emigrants returned to the USA, the AME Church continued to establish its presence in Haiti. In the twenty-first century, Pentecostalism is enjoying spectacular success, and in several cities it appears to be more important than Catholicism. However, cultural differences persist among churches over worship styles, moral conduct and dress. The Protestant churches are responsible for 5,287 schools from primary to higher education and 25% of the universities. Moreover, the Charismatic renewal in the late twentieth century, though quiet in its inception, has gained momentum and changed Catholicism in Haiti and in its diasporic communities. The Charismatic movement, which began with French-speaking services, eventually spread exponentially as Masses began to be conducted in Creole. Through this renewal, Haitians began more readily to affirm their identity as both Catholic and Haitian, and it provided believers with a ready response to the supernatural elements of Vodou. As such, with its break from syncretic modes of Christianity, Charismatic Catholicism offers a way to converge with traditional elements of orthodox Catholicism. The great earthquake of 12 January 2010 unexpectedly led to the solidarity of religious movements. Several dozen mosques and Protestant places of worship, such as those of the Episcopal Church, suffered extensive damage to their buildings, including the destruction of the famous Cathedral of the Holy Trinity, with its paintings by Haitian artists. The Catholic Church suffered the greatest losses in its history, in both personnel and property. Among the victims were the Archbishop of Port-au-Prince, some 50 women religious and several dozen priests and seminarians. Among the buildings, the destruction included the Cathedral of Port-au-Prince and the Archdiocese, the major seminary and 46 parish churches, without considering many schools run by men and women religious. Ten years later, several parishes were still in reconstruction

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220  Laënnec Hurbon mode. Nevertheless, what remained of Haiti’s Catholic presence demonstrated its resilience, especially among its Charismatic adherents. Several ecumenical ceremonies took place in the week following the disaster, and worshippers of all religious persuasions were seen serving thousands of wounded housed in tents in the middle of the streets. Christianity in Haiti’s social and political life today continues to be especially important, due to the state’s inability to meet the basic needs of the population, in particular school education, approximately 90% of which is under the control of the religious and secular private sector. Chibly Langlois, the first Haitian cardinal, has been especially vocal on behalf of the poor and has been active in addressing the government over crime and insecurity in the country.

Bibliography

Cleary, Edward L., The Rise of Charismatic Catholicism in Latin America (Gainesville, FL: University Press of Florida, 2011). Hurbon, Laënnec, Religions et lien social, L’eglise et l’etat moderne en Haïti, collection Sciences humaines et religions (Paris: Editions du Cerf, 2004). Kawas, François, ‘L’Etat et l’Eglise en Haïti (1860–1980)’, Documents officiels, Déclarations, in Correspondance, vol. 1 (Port-au-Prince: Editions Henri Deschamps, 2006). Louis, Bertran M., Jr, My Soul is in Haiti: Protestantism in the Haitian Diaspora of the Bahamas (New York: New York University Press, 2014). Smarth, William, ‘Histoire de l’Eglise catholique d’Haïti 1492–2003’, in Des points de repère, vols 1 and 2 (Port-au-Prince: éditions CIFOR, 2015).

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Dominican Republic Antonio Lluberes sj

The Dominican Republic is a nation of Spanish Catholic origins that has defended its unique character until today. Catholicism was the religious and political foundation of the colony, especially in its concept of the divine origin of political authority. Even after it separated from Spain at the beginning of the nineteenth century, the country maintained its Catholic character: not so much in its hierarchical organisation, mostly lacking, but in a religious substrate that was present through popular religious practices such as devotion and prayers to the saints and the Virgin Mary, baptism when the priest was available, and funeral prayers. Until well into the twentieth century, it was accepted that Catholicism was the majority religion of Dominican society. At the beginning of the twentieth century, a movement of pastoral operation was generated throughout the Catholic Church, driven co­ particularly by European and American religious congregations. This cooperation was very well received by the Catholic hierarchy, and with the blessing of the government it was possible to create new dioceses and parishes, found schools and offer hospital services. The Dominican Catholic Church has grown in personnel and through institutions inserted into Dominican society. Schools and medical dispensaries, universities and radio stations, peasant cooperatives and associations should be highlighted. The presence of Catholic Action was important until the 1970s, which saw the development of new lay movements, namely Renewal in the Spirit, the Neocatechumenal Communities and the Emmaus Brotherhoods. These have been integrated into Catholic life through the vigour of the small base communities, bringing the faith to new generations. By the start of the twenty-first century, the Catholic Church, according to the Dominican Catholic Directory, consisted of 11 dioceses, 20 bishops, 420 parishes and 760 diocesan priests. The seminarians numbered 300 majors and 192 minors. There were 73 religious congregations for women and 30 for men, with 460 male religious and 2,282 female religious. Permanent deacons numbered 200 and catechists 18,876. Towards the end of the twentieth century, Santo Domingo was the venue for the fourth meeting of CELAM (the conference of the Latin American Episcopal Council), inaugurated by John Paul II in 1992. The

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222  Antonio Lluberes theme of this important conference of Latin American bishops was the development of a new evangelisation. This impulse proved successful, so that at the beginning of the twenty-first century the Catholic Church continues to gather every Sunday thousands of Dominicans throughout the country. It promotes greater study of the Bible and is increasing the presence of pastoral agents in prisons, low-income areas and rural communities. The catechetical, youth and married groups are still the driving force and impulse in the communities. Every year, Dominican Catholics also celebrate the Virgin of Alta Gracia, declared the patron saint of the country. Charismatic groups bring joy to many with songs and prayers. Even with demographic changes in the Dominican Republic, the strength of Catholicism continues to influence the religious life of the majority of the inhabitants of the island.

Historical Protestant Churches

Protestant churches have their origin in three very particular initiatives. First, in the 1820s, President Jean Pierre Boyer introduced freed African American Baptists from North America, who received help from the Wesleyan Methodist Church in England. Secondly, in 1899 Samuel E. Mills, a retired American pharmacist, on his own initiative came to the country and started a ministry among Dominicans that in 1908 was organised into the Free Methodist Church. Thirdly, a poor sugarcane cutter, Salomón Feliciano, came from Puerto Rico, via Hawaii and California, to San Pedro de Macorís, in the east of the Dominican Republic, in 1918. With few academic credentials but much religious inspiration, he established a Pentecostal church that achieved great pastoral success. Later, on 28 January 1921, an initiative originated in Puerto Rico and New York led to an inter-denominational agreement and the creation of the Christian Service Board in Santo Domingo, composed of representatives of the Methodist, Episcopal, Presbyterian and United Brethren churches. In Christianity in the Dominican Republic, 1970 and 2020 Tradition Christians  Anglicans  Independents  Protestants  Catholics Evangelicals Pentecostals/Charismatics Total population

1970 Population

%

2020 Population

%

4,381,000 3,100 47,900 88,200 3,731,000 73,600 64,400 4,503,000

97.3% 0.1% 1.1% 2.0% 82.8% 1.6% 1.4% 100.0%

10,506,000 8,000 480,000 907,000 8,798,000 550,000 1,500,000 11,108,000

94.6% 0.1% 4.3% 8.2% 79.2% 5.0% 13.5% 100.0%

Average annual growth rate (%), 1970–2020 1.8% 1.9% 4.7% 4.8% 1.7% 4.1% 6.5% 1.8%

Source: Todd M. Johnson and Gina A. Zurlo (eds), World Christian Database (Leiden/Boston: Brill), accessed January 2021.

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Dominican Republic  223

1960, the Moravians joined them. The Board created a new and Dominican church: the Dominican Evangelical Church, founded on 8 January 1922. It began working with North American and Puerto Rican personnel in a programme with four areas of action: evangelisation, medical services (hospital and nursing school), education (primary and secondary) and social work (Boy Scouts). Two achievements stand out: the International Hospital and its nursing school and the Dominican Library, directed by Julio Postigo (1909–96), promoter of ecumenism and Dominican culture. The word ‘evangelical’ came to represent all the churches with a Protestant matrix, which in recent times have preferred to call themselves Christian. From these years of origin and until well into the twentieth century, Protestant groups were reduced to foreign enclaves of merchants or diplomats from port cities, cane cutters from the English Antilles, black Americans from Samaná and Puerto Plata, English-speakers and some lower-class Dominicans. Their pastoral concern was eminently spiritual but also social, so that from the beginning they took initiatives in education and health, though with a marked rejection of political participation and debate. In these early years, Evangelicals were tied to the American mother churches and had to adapt their religious, cultural and economic ties to American culture and intervention. At the same time, they suffered religious opposition and even occasional violence from Catholics, who sang to them, ‘out Protestants, out, out of Quisqueya [a Taino name for Hispaniola]’.

Pentecostal and Evangelical Organisations

Pentecostalism, present since 1918, as we have seen, has been expanding and predominates among the Evangelical churches. The most widespread and organised group, with its temples and its pastors’ training institute, is the Assemblies of God. They have given rise to countless churches that grow and multiply independently, more in popular neighbourhoods than among the professional middle classes. They insist on extraordinary Charismatic gifts and palpable manifestations of the Spirit’s presence. A fundamentalist position prevails among them, distinguishing between Catholics, who are often called ‘impious, idolaters and even heretics’, and themselves, who are described as ‘Christians, converts or saints’. Pentecostal and Evangelical churches continued to arrive throughout the twentieth century, especially Pentecostals. In the 1980s, an organisation called the Dominican Evangelical Confraternity (CONEDO) emerged, a non-profit entity dedicated to glorifying God through the unity of the Evangelical people, representing them before third parties and training them to evangelise the nation based on the word of God. It was officially recognised by decree on 12 February 1986.

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224  Antonio Lluberes Around 1990, the US-based World Vision organised a series of congresses for Evangelical pastors with the goal of ‘questioning and directing leadership so that they reach the nation’. In 1991, the participating pastors began to think about ways to unify the Evangelical churches and that is how the Dominican Confederation of Evangelical Unity (CODUE) was created. In 1992 CODUE was formalised, and in 1993 it organised its first national assembly, with the mission of ‘achieving the unity of the Evangelical people of the Dominican Republic, joining efforts to improve the socio-spiritual condition of our people in order to guarantee Evangelical unity and to improve the socio-spiritual conditions of the Dominican people’. CONEDO was part of CODUE in the beginning, but it later separated. The Mesa de Diálogo y Representación Cristiana (MEDIREC; Round­ table for Christian Dialogue and Representation) is an inter-associative body of a national civil nature, which began in 2013 and was formally established on 6 August 2015. Currently, it is the most inclusive and proactive organisation of Protestant institutions. It is an institution that represents the Evangelical Christian churches and some other religious confessions of the Dominican Republic. CODUE, the first organisation of Protestant churches, is not a member of MEDIREC.

Dominican Christianity Today

Dominican Christianity in the twenty-first century is present in all dimensions of national life. On weekends, thousands of Christian believers of all kinds attend their different churches, where the Bible, music and reflections connecting the biblical message and everyday existence nourish them and give them a sense of belonging. But these celebrations do not remain in their places of worship; they increasingly permeate all areas of life in the Dominican Republic. The twenty-first century has been characterised by greater political participation in national life by non-Catholic Christians, although in the twentieth century they had rejected any such role. The Catholic Church always reiterates to its clergy that they are not allowed to join political parties or support candidacies, but the laity are invited to participate in politics. It is not common for Catholics to become involved in politics as an expression of their Catholic status. However, during the 1960s Catholics founded Christian Democratic-inspired parties following the experiences of Europe, Chile and Venezuela. Even so, they were never considered clerical, ecclesially faithful, and in a short time it was revealed that their Christian name did not win them Christian votes. On the other hand, the hierarchy of the Catholic Church has made a tradition of issuing opinions through annual pastoral letters and, in particular, during electoral periods

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Dominican Republic  225

and/or when political or economic situations demand it. In the same way, since the 2010s, Evangelical pastors, either as individuals or as a group (CODUE), have expressed their opinions or supported political candidates. A prominent role is played by the Battle of the Faith ministry led by Pentecostal pastor Ezequiel Molina, who every 1 January convenes a massive, inter-denominational meeting. The truth of the faith is reaffirmed and, at the same time, positions are taken on social issues. It has been an innovative move for such a gathering to address the problems that are facing society. This ministry is now well over 50 years old and the pastor focused his attention on the 2020 electoral process, calling for dialogue and understanding as a civilised society and asking for respect for electoral institutions. He advocated depoliticising the union organisations of doctors, lawyers and teachers and asked Christians to take the risk of participating in electoral processes. But he warned against favouring candidates who are in favour of the LGBT agenda, promoters of abortion, promoters of sexual education in schools, opponents of reading the Bible in schools and promoters of corruption. In 2019, faith-inspired standpoints were prominent in the public debate about reproductive rights and gender equality. A first debate focused on three causes of abortion (incest, violence or genetic malformation); a second on sex education in schools; a third on gender identity and/or ideology; and a fourth on the reading of the Bible in schools, since its reading has been compulsory since 2000. Catholic and Protestant churches have taken an ecumenical approach and assumed militant and united positions in these cases. They have managed to block some of these initiatives, though they have not been able to introduce new measures and resources. The Protestant religious presence is evident not only in struggles over issues of sexual ethics, but also in the educational and cultural sphere. Protestant churches have achieved representation on the National Council of Education. Marriages celebrated by pastors in their churches are given civic recognition and they receive funds from the state for social work. Universities have become a resource for social service and a pastoral outreach from the churches. Currently, the Catholics have five universities and the Evangelicals have two. Apart from its professional academic offerings, each university has its theological department with some required and some elective courses. However, many students attend the universities simply for educational purposes and do not identify with the religious commitment of the proprietors. In the churches themselves, one can find much evidence of lived faith being expressed and pastoral care being offered. The life of the Protestant churches is marked by effusiveness and expressiveness, signifying a living faith and preaching a permanent invitation to conversion. Expressive

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226  Antonio Lluberes music with autochthonous airs – such as bachata and merengue – is a very important resource in these religious communities. For example, the musician Juan Luis Guerra has had wide influence and is known inter­nationally. Churches have a high public profile through the media. Protestant churches have 11 radio stations and the Catholics nine. Both have countless music ministries. Catholic Charismatic groups have assumed similar approaches to the Protestants, with expressive worship in which music, singing and even dancing prevail over other forms of religiosity. The Catholic–Protestant ratio is a recurring theme. The overwhelmingly Catholic presence that was evident in the twentieth century has changed dramatically in the twenty-first. According to Gallup studies, the Catholic Church lost more than 15% of its members between 2006 and 2017, while Protestant numbers grew by 8%. Smaller religious groups include Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Adventists, Mita-Aaron, Orthodox Christians, Scientologists, Spiritualists and a small minority who confess no religion. The Latinobarómetro studies have introduced a new form of measurement, not only in percentages of the population but also in degrees of confidence. They show that between 2013 and 2018, trust in the churches dropped 10 percentage points, from 73% to 63%. The Christian churches have been questioned over the years by different cultural and religious movements. Today, their main challenges come from secularism. Although in the past there were moments of confrontation, these were not extreme and it was possible to coexist peacefully – which does not mean building of ecumenism – within families and institutions. Although the Catholic predominance continues, peaceful coexistence is greater than was the case in the past.

Bibliography

Betances, Emelio, The Catholic Church and Power Politics in Latin America: The Dominican Case in Comparative Perspective (New York: Rowman and Littlefield, 2007). Davidson, Christina C., Análisis del cristianismo evangélico en la República Dominicana. Una mirada a dos iglesias protestantes históricas. La Iglesia Africana Metodista Episcopal y la Iglesia Evangélica Dominicana (Santo Domingo: FUNGLODE, 2015). Liriano, Alejandra (ed.), El campo religioso dominicano en la década de los 90. Diversidad y expansión, Papeles, 3 and 4 (Santo Domingo: Departamento de estudios de sociedad y religión, 1996). Lluberes, Antonio, sj, ‘Iglesia dominicana, hechos, retos y críticas’, primera parte, RAICES, 8 (2018), 85–97. Olea, Héctor B., Presencia y configuración del cristianismo protestante y evangélico en la Republica Dominicana (Santo Domingo: PIENSALO, 2019).

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Curaçao, Aruba, Bonaire, Sint Maarten, Sint Eustatius and Saba Joyce Overdijk-Francis

Curaçao, Aruba, Bonaire, Sint Maarten, Sint Eustatius and Saba, known as the Dutch Antilles, are located in the Caribbean Sea. In 1634 the Netherlands, a seafaring nation in north-western Europe, took possession of the islands. Thereafter, for temporary periods they were in the hands of France, Spain and the UK, but since 1816 they have been subject to the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The Dutch West India Company (WIC) controlled the country’s trade and shipping to the Americas, West Africa and the Caribbean and had the state monopoly on the transatlantic slave trade. The population comprised the Indigenous people, Europeans from the Netherlands (including a small number of Jews) and slaves transported from Africa by the WIC. The slaves lived and worked on plantations under very harsh conditions, which provoked the slave uprising under the leadership of Tula in 1795. Dutch became the official language on the islands. The Creole language Papiamentu (Papiamento) of Curaçao, Aruba and Bonaire developed during the years when slavery flourished. The most likely theory about the origin of Papiamentu is that the enslaved, originating from different parts of Africa and having no common language, created a way to communicate. In 2003–7, Papiamentu was recognised as an official language alongside Dutch. English is spoken on Sint Maarten, Sint Eustatius and Saba alongside Dutch. The Dutch Antilles, then known as Curaçao and Dependencies, were controlled by a colonial board on Curaçao and had governors from the Netherlands until 1962. The political relationship between the six islands and the Netherlands was organised in 1954 by the Charter for the Kingdom of the Netherlands (the Statute), through which they were united as a single country, the Netherlands Antilles. In 1986 Aruba separated from the Netherlands Antilles and became an autonomous country with a special status. On 10 October 2010, the Netherlands Antilles was dissolved. Curaçao and Sint Maarten joined Aruba as semi-autonomous constituent countries of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, with their own legislation, parliaments and governments. Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba – also

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228  Joyce Overdijk-Francis known as the BES islands, the Dutch Caribbean or the Caribbean Netherlands – became public bodies of the Netherlands. All six, together with the Netherlands itself, belong to the overarching Kingdom of the Netherlands. The long distance between Curaçao, Aruba and Bonaire (in the Leeward Islands) and Sint Maarten, Sint Eustatius and Saba (in the Windward Islands) brings a wide diversity of geography, population, culture and religion to the islands. The islands vary in size, the largest being Curaçao at 444 km² and the smallest Saba, just 13 km². By far the largest populations are found in Curaçao, with 160,337 (2017), and Aruba, with 105,845 (2018), while Sint Maarten has 40,654 (2018), Bonaire 20,104 (2018), Sint Eustatius only 3,138 (2018) and Saba just 1,915 (2018).

Profile of Christianity

With the coming of the Spaniards in 1527, the Catholic Church was introduced to the islands. The Reformed churches were founded soon after the Kingdom of the Netherlands conquered Curaçao in 1634. In 1637 the WIC banned the exercise of the Catholic faith. However, priests continued to visit and administer the sacraments on all the Dutch Antilles. In 1769 the Apostolic Prefecture in Curaçao was elevated to an apostolic vicariate. The first bishop was Mgr Martinus Niewindt. The Catholic Church became by far the largest religious institution on the islands and succeeded in involving the Afro-Antillean population. Nuns and religious from the monastic orders came to the Dutch Antilles for missionary work and established churches and schools. It became a powerful institution, supported by the colonial government. The education system was entirely Dutch, with Dutch rules and Dutch as the official language; speaking Papiamentu in the schools was forbidden. The whole area is part of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Willemstad (Curaçao), centred on the Basilica of Santa Anna. Mgr Luis Secco is the current bishop. The first Protestant church, the Fortkerk on Curaçao, was built in 1769. Protestants remained a small minority but over time came to include the Reformed Church (Liberated), Anglicans, Seventh-day Adventists, ­Methodists, Baptists, Moravians, Pentecostals and Jehovah’s Witnesses. During the twentieth century they formed the United Protestant Churches by bringing together the Anglican Church, Ebenezer Church, Church of the Nazarene, Methodist Church and Reformed Church. The islands are also home to small numbers of Jews, Muslims and Hindus. The first synagogue in the western hemisphere was built on Curaçao in 1674. Religion can be felt everywhere in the Dutch Antilles. However, people generally practise their religion behind closed doors, in their own communities and their own environments. The services in the churches are held as much as possible in Papiamentu. Although the majority of the

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population has an African cultural background, the Dutch Antilles do not have an ‘African’ religion. However, the understanding and practice of the Christian faith on the islands is influenced by the African cultural and philosophical background of the church members.

Curaçao

Throughout history, Curaçao has been a meeting point of a wide variety of cultures, languages, nationalities and denominations. The majority of the population are Catholics, who have by far the longest history on the island. With the arrival of the Shell oil company in 1918 came immigrants, who brought their churches with them. They established the Methodist Church, the Anglican Church, the Reformed Church (Liberated) and the Moravian Evangelical Brotherhood. Other churches found on Curaçao today include the Seventh-day Adventists, the Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. An influential organisation in which the churches cooperate is the Antillean Bible Society (Sosiedat Antiano di Beibel; SAB), affiliated to the United Bible Societies, which aims to make the Bible available to all people in a language and format that appeal to them. The SAB serves all six islands. In 1962 the Council of Churches, Curaçao (CCC) was established in order to promote cooperation between the churches and to stimulate the growth of ecumenical awareness with all churches. It is linked to the Caribbean Conference of Churches, with its head office in Trinidad, and other ecumenical organisations. The motto of the CCC is ‘Promoting ecumenism and social change in obedience of Jesus Christ and in solidarity with the poor’. The Council currently has six seats for representatives of the Catholic Church, two for the Anglican Church, two for the Moravian Evangelical Brotherhood, three for the United Protestant Churches (successor to the Reformed Church), two for the Methodist Church and three for the (Pentecostal) Christian Pastors Association. Christianity in Curaçao, 1970 and 2020 Tradition Christians  Anglicans  Independents  Protestants  Catholics Evangelicals Pentecostals/Charismatics Total population

1970 Population 139,000 900 900 15,000 120,000 2,600 180 144,000

%

2020 Population

%

96.9% 0.6% 0.6% 10.5% 83.9% 1.8% 0.1% 100.0%

152,000 2,000 6,600 24,600 121,000 8,900 7,200 163,000

93.1% 1.2% 4.0% 15.0% 74.0% 5.4% 4.4% 100.0%

Average annual growth rate (%), 1970–2020 0.2% 1.6% 4.1% 1.0% 0.0% 2.5% 7.7% 0.3%

Source: Todd M. Johnson and Gina A. Zurlo (eds), World Christian Database (Leiden/Boston: Brill), accessed January 2021.

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230  Joyce Overdijk-Francis The United Protestant Churches and the Catholic Church were cofounders of the Caribbean Council of Churches, established in 1973 on Trinidad. In 1981 Curaçao was chosen to organise the third conference of the Council. A subregional office of the Caribbean Council of Churches was established on Curaçao and women’s groups played a major role in organising the conference. The Revd Neville Smith and Meyrtha LeetzCijntje were appointed to the ‘continuation committee’, with the latter becoming women’s president on the presidium. The cooperation between the Curaçao Council of Churches, the Caribbean Council of Churches, the Episcopal Conference and the World Council of Churches has been highly effective. In addition to ecumenical retreats and prayer days, the CCC is also responsible for inter-religious services at the national level. It provides a forum for interaction with politicians, unions, women’s organisations, household workers and immigrants. The people of Curaçao are conscious that they are all immigrants, with different backgrounds and cultures. Along the lines of colonisation and post-colonisation they have imported many different expressions of faith. Today, the Christian community is active in contributing to shared events and jointly expressing its unity in Jesus Christ.

Aruba

The development of Aruba went hand in hand with the establishment and growth of different religious groups. The oldest and largest is the Catholic Church, to which the great majority of the population belong. The establishment of an oil refinery in 1928 brought more than 7,000 people from countries such as Grenada, Saint Vincent, the British Virgin Islands, Suriname and Madeira, who brought with them their different churches and religious traditions. Protestants, Evangelicals, Methodists, Seventh-day Adventists and Jehovah’s Witnesses built churches, mainly Christianity in Aruba, 1970 and 2020 Tradition Christians  Anglicans  Independents  Protestants  Catholics Evangelicals Pentecostals/Charismatics Total population

1970 Population

%

2020 Population

%

57,200 300 330 2,200 50,000 930 160 59,100

96.9% 0.5% 0.6% 3.7% 84.7% 1.6% 0.3% 100.0%

102,000 940 4,500 10,200 81,400 6,900 8,000 106,000

95.6% 0.9% 4.2% 9.6% 76.4% 6.5% 7.5% 100.0%

Average annual growth rate (%), 1970–2020 1.2% 2.3% 5.4% 3.1% 1.0% 4.1% 8.1% 1.2%

Source: Todd M. Johnson and Gina A. Zurlo (eds), World Christian Database (Leiden/Boston: Brill), accessed January 2021.

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in San Nicolas, near the refinery where they worked. There is also a Jewish community, the first family having arrived in 1754. The Beth Israel Synagogue was consecrated in 1962. Also present are a Hindu community and an Islamic foundation, which plans to build the first mosque. The first appearance of the Catholic tradition goes back to 1499, the period of discovery. Franciscans, Dominicans and Jesuits came from the Netherlands to evangelise and established parishes on Aruba. Since the Second Vatican Council, the participation and acceptance of the ‘laity’ in the life of the church has brought significant change to church life. Having been passive spectators, the laity became active participants in the life and ministry of the church. They responded to the call not only in liturgy but by serving as lectors or extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion. Adoption of the local language for worship, in place of Latin, opened the opportunity for Aruban artists, singers and songwriters either to translate existing songs or to write new songs for use in worship. Two Catholic foundations were established to run schools on the primary and secondary levels, the Stichting Katholiek Onderwijs Aruba (Foundation for Catholic Education Aruba) in 1971 and the Stichting Middelbaar Onderwijs Aruba (Foundation for Secondary Education Aruba) in 1959. Since 1955 some teachers have been presenting religious radio programmes on special occasions and, since 1979, lay Christians have also been involved in making presentations on television. In 2008 the Catholic Church adopted a new plan for mission and evangelism, based on the principle that ‘The one who has been evangelised should be also an evangelist’. The context for this initiative is a loss of membership in the Catholic Church as some have opted for a non-religious life while others have become Evangelicals, Pentecostals or Jehovah’s Witnesses. It remains to be seen whether the new mission plan will result in renewal and continuation of Catholic parish life on the model of the first Christian communities.

Bonaire

The Caiquetio Indigenous people lived on Bonaire and had their own religious life, as is illustrated by mysterious paintings found in coves on the east coast. With the arrival of the Spaniards led by Alonso de Ojeda in 1499, Catholicism became firmly rooted in the Indigenous community. From 1772 to 1780 a first primitive Catholic church was built of clay. Bonairian society today remains committed to the development of Catholi­ cism through the affirmation of the roots of the Indigenous people. By the time the Dutch arrived in 1634, the population of Bonaire was already Catholic. Wealthy Protestant families arrived with the WIC and brought with them slaves to work in the salt pans. Most Indigenous people opted to remain in the Catholic Church. There were then no permanent priests

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232  Joyce Overdijk-Francis and pastors on the island, so the community was served occasionally by priests from Curaçao. This meant that pastoral work was done mostly by local lay leaders. In order to bridge the gap between the priests and the people, in 1915 the New Testament and hymnbook were translated into Papiamentu by Pastor G. J. Eybers. Today, the majority of the Bonairian population is Roman Catholic, with a minority of Protestants, including Evangelicals, Seventh-day Adventists and Jehovah’s Witnesses. Small Muslim and Jewish communities are also present. Five impressive church buildings are architecturally prominent, along with countless other buildings and spaces where believers can confess their faith, including a mosque. Life on Bonaire also features Evangelical gatherings where believers meet to pray, worship and receive Bible-based teaching, both in the churches and in the family. Papiamentu is the language spoken in most churches. On request, services can also be held in English and Dutch. In the Archive of Bonaire (2012) a special place is reserved for religions as part of the cultural heritage of Bonaire.

Sint Maarten

Christopher Columbus sighted Soualiga (‘land of salt’) on 11 November 1493. He renamed it in honour of Saint Martin of Tours, on whose feast day the sighting was made. The island consists of a Dutch side (Sint Maarten) and a French side (Saint Martin), whose cooperative coexistence is governed by the Treaty of Concordia, signed in 1648. The two separate territories have a common island life, captured lyrically in the Saint Martin song ‘a people French and Dutch, though speaking English much’ and extending to religious life. The Sint Maarten/Saint Martin Christian Council (SSCCF) consists of the Roman Catholic, Methodist, Anglican, Salvation Army and Moravian churches, including communions from both territories. The Sint Maarten United Ministers Fellowship (SMUMF) Christianity in Sint Maarten, 1970 and 2020 Tradition Christians  Anglicans  Independents  Protestants  Catholics Evangelicals Pentecostals/Charismatics Total population

1970 Population

%

2020 Population

%

6,700 40 40 630 5,900 95 4 6,900

97.8% 0.6% 0.6% 9.2% 86.4% 1.4% 0.1% 100.0%

36,700 600 1,500 7,300 24,500 3,300 3,100 41,400

88.8% 1.5% 3.6% 17.6% 59.2% 8.0% 7.5% 100.0%

Average annual growth rate (%), 1970–2020 3.5% 5.6% 7.5% 5.0% 2.9% 7.4% 14.2% 3.7%

Source: Todd M. Johnson and Gina A. Zurlo (eds), World Christian Database (Leiden/Boston: Brill), accessed January 2021.

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is an alliance between the Baptist, Pentecostal and Independent churches and works cooperatively with the SSCCF to plan national celebrations such as Saint Martin’s Day worship, celebrated annually by French and Dutch at a selected venue on an alternating basis. The religious interplay between French and Dutch extends back to the arrival in 1817 of John Hodge, an Anguillan convert to Methodism. He sought to establish a church at Marigot, on the French side, but French laws against congregating frustrated his attempts, forcing him to move to Cole Bay, where he preached under a tamarind tree. His proclamation won converts to Methodism, with many travelling to Cole Bay from both sides. By 1850, the majority of African slaves from the Dutch territory had become Methodists. However, among the converts were also prominent ladies from Philipsburg. Highly placed officials visited the brick mansion of the Hon. George Illidge, the meeting place of the Methodists. The ‘Brick Building’ was replaced as the Methodist meeting place in Philipsburg when the adjacent plot, which housed the old English church, was given by King William III of the Netherlands for the construction of a chapel, which opened in 1851. While Anglicans on Sint Maarten were included in a diocesan survey of 1842, the influence of the English church waned, so that today only around 4% of Sint Maarten citizens are Anglican. The largest church is the Roman Catholic but there are also significant numbers of Methodists, Pentecostals, Baptists and Seventh-day Adventists. The Seventh-day Adventist and Pente­costal churches joined the Roman Catholic and Methodist churches in providing general education. The Methodist Church took the lead in 1976 in offering English-based instruction and the Catholic Church followed, introducing English at Sint Dominic and Sint Joseph Primary. The SSCCF runs a series of town-hall meetings for education on social issues. Most churches from the SSCCF and the SMUMF operate feeding programmes. In the wake of Hurricane Irma in 2017, the churches were involved in hurricane relief and recovery efforts, serving not just their membership but the general population. On the island, faith-based operations affect everyone.

Sint Eustatius

Sint Eustatius (Statia) is a small, diverse community comprising many religious traditions. The majority of the population is Christian, with the Methodists, Catholics and Seventh-day Adventists each claiming around one-quarter. Christianity on Sint Eustatius traces its origin to its initial colonisation by the French and British in 1625. Historically, the various Christian dominations have coexisted in unity and were generally separated only along family lines. This practice has faded significantly

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234  Joyce Overdijk-Francis over the years, but its remnants are still recognisable today among certain large family groups. Religion in general and Christianity in particular have always played a significant role in the public and private lives of the citizens. Most popular and strictly observed national holidays are based on Christian traditions. Historically, all commercial activities were halted on days of worship. This practice has changed significantly, as many businesses no longer observe strict traditions and operate reduced hours on days of worship. Nonetheless, the impact of Christian Sabbath observance is still evident today, with many businesses closing on Sundays as a normal part of Statian society. While all denominations have coexisted harmoniously over the years, there has been a custom of segregation along religious lines. Inter­marriages and intimate relations across denominational lines were considered taboo and often formed the basis for expulsion from particular denominations. This segregation extended beyond personal relationships to business, education and other areas. It is still discernible in Statian society today, with each Christian denomination operating its own primary school and very few local businesses including personnel from differing religious backgrounds. Notwithstanding the differences in theology and the competitive nature of the various Christian traditions, each denomination remains respectful of the others and people unite in support of each other during moments of crisis and celebration. Churches are generally packed during funerals, weddings and national celebrations. The Statian wave (the traditional public greeting) is believed to have its origin in the prominent Christian tradition and biblical teaching of ‘loving thy neighbour’. As such, it has become a tradition that citizens greet each other with this gesture when meeting or passing each other daily, a custom that new residents and visitors quickly adopt. Christianity and religion in general currently play a less dominant role than in the past, as a result of globalisation. With the new challenges of Christianity in the Caribbean Netherlands (Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba), 1970 and 2020 Tradition Christians  Anglicans  Independents  Protestants  Catholics Evangelicals Pentecostals/Charismatics Total population

1970 Population

%

2020 Population

%

10,000 60 60 1,100 8,800 170 22 10,400

96.6% 0.6% 0.6% 10.1% 84.7% 1.7% 0.2% 100.0%

23,900 270 700 3,500 18,000 1,800 1,600 26,200

91.3% 1.0% 2.7% 13.5% 68.7% 6.7% 6.1% 100.0%

Average annual growth rate (%), 1970–2020 1.8% 3.1% 5.0% 2.5% 1.4% 4.7% 9.0% 1.9%

Source: Todd M. Johnson and Gina A. Zurlo (eds), World Christian Database (Leiden/Boston: Brill), accessed January 2021.

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globalisation and the prominence of competing secular cultural organisations and events, congregations are ageing as many younger people either lack religious interest or leave the island to complete studies abroad. Regardless of these new challenges, Christianity remains a major anchor of Statian society, tradition and culture. Recognised and respected Christian traditions live on and continue to form a significant part of the island’s unique characteristics and mystical appeal.

Saba

Christopher Columbus discovered Saba in 1493, although he did not set foot on the island. The population today is formed by the descendants of African slaves, Dutch settlers and other immigrants. Saba is a predominantly Christian territory where most people believe there is a God and attend church for important events. The five main denominations are Catholic, Anglican, Wesleyan Holiness, Seventh-day Adventist and Jehovah’s Witnesses. The Anglican Church of Christ, located in the island’s capital, The Bottom, is the oldest church. At the time of this writing, it had no resident priest, so a local member of the church became a deacon and was assigned as head of the Anglican Church on Saba. The Catholic Church has four church buildings while the Anglicans have two, one on The Bottom and the other on The Windwardside. The Wesleyan Holiness Church has two buildings, one on The Bottom, which is actively used weekly by the Wesleyan Holiness community, and the other on Saint Johns, which is rented out to the Spanish community. The Seventhday Adventists have their church on The Bottom, while the Jehovah’s Witnesses have theirs on The Windwardside. Catholic missionary work brought churches and schools to Saba. There is one primary school, the Sacred Heart School. The school board has a mixed membership since the school caters for all the children aged 4–12 on the island. During the year, the churches organise annual events such as fundraising, ecumenical services, church rallies and other events proposed by the people. Although the churches are very active on Saturdays, Sundays and all other religious holidays, attendance has declined drastic­ ally and all the churches struggle to attract the younger generation.

Conclusion

The introduction of Catholicism when the islands were conquered by the Spaniards under Alonso de Ojeda has proved decisive for religious life in Curaçao, Aruba, Sint Maarten and the BES islands: Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba. Further significant influence came with the conquest by the Netherlands, the arrival of Protestants, the presence of the enslaved, the work and structure of the school system run by Catholic priests and nuns,

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236  Joyce Overdijk-Francis and the immigrants who came with the oil refineries. The result has been a great variety of denominations spread throughout the Dutch Antilles. In the post-colonial period, the local population has become more actively involved in Christian life, worship and service. Much of the pastoral work has been done by respected local leaders, since there often have been no pastors and priests on an island. Formal recognition of the ‘laity’ in the life of the church as lectors and extraordinary ministers has strengthened local leadership. Awareness of the need for unity and mutual cooperation has been increasing, after many years when church members were comfortable only within their own circle of personal relationships along religious lines. The Council of Churches of Curaçao has given a strong lead in promoting this cooperation between churches and stimulating the growth of ecumenical awareness. All the churches on the Dutch Antilles have observed a decline in attendance. The growth in the number of non-believers and the level of globalisation give rise to concern, as does the lack of religious interest among the younger generation. Despite these challenges, the Christian community is resilient and looks to the future with confidence.

Bibliography

Brenneker, Paul, Sambumbu: volkskunde van Curaçao, Aruba en Bonaire: Religie & Rituelen (Amsterdam: Caribpublishing, 2017). Dalhuisen, Leo, Ronald Donk and Rosemarijn Hoefte, Geschiedenis van de Antillen: Aruba, Bonaire, Curaçao, Saba, Sint Eustatius, Sint Maarten (Zutphen: Walburg, 2019). Hall, Kenneth O., and Myrtle Chuck-A-Sang, The Integrationist: Survival and Sovereignty in the Caribbean Community (Kingston: Ian Randle, 2006). Römer, René A., Cultureel mozaïek van de Nederlandse Antillen (Zutphen: Walburg, 1977). Stassen, Petra, Levende stenen: een theologie van kerkelijk vastgoed (Amersfoort: Abdij van Berne, 2017).

Acknowledgements

The invaluable contributions of the following consultants are gratefully acknowledged: on Curaçao, Meyrtha Leetz-Cijntje, President, Council of Churches of Curaçao; on Aruba, Eric Illes; on Bonaire, Boi Antoin, Journalist/Archive Bonaire; on Sint Maarten, the Revd Dr Joan Delsol Meade; on Sint Eustatius, Gerald Berkel, former Island Governor; on Saba, Elka Charles-Simmons, Director/Coordinator SG+BSS After-School Care.

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Puerto Rico and the United States Virgin Islands Samuel Arroyo

The Commonwealth of Puerto Rico is the smallest island of the Greater Antilles in the Caribbean Sea and is located about 50 miles (80 km) east of the Dominican Republic, and about 40 miles (65 km) west of the Virgin Islands. Puerto Rico is administratively constituted from several islands, of which the Big Island and two smaller island municipalities, Vieques and Culebra, are inhabited year-round. It has a great variety of small islands or uninhabited islets, among which are Isla de Mona and Monito. The modern life of Puerto Rico is still shaped by its political, cultural and religious narratives, largely defined by its historical relationships with first Spain and then the USA.

History

The island of Puerto Rico was under the rule of the Spanish crown for more than 400 years following the arrival of Christopher Columbus in 1493. The evangelisation of Puerto Rico by the Catholic Church was supported by the 1493 papal bull Inter Caetera of Alexander VI, which grants the powers of evangelisation to the Spanish crown in its colonies. For four centuries, the Catholic Church dominated the evangelisation of the island’s inhabitants through the founding of churches, missions, monasteries and convents. From the beginning, both clergy and laity had the responsibility to evangelise the natives as well as slaves from Africa. Resistance by natives and Africans to receiving the gospel from Europeans had an impact on the development of religious practices on the island. Both groups made their own contributions to the ritual practices of Christianity, creating a religious intermingling that is still part of the cultural and spiritual folklore of the inhabitants. In 1898, Puerto Rico came under the rule of the USA as the result of the Cuban–Spanish–American War. This event triggered a political, cultural and religious transformation in Puerto Rican society. The religious landscape was transformed, with the arrival of Protestant missionaries on the island ushering in freedom of worship after 400 years of the Spanish

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238  Samuel Arroyo Catholic establishment. The American Protestant churches divided the island into regions, which were assigned to denominations for missionary and evangelistic work. Missionary work entailed the founding of churches, colleges and universities, among other institutions considered of utmost importance to American society and the modernism that it represented. The repercussions of this cultural and political shift continue to shape the religious and spiritual practices of the people of Puerto Rico.

Socio-political Influence of Religion

Today, Puerto Rico is considered a highly evangelised country, since more than 95% of Puerto Ricans affirm Christianity as their religion. The Pew Research Study of Religion in Latin America reported that, in 2014, 56% of Christians on the island identified as Catholic and 33% identified as Protestant, of whom 48% identified as ‘born again’ or Evangelical. The high percentage of conservative Christians on the island has had a great influence on the social perspectives of Puerto Ricans. Pew Research (2017) estimated that 77% of Puerto Ricans believe that abortion should be illegal and 55% think that same-sex marriage should not be allowed. This social perspective is reflected in the country’s politics. In March 2019, Project Dignity, a conservative political party, was founded. It declares itself a defender of traditional family values, rejecting same-sex marriage. This party opposes abortion, arguing that life begins in the womb. It is directed by people who affirm the Christian faith, including Catholics, Mainline Protestants and Evangelicals, who through its platform seek to influence the social, cultural and political life of the island with conservative values. The candidate for governor from this party obtained 7% of the votes in the 2020 election, a high percentage for a newly founded party. In this same electoral contest, the party managed to win seats in the

Christianity in Puerto Rico, 1970 and 2020 Tradition Christians  Anglicans  Independents  Orthodox  Protestants  Catholics Evangelicals Pentecostals/Charismatics Total population

1970 Population

%

2020 Population

%

2,667,000 9,700 96,200 1,000 228,000 2,586,000 139,000 177,000 2,710,000

98.4% 0.4% 3.6% 0.0% 8.4% 95.4% 5.1% 6.5% 100.0%

3,488,000 5,000 420,000 1,200 495,000 2,580,000 380,000 1,650,000 3,651,000

95.5% 0.1% 11.5% 0.0% 13.6% 70.7% 10.4% 45.2% 100.0%

Average annual growth rate (%), 1970–2020 0.5% –1.3% 3.0% 0.4% 1.6% 0.0% 2.0% 4.6% 0.6%

Source: Todd M. Johnson and Gina A. Zurlo (eds), World Christian Database (Leiden/Boston: Brill), accessed January 2021.

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Puerto Rico and the United States Virgin Islands  239

territorial legislature. Even though the party is not representative of all the Christian voices on the island, it is representative of the strong conservative tendencies of the country’s inhabitants.

Migration

The religious landscape has changed dynamically, with various waves of migration in the past 20 years. Large portions of the Puerto Rican population have emigrated to the continental USA due to the impact caused by recent economic recessions and the scourge of two strong hurricanes. In 2017, Hurricane María caused severe damage to the physical structure and economy of the country. The population fell dramatically as a result. In 2016, the country’s population was around 3.4 million, but a year after the hurricane, in 2018, it had dropped to 3.2 million. Puerto Rico had reached its highest population figure in 2004, with a total of 3.8 million inhabitants. The Pew Research Forum estimates that the population of Puerto Rico will continue to decline in the coming decades, dropping to 3 million or less by 2025. It is estimated that the Puerto Rican population residing in the continental USA will exceed that of the island. The inhabitants are an aging population. In 2008, the average age of was 36, but by 2018 it had increased to 41. According to the Pew Research Forum, the population over 18 years of age increased from 75% of the total in 2008 to 81% in 2018. Similarly, the population over 65 years of age increased from 14% of all residents in 2008 to 21% in 2018. Waves of migration have been one of the main causes of the island’s ageing, as Puerto Rican emigrants are mostly young people and skilled professionals. Still, both the Catholic Church and the Mainline Protestants and Evangelicals in the country continue to evangelise and expand their membership, while intending to rekindle the commitment and spiritual fervour of Puerto Ricans. Traditional revival campaigns are still employed by Evangelical groups, but congregations have taken a more personal evangelisation strategy through small groups for Bible study and prayer. Since Puerto Rico is a highly evangelised country, several churches and religious organisations carry out missionary and evangelistic work in other Latin American countries.

Prominent Figures

The Roman Catholic Church continues to be the most important ecclesial body in Puerto Rico. Prominent figures in the church include Msgr Rubén Antonio González Medina cmf, who was consecrated Bishop of Caguas in 2001 and subsequently Bishop of Ponce in 2016. Msgr Roberto Octavio González Nieves ofm was consecrated Archbishop of San Juan in 1999. Both were consecrated by the late Cardinal Luis Aponte Martínez, who

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240  Samuel Arroyo in 1960 was consecrated as the first bishop born on the island of Puerto Rico. He was consecrated as Archbishop of San Juan in 1964, and in 1973 he was elevated as a cardinal, the first to have been born on the island. In 2001, the Benedictine layman Carlos Manuel Cecilio Rodríguez Santiago was declared Blessed of the Catholic Church. As of this writing, Puerto Rican Catholics are awaiting the beatification of three local candidates: the nuns Mother Dominga Guzmán and Mother Soledad Sanjurjo, as well as the artist and teacher Rafael Cordero. Although the life and work of these figures predates the twenty-first century, the recognition of Carlos Manuel as Blessed and the other candidates for beatification have positively impacted the devotion of Catholics on the island during the first two decades of this century. The Mainline Protestant and Evangelical presence includes churches from several denominations, including Presbyterians, Methodists, Episcopalians, various Baptist groups, Mennonites, Lutherans, Disciples of Christ, Christian and Missionary Alliance, and Seventh-day Adventists. Prominent figures include Methodist Bishop Juan A. Vera Méndez, who served as President of the College of Methodist Bishops of Latin America and the Caribbean during the years 2000–7. In 2010 he received the Dr Martin Luther King, Jr Award in recognition of his struggle for the workers and for peace in Puerto Rico. Luis N. Rivera-Pagán, renowned Puerto Rican theologian and historian, holds the rank of Distinguished Professor Emeritus of the prestigious Princeton Theological Seminary. He has lectured at various universities around the world and is the author of several books on the theology and history of the church in Latin America. Samuel Pagán, ordained minister of the Disciples of Christ Church and Dean of Hispanic Studies at the Jerusalem Center for Biblical Studies, is the author of more than 50 books on exegetical, pastoral and theological topics. Agustina Luvis-Núñez serves as Director of the Doctor of Ministry Program of the Evangelical Seminary of Puerto Rico, where she is Associate Professor. She is a recognised theologian of Latin American and Puerto Rican history and pastoral ministry. Her interests include Pentecostal theology and feminist theology.

Education

Both Protestant and Catholic congregations have had a great impact on Puerto Rican society through the founding of private schools and universities. The Catholic Church has the Pontifical Catholic University of Puerto Rico, Sacred Heart University and the Central University of Bayamón. The Pentecostal Church has the Mizpa University, and the Assemblies of God founded the Theological College of the Caribbean. Both institutions are dedicated to preparing pastors, missionaries and lay leaders for ministry.

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Puerto Rico and the United States Virgin Islands  241

The Evangelical Seminary of Puerto Rico was instituted by various Protestant denominations on the island to prepare their pastors for local and international ministry. It offers master’s degrees and a Doctorate of Ministry. The founding denominations are the Baptist Churches of Puerto Rico, Disciples of Christ Church, Boriquén Presbyterian Synod, Methodist Church of Puerto Rico, United Evangelical Church and Lutheran Church Caribbean Synod. The Christian and Missionary Alliance Church has its theological seminary of Puerto Rico, with a conservative and Evangelical approach, offering bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral programmes for ministry.

Charismatic Impact

The Pentecostal movement, especially the Church of God Mission Board and the Pentecostal Church of God International Movement, have been instrumental in spreading the Charismatic movement on the island. The Charismatic movement, which has also had a large impact on the traditional Protestant churches and the Catholic Church, is very important in Puerto Rican religious practices because it uses cultural elements with which it identifies, especially music and the arts, such as dance. This influence is manifested in liturgical practices in which lay members have a high rate of participation and influence in worship services. They aim to allow the Holy Spirit to direct the course of worship instead of following any traditional liturgical order. As a fundamental part of congregational worship, music has been influenced both by the local Charismatic movement and by the contemporary worship movement, which borrows from international movements. The religious practices of Puerto Ricans have influenced local artists across the social spectrum. The carving of saints is part of the cultural and religious tradition of Puerto Ricans, especially the Three Kings during Christmas. The San Sebastián Street Festivities are the most important cultural and artistic event on the island, in honour of the Catholic saint of the same name. Traditional and popular music are well received during worship services, as are other contemporary rhythms.

Inter-religious Relations

Other religions represented on the island include Hindus, Muslims, Jews, Buddhists and folk religions, each of which has less than 1% representation. Around 1.9% of the inhabitants profess not to have any religious affiliation. However, religious leaders who are willing to work on an inter­faith agenda have encountered resistance from their communities and from other leaders who are opposed to allowing the inclusiveness that true interfaith dialogue requires. There are groups such as the Women’s

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242  Samuel Arroyo Inter-religious Collective of Puerto Rico, formed by women from various religious and spiritual backgrounds who seek to create a space where ties of love, community and respect govern their agenda. The Collective was co-founded by Muslim leader Sumayah Soler and Christian theologian Alexandra Rosado-Román. Together they seek to expose problems of discrimination on religious grounds and to counter the marginalisation of the country’s non-Christian faith communities.

The United States Virgin Islands

The US Virgin Islands are located east of Puerto Rico and are made up of three main islands – St Thomas, St Croix and St John – and 50 other small, mostly uninhabited, islands. The US Virgin Islands were first Spanish and then Danish colonies before becoming a territory of the USA in 1917. Tourism and rum production are the dominant economic sources of the inhabitants. Its residents are citizens of the USA but without the right to vote for the presidency. By 2020, the US Virgin Islands had a population of 106,235, which entailed a population decrease of 0.37% from 2010. The average age of the inhabitants is 42, and the majority (70%) are older than 25 years. Approximately 76% of the inhabitants are black, while only 15% identify as white. Asians comprise 1% and mixed minorities comprise 2% of the population. English is the predominant language, spoken by 72% of the population, while 17% speak Spanish and 8% French. Overall, 93% of the inhabitants identify as Christian. Of these, 59% identify as Protestant, with Baptists and Anglicans well represented. The Lutheran Church was introduced to the islands during the Danish regime, and the Anglicans, who currently belong to the Episcopal Church USA, have been present since the seventeenth century. The Catholic Church too was introduced to the islands during the seventeenth century, and today Christianity in the United States Virgin Islands, 1970 and 2020 Tradition Christians  Anglicans  Independents  Orthodox  Protestants  Catholics Evangelicals Pentecostals/Charismatics Total population

1970 Population

%

2020 Population

%

63,600 9,700 4,400 500 21,600 18,800 12,000 8,400 64,700

98.3% 15.0% 6.7% 0.8% 33.4% 29.1% 18.5% 12.9% 100.0%

98,800 14,200 15,500 500 36,800 37,000 22,700 24,000 105,000

94.2% 13.5% 14.8% 0.5% 35.1% 35.3% 21.6% 22.9% 100.0%

Average annual growth rate (%), 1970–2020 0.9% 0.8% 2.6% 0.0% 1.1% 1.4% 1.3% 2.1% 1.0%

Source: Todd M. Johnson and Gina A. Zurlo (eds), World Christian Database (Leiden/Boston: Brill), accessed January 2021.

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Puerto Rico and the United States Virgin Islands  243

34% of the inhabitants identify as Catholic. The diocese is located on the island of St Thomas and belongs to the Archdiocese of Washington, DC. The Moravian Church played an important role in the modern missionary movement, especially with the slave evangelism missions in the year 1732. By the twentieth century, a large number of churches from the USA had established a presence on the islands, but each with few congregations. Among these, the Seventh-day Adventists and Pentecostals stand out; the latter divide their membership between the Assemblies of God churches, the Church of God of Prophecy, the Church of God (Cleveland), and the Damascus Christian Church, which is Spanish-speaking. Approximately 7% of the population practise other religions, each with less than 1% representation. Among these are the Baha’i, Hindus, Jews and Muslims. Similar to other islands in the Caribbean, there is some practice of religions of African origin, including animism and ancestor veneration. These practices have also influenced the spirituality of the dominant religions. Some 2% of the population is considered agnostic.

Conclusion

It can be expected that Christianity will continue to play an important role, at both the individual and the communal levels, in Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands. Trends in the US mainland will most likely find expression in the religious life of the islands also.

Bibliography

Aponte, Gerardo Alberto Hernández, La Iglesia Católica en Puerto Rico ante la invasión de Estados Unidos de América. Lucha, sobrevivencia y estabilización (1898–1921) (San Juan, PR: Decanato de Estudiantes Graduados e Investigación, 2013). Gotay, Samuel Silva, Protestantismo y política en Puerto Rico (1898–1930), 2nd edn (San Juan, PR: Editorial UPR, 1998). Luque, María Dolores (ed.), Iglesia, estado y sociedad. 500 años en Puerto Rico y el Caribe. Actas del Simposio III: el desafiante siglo XVII (San Juan, PR: Centro de Investigaciones Históricas de la Universidad de Puerto Rico, 2010). Melton, J. Gordon, ‘Virgin Islands of the United States’, in Religions of the World: A Comprehensive Encyclopedia of Beliefs and Practices, ed. J. Gordon Melton and Martin Baumann, 2nd edn, vol. 6 (Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, 2010), 3073–6. Morales, Manuel Alvarado and Marie Minette Díaz Burley (eds), Iglesia y sociedad: 500 años en Puerto Rico y el Caribe, siglo XVI (San Juan, PR: Centro de Investigaciones Históricas de la Universidad de Puerto Rico, National Endowment for the Humanities, 2008).

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Guadeloupe, Martinique, Saint Martin, Saint Barthélemy and French Guiana Laënnec Hurbon

This essay considers Christianity in countries in the region that belong to France and are French-speaking. The island nations of Guadeloupe, Martinique, Saint Martin and Saint Barthélemy form the French Antilles, while French Guiana is the only part of the South American mainland that is ruled by France. Until 2019, the United Nations classification treated both Saint Martin and Saint Barthélemy as part of Guadeloupe. Since the statistics that inform the tables in this book are based on the UN 2017 classification, there are no separate tables for these two countries. Two decisive developments have shaped the Christian presence: the colonisation that occurred in the first half of the seventeenth century and the changes that occurred in the region since the 1970s, in the wake of the Second Vatican Council. Both have had repercussions lasting to the present day. The trafficking of enslaved people from Africa was authorised by Louis XIII in 1675 in order to replace white workers from various regions of France, including the Antilles. The Black Code of 1685 (published following the revocation of the Edict of Nantes) governed the practices of slavery, which continued until the mid-nineteenth century and marked the history of this part of the world. Both the Dutch and the French imported a significant number of enslaved Africans, in order to work on the cotton, tobacco and sugar plantations. Christianity came at the same time as colonisation, introduced by Catholic missionary orders, including the Jesuits, Dominicans, Capuchins and Carmelites. Protestants and Jews, who had been arriving since the beginning of colonisation in 1635, were prohibited from conducting their worship services openly. However, the supposed conversion of the Africans was forced and was used as a justification for slavery. Resistance to slavery was punctuated by sporadic revolts and maroonism – the flight to places inaccessible to the owners. As missionaries were paid in slaves to work on their own plantations, they were not inclined to support slave revolts. But, paradoxically, in all French colonial possessions, Africans showed strong adherence to worship

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Guadeloupe, Martinique, Saint Martin, Saint Barthélemy and French Guiana  245



and the sacraments (baptisms, Masses, various devotions to saints). These religious activities offered slaves a place of support and even refuge for African beliefs and, at the same time, they facilitated the organisation of resistance against slavery, thanks to gatherings in the different parishes of the region. Still, the institution of slavery codified the dehumanisation of the enslaved; while being European and Christian indicated full humanity, religion provided the only way for the enslaved to be ‘civilised’ and to enjoy a modicum of social integration. Christianity in Guadeloupe, 1970 and 2020 Tradition Christians  Independents  Protestants  Catholics Evangelicals Pentecostals/Charismatics Total population

1970 Population 310,000 5,500 11,100 307,000 4,600 1,100 319,000

%

2020 Population

%

97.0% 1.7% 3.5% 96.1% 1.4% 0.3% 100.0%

428,000 18,900 32,000 400,000 17,000 23,300 448,000

95.4% 4.2% 7.1% 89.2% 3.8% 5.2% 100.0%

Average annual growth rate (%), 1970–2020 0.6% 2.5% 2.1% 0.5% 2.7% 6.3% 0.7%

Source: Todd M. Johnson and Gina A. Zurlo (eds), World Christian Database (Leiden/Boston: Brill), accessed January 2021.

Christianity in Martinique, 1970 and 2020 Tradition Christians  Independents  Protestants  Catholics Evangelicals Pentecostals/Charismatics Total population

1970 Population

%

2020 Population

%

320,000 3,700 11,300 307,000 3,600 250 325,000

98.4% 1.1% 3.5% 94.5% 1.1% 0.1% 100.0%

370,000 17,900 33,000 360,000 20,600 20,000 385,000

95.9% 4.6% 8.6% 93.4% 5.3% 5.2% 100.0%

Average annual growth rate (%), 1970–2020 0.3% 3.2% 2.2% 0.3% 3.5% 9.2% 0.3%

Source: Todd M. Johnson and Gina A. Zurlo (eds), World Christian Database (Leiden/Boston: Brill), accessed January 2021.

Christianity in French Guiana, 1970 and 2020 Tradition Christians  Anglicans  Independents  Protestants  Catholics Evangelicals Pentecostals/Charismatics Total population

1970 Population

%

2020 Population

%

43,800 50 560 2,800 42,500 1,800 760 47,900

91.3% 0.1% 1.2% 5.7% 88.7% 3.7% 1.6% 100.0%

257,000 100 8,500 13,800 238,000 8,200 15,500 304,000

84.5% 0.0% 2.8% 4.5% 78.3% 2.7% 5.1% 100.0%

Average annual growth rate (%), 1970–2020 3.6% 1.4% 5.6% 3.3% 3.5% 3.1% 6.2% 3.8%

Source: Todd M. Johnson and Gina A. Zurlo (eds), World Christian Database (Leiden/Boston: Brill), accessed January 2021.

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246  Laënnec Hurbon After the French Revolution, the colonial clergy became more interested in the religious education of slaves. Some priests, in both Guadeloupe and Martinique, supported the slaves who left the houses where they were enslaved. Under the impetus of the allegations of Victor Schœlcher (French deputy for Martinique) the abolition of slavery was finally proclaimed in 1848. Meanwhile, the evangelisation of slaves continued to take the form of encouraging them to adapt to European civilisation. In the mid-nineteenth century, Anne-Marie Javouhey of Burgundy led the creation of a separate colony of former slaves in French Guiana. While Javouhey intended to create a utopia of an independent black peasantry demonstrating the moralis­ing influence of Catholicism, such efforts were short lived and still tied them to a Christian hierarchy under Javouhey. Though a lack of priests was constant in the nineteenth century, the churches were well tended by the descendants of Africans recently liberated, which indicates that the domination of Catholicism was accepted in some way by the enslaved Africans; that is, it was normalised, in part because Catholicism was the only recognised religion and gave them spaces to recreate their African worship.

Contemporary Developments

By the 1970s, Antillean Catholics accepted the proposals referred to in the Second Vatican Council as an aggiornamento of the church. However, at the same time, a process of deruralisation and modernisation of Antillean societies began, transitioning the territories into a tourist economy and producing significant changes in mentalities. Questions about cultural identity arose (prompted by the work of the poet and mayor of Fort de France, Aimé Césaire) and many religious movements emerged that began to exert such a strong attraction that they ended up fragmenting the hegemony of Catholicism. Today, in the Antilles, Christianity is divided into two main categories. First is a Catholicism with African practices and beliefs embedded in its midst, such as the gadèzafè (managers of magical-religious practices inherited from Africa and mainly oriented towards therapeutic care). Linked with this traditional Catholicism, the Charismatic Renewal developed, which since 1976 has seen growing success, particularly in Guadeloupe. Quimbois, a syncretic religious movement found in Guadeloupe and Martinique, combines traditional magical and spiritual practices with Catholicism. It shares characteristics with other regional groups that emphasise spiritual beings and powers, ancestor veneration and divination that can be used for good or for evil purposes. Such traditions, like gadèzafè, have found syncretic inroads within Catholicism, among other reasons due to its veneration of saints. In the 1980s, this time at odds with

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Guadeloupe, Martinique, Saint Martin, Saint Barthélemy and French Guiana  247

Catholicism, a religious congregation called The Apostles of Infinite Love appeared in Deshaies, a parish in Basse-Terre (from a convent of Saint Jovitte in Quebec) with the pretence of defending true Catholic traditions. They began by restoring pilgrimage sites, announcing natural cataclysms and apparitions of the Virgin Mary. By 1977 their membership had risen to 75,000, with a presence in such religious manifestations as processions and pilgrimages. The success of these religious groups, as dissidents from traditional Catholicism, is due mainly to the magical-religious beliefs and practices of the gadèzafè. Such revitalised beliefs and practices within the Catholic traditions have been discouraged as a result of the significant changes generated by the Second Vatican Council. Secondly, during the 1970s Evangelicals, Pentecostals, Seventh-day Adventists, Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints experienced a boom. The Evangelical churches established since the late nineteenth century in Guadeloupe, Martinique and French Guiana attracted many faithful and developed practices quite similar to those of the Charismatic Renewal, insisting on the role of the Holy Spirit and demonstrative forms of worship. Similar emphases were evident in the Pentecostal Assemblies of God. On the other hand, among Seventh-day Adventists firmly established today in Martinique (with private schools, cultural centres and media), there is an intransigence towards all traditional magic-religious practices and a call to be constantly protected from the evil spells and acts of witchcraft that these practices entail. The same can be said about the Jehovah’s Witnesses, whose proselytism is based on the need to leave the Catholic Church, which is considered too tolerant of magic, witchcraft and syncretic groups such as the Quimbois. Jehovah’s Witnesses make up the second-largest denomination in Guadeloupe, Martinique and French Guiana. Such churches, dubbed fundamentalist, require a dogmatic exclusivity and strict regulation of lifestyle, in contrast to the fluidity and mobility of Catholic converts in the region. Beyond protection from evil spirits and magic, these Evangelical churches also provide a cultural refuge for those bewildered by the rapidly modernising and multicultural society. Churches deemed dogmatic also provide social support and a reliable social code. Churches like the Adventists provide mental health and psychological services for their parishioners. Nevertheless, adherents to Evangelical churches with strong internal affiliations are prone to destabilisation when it comes to determin­ing Antillean identity outside the boundaries of the congregation.

Religious Plurality

Today, Christianity in the French Antilles finds itself in a context of great religious diversity. For instance, Mahikari, a combination of

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248  Laënnec Hurbon Judeo-­ Christian principles and Japanese religious thought that came from Japan in 1976–7, does not propose to convert its followers. Rather, it is content to offer them therapeutic practices based on the recognition of ancestors who are too often forgotten but who can be identified through various points in the body. In addition, the Rastafari have attracted many young people since 1970, in part because of their proposed amnesia for slavery, as if this era had not happened and had no survival in the realities of everyday life. Since 1974, the youth of Guadeloupe have come together, as in Jamaica, in places far from the centres dominated by Western practices and culture. As they believe the West assimilates itself to Babylon, it is therefore necessary to flee from its system. Rastafarians support an intellectual endeavour based on the ancestral African American and Amerindian heritage, an aspect ignored by the media. The United Order of Latter-day Saints, of Guadeloupe, is a Mormon community established in 1982 as a properly Guadeloupian form of dissent. Furthermore, Masonic lodges, whose establishment dates back to the colonial period, are still active. Additionally, the Antilles have become home to many foreigners (Africans, Arabs, Europeans and, from the Caribbean itself, Dominicans, Saint Lucians and Haitians), so that Antilleans are continually subject to various cultural influences. Migratory patterns have also greatly reconfigured societal dynamics in the Caribbean, creating elements of cultural hybridity and ‘creolisation’. Emigration from Haiti has also impacted diversity, as Haitians count among the most numerous migrants in the French Antilles. In countries like French Guiana, such migratory trends actively shape socialisation and identity norms, especially in Cayenne, where most Haitians settle. French Guiana is ethnically diverse, with as much as one-third of its population born abroad. Among its large Catholic population is a sizeable constituency of Hmong, who arrived in the country from Laos in the 1970s through the efforts of missionaries. A Hmong church voted to join the Christian and Missionary Alliance, the small Protestant presence in the country, alongside Adventists, Assemblies of God and Christian Brethren. Adherents of traditional ethnic religions in French Guiana include the Oyampi, Carib and Emerillon (Teko), as well a portion of the Hmong. In Saint Martin, Christianity has evolved with the island’s religious plurality. Despite the presence of several denominations, Christianity serves as a way to promote religious tolerance, and for this reason denominational exclusivity is not important among the populace. Moreover, the significant exchange of practices between denominations and religions creates a spiritual tapestry that generally precludes strict inner belief and conversions, matters that are considered to be limited to the private sphere. Still, the region’s long history with Christianity has left an imprint – one

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that is implicitly, if not explicitly, performed through Saint Martin’s social, political and cultural expressions. Its 37,000 people occupy the 21 square miles of the northern part of the island of Saint Martin that is ruled by France, the southern part being under the sovereignty of the Netherlands – creating the only land border between the two European countries. Just over 20 miles to the south-east of Saint Martin is the volcanic island of Saint Barthélemy, another overseas collectivity of France. Until the 2003 vote in favour of secession the island was administered as part of Guadeloupe. In size it is almost 10 square miles and supports a population of just below 10,000. Its nineteenth-century Swedish colonial history is reflected in the architecture of the capital city Gustavia but the language and culture are distinctively French. The people are predominantly Catholic, with churches in Gustavia and in Lorient. A small Anglican community worships in the prominent St Bartholomew Church, built in 1855, in Gustavia. In 1995 the Evangelical Church of St Barthélemy was established, based on Pentecostal prayer groups that had formed during the early 1990s. There are many small prayer groups on the island and occasional ecumenical events that bring together Christians from the different traditions. In the 1980s, Hinduism experienced a visible expansion in Guadeloupe, Martinique and French Guiana. Most Indo-Caribbeans are Hindus, albeit their beliefs have evolved over time. Their history in the region stems from the search for indentured labour after the abolition of slavery. Their presence in the French Antilles is marked by immigration from Tamil- and Telugu-speaking areas of South India. Today, the Indo-Caribbean population faces challenges with Christian conversions and creolization, factors that pose questions about identity to those who live in the multifaceted society of the French Antilles. Islam entered in the 1970s, but it was an Islam interspersed with traditional magical-religious practices. In the 1980s an imam, linked to Saudi Arabia, established a fairly rigorous Islam. This great diversity reveals a certain fragility of the societies of the French Antilles, which cannot rethink their history without resentment. The memory of slavery permeates the religious way of life, even through the denial of slavery – with traces of African and Amerindian heritage that have been obliterated – by a culture that is vibrant but difficult to understand, given the way it has been impacted by Western modernity. From Rastafari to the movement of the Apostles of Infinite Love, to the Islam that during its first appearance was linked to its chief, Marabout, to the Mormon community where the gadèzafè is active, or even to the Catholic brotherhoods and Pentecostalism, we see that the heritage of African-type practices and beliefs has not disappeared.

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250  Laënnec Hurbon

Bibliography

Coleman, Monica A., ‘Serving the Spirits: The Pan-Caribbean African-Derived Religion in Nano Hopkinson’s “Brown Girl in the Ring”’, Journal of Caribbean Literatures, 6:1 (2009), 1–13. Curtis, Anny Dominique, ‘Martinique and Guadeloupe’, in The Encyclopedia of Caribbean Religions, vol. 2 (Champaign, IL: University of Illinois Press, 2013). Guadeloupe, Francio, Chanting Down the New Jerusalem: Calypso, Christianity, and Capitalism in the Caribbean (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2009). Lewis, John, ‘Indo-Caribbean Christian Diaspora’, in Sam George (ed.), Diaspora Christianities: Global Scattering and Gathering of South Asian Christians (Minneapolis, MN: 1517 Media, 2019). Masse, Raymond and Veronique Poulin, ‘La place des églises fondamentalistes dans la société et dans la culture martiniquaise’, in Bernabe Jean Bonnio (ed.), Au visiteur lumineux. Des îles créoles aux sociétés plurielles: Mélanges offerts à Jean Benoist (Petit-Bourg: Ibis Rouge, 2000), 403–15.

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Major Christian Traditions

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Anglicans Joanildo Burity

Anglicanism is one of the oldest Protestant faiths in Latin America and the Caribbean yet today represents only a small fraction of the non-Roman Catholic Christianity on the continent. The region has long been peripheral to Anglicanism, with the possible exception of the West Indies (given their more direct links to British colonialism), although some significant aspects of the Anglican worldwide mission strategy hinged on critical issues experienced in the area, particularly as regards the connections between mission, colonialism, slave trade and labour, and massive immigration. Only in the mid-twentieth century, at Lambeth 1958 and 1968, after almost 150 years of Anglican presence in Latin America, did the Anglican Communion openly acknowledge the latter’s importance. The colonial dilemmas of rendering compatible personal faith, pastoral care, institution-building and geopolitical interests that the combination of Christian mission and imperialist expansion intertwine found lasting expressions in the region. On the one hand, the Church of England decidedly refused to missionise in ‘Catholic countries’. On the other hand, tensions developed between catering for expatriate communities – businesspeople, technicians and working-class immigrants – and reaching out to mar­ ginalised Indigenous groups and carrying out missionary work among national majorities. Eventually, such apparent dilemmas gave way and the intimations of modern state-building, economic development and cultural autonomy in Latin America also found expression within Anglicanism. Questions of growth, institutionalisation and positioning in the wider context of a postcolonial Anglican communion took many years to be worked out even at the most basic level. Challenges of autonomy, self-support, small numbers and how to address critical issues of the present in the communion and in their own social settings continue to weigh heavily on the development of these churches. However, as will be seen, their trajectory has also left marks and contributions within the wider communion. This chapter will seek to spell them out by providing a brief account of that trajectory before pausing for a closer look at the current trends and features of the five Anglican provinces established in the continent.

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254  Joanildo Burity

Laying Roots, Connecting National Identities

The arrival of Anglicanism coincided with a transition period in Britain’s political and economic interests in the Americas. Already in the seven­ teenth century, Britain was involved in direct colonisation, in the Caribbean, Central and North America. By the late eighteenth century, Britain dominated the African slave trade in the area. With the Industrial Revolution, a new stage of expansion began, ushering in the negotiation of economic agreements with newly independent Latin American states that included the exploitation of natural resources, international trade, building infrastructure and some kinds of industrial production. All those agreements contained religious freedom clauses for British subjects. The advance of British economic interests thereafter included declaring illegal and patrolling the slave trade – which nonetheless lingered on for several decades – and the migration to Central and South America of British traders, engineers, doctors and teachers, as well as workers in railway construction, mining, farming, and fruit and trade companies. In the Caribbean islands, church organisation evolved from the midseventeenth century (1664 in Jamaica, 1665 in Barbados) and, by 1883, various dioceses had been established that constituted the province of the West Indies. The diocese of British Honduras, beginning in 1897, came to cover most of Central America and Bolivia, and returned to its original jurisdiction only in 1957. Missionally, the main challenge of the province was how to reach out to the majority black population, emancipated since 1833, but very superficially catered for until decades later, despite localised eighteenth-century initiatives, such as Codrington College in Barbados (1710). In Latin America, the move from chaplaincies catering for expatriates, especially in port and capital cities – with private services starting in 1810, in Brazil, and church buildings opened in Brazil (1819) and Argentina (1825) – towards forming congregations of national citizens, depended on legal constraints but also on issues of missionary strategy. Following the European model of established churches and the majority understanding

Anglicans in Latin America and the Caribbean, 1970 Region Latin America Caribbean Central America South America Global total

Total population

Christian population

Anglican population

% of region Anglican

% of Christians Anglican

288,077,000 25,310,000 69,925,000 192,842,000 3,700,578,000

271,568,000 19,798,000 68,273,000 183,496,000 1,229,309,000

775,000 554,000 46,100 175,000 47,394,000

0.3% 2.2% 0.1% 0.1% 1.3%

0.3% 2.8% 0.1% 0.1% 3.9%

Source: Todd M. Johnson and Gina A. Zurlo (eds), World Christian Database (Leiden/Boston: Brill), accessed January 2020.

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of the missionary movement, Latin America was regarded as a Roman Catholic preserve, except for Indigenous populations unreached by Catholic missions. Missions among Indigenous peoples in Tierra del Fuego had a key impact on the early institutionalisation of South American Anglican­ism, via the creation of the South American Missionary Society in 1844 and the consecration in 1869 of its former Secretary, Waite Stirling, as the first Anglican bishop, with jurisdiction over the whole of South America. Only after the 1870s could Anglican churches reach out to local citizens and speak their countries’ native languages, as more tolerance ensued and Evangelical proselytism gained ground over the ethnic church model inherited from the early nineteenth century. The tension between the two models lingered for decades, however, into the twentieth century. On the other hand, ecumenical collaboration with other Protestant denominations, and social initiatives of missionaries or diocesan structures in each country, offered alternative socio-political and religious views of national identity, modernisation, religious freedom and social justice that clashed with the Catholic majority. This process would not fully translate into aspirations of nationalisation and autonomy from the Church of England and the US Episcopal Church until well into the twentieth century, although the period between 1870 and 1930 did allow for incipient challenges and achievements. Missions to Indigenous peoples, educational and social provision initiatives directed to both elite and poorer communities, raised the need to negotiate Anglican presence and identity within national cultures and politics. In the same period, the growth of local clergy, churches and seminaries in the Caribbean offered a significant contrast, although the episcopacy remained an English preserve until well into the twentieth century.

Growth and Autonomisation

Between the 1930s and 1950s, Latin America was swept by a wave of nationalism, progressive populism, economic modernisation, in­dustrialis­ ation and urban growth, while the British Caribbean faced a crisis in the

Anglicans in Latin America and the Caribbean, 2020 Region Latin America Caribbean Central America South America Global total

Total population

Christian population

Anglican population

% of region Anglican

% of Christians Anglican

664,474,000 44,679,000 184,127,000 435,667,000 7,795,482,000

611,964,000 37,719,000 176,298,000 397,947,000 2,518,834,000

976,000 555,000 96,900 324,000 99,662,000

0.1% 1.2% 0.1% 0.1% 1.3%

0.2% 1.5% 0.1% 0.1% 4.0%

Source: Todd M. Johnson and Gina A. Zurlo (eds), World Christian Database (Leiden/Boston: Brill), accessed January 2020.

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256  Joanildo Burity sugar economy and witnessed massive social unrest. The deep impact of the Second World War opened avenues towards democratisation, and radical popular movements emerged that challenged inequalities and called for social rights, but that also, particularly in the Caribbean, led to growing migration towards Europe and the UK in particular. Additionally, the war period witnessed the closure of many British companies operating in Latin America, with a clear impact on the size and number of Anglican communities and serving priests. An atmosphere of change and national-popular contestation thus increasingly resonated within Protestant churches and allowed for new forms of (radical) theological thinking. Decolonising pressures and the growth of left-wing movements mounted in the Caribbean region, pushing for church autonomy and autochthonous leadership (the first native assistant bishop, a Jamaican, being consecrated in 1947). A perception developed that Anglican churches in the region had been left to their own devices but had something valuable to offer. This created momentum for a climate of opinion that would reverberate during the 1958 and 1968 Lambeth conferences. From the 1960s onwards, various Anglican provinces were formed in the region, as decolonisation really took off. The US Episcopal Province IX, in 1964, gathered the dioceses of Central America, Mexico, Colombia, Central and Litoral Ecuador, and the Dominican Republic and the extra­ provincial churches of Puerto Rico and Cuba. This came as a response to Lambeth 1958, and followed a consultation, called by the US Episcopal Church, in 1963, when representatives of that church, Canada, West Indies, Latin America and missionary societies discussed the missionary situation in the region and called for full indigenisation of its Anglican churches. The Anglican Episcopal Church of Brazil became autonomous in 1965. Argentina initiated a process of autonomisation in 1974, when a special ad hoc council (including Brazil for several years) was set up to steer it while governing three missionary dioceses. This led to the formation in 1981 of the Province of the Southern Cone of the Americas, including Argentina/ Uruguay, Northern Argentina, Paraguay, Chile and Bolivia/Peru. Mexico Changes in Anglicans in Latin America and the Caribbean, 1970–2020, growth rate, % per year Region

Total population

Christian population

Anglican population

Latin America

1.69%

1.64%

0.46%

Caribbean

1.14%

1.30%

Central America

1.96%

1.92%

1.50%

South America

1.64%

1.56%

1.24%

Global total

1.50%

1.45%

1.50%



Source: Todd M. Johnson and Gina A. Zurlo (eds), World Christian Database (Leiden/Boston: Brill), accessed January 2020.

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became autonomous in 1995, followed by Central America in 1998, comprising Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Guatemala and El Salvador. Chile was separated from the rest of the Southern Cone (renamed the Anglican Church of South America in 2014) to become the newest province in the Anglican communion in 2018. The deepening of a double process of indigenisation and institutionalisation multiplied national profiles and redrew jurisdictions. However, the tardiness of such trends, which gained momentum only from the mid-1960s, prolonged the self-containment of the old dual model of ethnic religion and open evangelism, resulting in the limited membership of churches in the region and their overall structural fragility. As churches in the region entered the twenty-first century, serious unfinished tasks of financial sustainability and institutional support remained, particularly regarding theological training for lay and ordained ministries and structures of pastoral care for specific local needs.

Contemporary Anglican Identities and Practices

Anglican churches broadly stand, at present, as Indigenous expressions of a Catholic and Reformed faith across Latin America and the Caribbean. They embody a wide diversity of forms of worship, though generally more liturgy-led than most other Protestant churches, and more AngloCatholic in the Caribbean than in the rest of Latin America. They show keen attention to domestic, transnational and global issues facing their (trans)national constituencies, particularly around social justice and human rights, with growing environmental concerns. They are strongly committed to ecumenical cooperation, both pastorally and institutionally. These features endow Anglican churches across the region with a distinctive outlook that renders them attractive to people who wish to nurture a Christian commitment without having to navigate legalistic behavioural impositions or sacrifice intellectual integrity to authoritarian leadership. A large proportion of Anglicans joined after leaving other Christian churches, both Catholic and Protestant from all sorts of denominations, attracted by the reasonably pluralistic morality and doctrinal openness of Anglicanism. Indigenisation does not therefore imply loss of distinctiveness but calls for a relevant voice from within concrete situations and wants. The decades since the late twentieth century have witnessed a more assertive engagement by the region’s provinces with the Anglican communion and the burgeoning Latin American and Caribbean religious landscape, hugely diverse and publicly mobilised in conflicting political directions. Unity, however, is a much harder call, whether through doctrinal, liturgical or practical effective convergence. Gatherings around specific themes (such as climate change and theological formation) or constituencies

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258  Joanildo Burity (youth, women, Indigenous peoples) have created incremental mutual acquaintance among provincial representatives. The Anglican Alliance started playing a significant mediating and articulating role across the region, through dedicated Latin American and Caribbean liaising and advisory staff, developing capacity in the areas of diaconal service and public engagement. Further, Anglican spirituality has proved permeable to long-term influences of the strongest currents of Latin American and Afro-descendant Christianity, whether Roman Catholic or Protestant. The impact of Evangelical and Pentecostal growth across the region since the 1980s has not left Anglican churches unaffected, whether theologically, liturgically or in terms of expression of their members’ personal piety. Such influences have provided missional impetus and worship diversification to parishes and dioceses while also introducing tensions and challenges. Responses to them have allowed for opportunities to work out a most-needed integration of pastoral care, public ministry, theological articulation and spiritual depth in a continent swept by powerful economic and cultural changes, as well as a lasting legacy of conservative religious witness. Catholicity becomes a challenge as parochialism and individualism wrestle with openness of identity and interdependence. Contentment and commitment to social justice strive to prevail against consumerism and the popularity of prosperity gospel preaching. And, amid the recent escalation of sociopolitical instability, polarisation and bigotry, love for others, hospitality and care for the natural world stand in sharp tension with ruthless ex­ pressions of the market, racial discrimination, social hatred and violence. Countries throughout the region have long struggled to achieve and secure a balance between self-determination and justice, development and environmental controls, political freedom and respect for popular sovereignty and the rule of law. Facing huge issues of social inequality and violence amidst remarkable cultural diversity (forged through a long and painful history of black slavery, ill-treatment of native peoples and multiple waves of post-independence immigration), Anglicanism is permeated by its own Latin American and Caribbean postcolonial social-historical settings. Given the recent travails of building up solid democratic societies under conditions of lasting authoritarian cultures, persistent deep inequalities and multidimensional impacts of glocalisation processes, Anglican churches have been confronted with social agendas that prompt both outward and inward responses, challenging laypersons, clergy and church structures alike. Anglicans in the region have been summoned to be true to some of the most distinctive traits of their proclaimed message, as expressed, for instance, in the Anglican communion’s Five Marks of Mission: to proclaim

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Anglicans  259

the Good News of the Kingdom; to teach, baptise and nurture new believers; to respond to human need by loving service; to transform unjust structures of society, to challenge violence of every kind and pursue peace and reconciliation; and to strive to safeguard the integrity of creation, and sustain and renew the life of the earth. These are fully endorsed in principle by all eight provinces. This is most clearly shown in the face of natural disasters, emerging demands from social minorities and dissenting theological voices calling for full participation in the life of the church and/or acknowledgement of and solidarity towards their collective public struggles for recognition and justice. Such contexts, and the growing interconnectedness with a wider communion torn between intricate and sometimes jarring demands for decolonisation of its structures and missiology, on the one hand, and for relevant witness to their own contexts, on the other, have proved puzzling and disconcerting. The very notion of coherent regional Anglican identity and profile is under question as provincial self-understandings are formed more by national and local contexts or particular conjunctures. However, considering how small these churches usually are among other Christian expressions (with the exception of some Caribbean dioceses), it is remarkable to see the extent of their visibility in certain quarters of society as well as their active contribution to and through ecumenical bodies, civil society activism and, less so, dialogues with governmental and legislative bodies, producing influences that are disproportionate to their limited resources. As in so many other contexts across the communion, Latin American and Caribbean churches and dioceses, while quite vocal on social and political issues (whether poverty, racism or environmental crises), often retain average conservative views on doctrine, ordained ministry, and the implications of cultural and political changes. Sharp divergences exist among Anglicans in the region, especially regarding biblical interpretation; conceptions of the family, gender relations and human sexuality; and interfaith dialogue (curiously connected to ethnic and racial discrimination, besides obvious doctrinal and ritual differences). This has created pressures to accommodate differences within as well as between provinces, with intermittent expressions of dissent, conflict and splintering. Within less than two decades, about a dozen new ‘Anglican’ or ‘Episcopal’ small denominations have appeared as those who leave regroup. Reflecting much deeper regional cultural roots, two issues have tellingly expressed this complex profile: women’s ordained ministry and the LGBTQ+ issue (as both a civil and a theological/pastoral one). Women’s ordination was for some time a deeply controversial issue and followed winding pathways. Mexico ordained its first female priest in 1982 but has not elected a woman bishop. Brazil fully endorsed ordination in 1983, and

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260  Joanildo Burity has ordained women to the priesthood since 1985 (today they represent around 30% of the clergy), but consecrated its first two diocesan bishops only in 2018 (Diocese of Amazonia) and 2019 (Diocese of Pelotas). The Province of the West Indies ordained its first two female priests in 1996. The Anglican Church in Central America, although having voted to ordain women in 2008, has women priests only in Costa Rica and Nicaragua, and no woman bishop yet. The Anglican Church of South America (former Southern Cone) consistently rejected women’s ordination until 2015, when Bolivia and Uruguay ordained their first female priests. Province IX of the Episcopal Church (formed by Central and South American and Caribbean dioceses) has hitherto not joined the wider church in this matter. Although women’s ordination caused tensions and some defections between the late 1970s and mid-1990s, widespread acceptance eventually emerged across the region’s provinces. The homosexuality debate, however, has proved to be more divisive and protracted, following the first resolutions from the 1978 Lambeth conference and unilateral decisions by the US and Canadian churches since 2002. It has of course sparked fierce cultural and theological debates globally, regionally and locally. Acknowledging, welcoming and granting full ‘ecclesial rights’ to sexual minorities in churches have stirred emotional responses from all quarters of Anglican churches. The process took highly conflicting directions as it addressed issues of marriage and the ordination of gays and lesbians. Schisms happened and internal divisions were deepened as debate became more visceral, mistrust set in and various forms of violation of traditional Anglican understandings of ecclesiastic jurisdiction multiplied within and between provinces in the region. The Anglican Church of South America formally joined the Global Anglican Futures Conference (GAFCON). Mexico and the West Indies are among the first to have adopted the so-called Windsor Covenant and both South America and the West Indies have joined the Global South Anglicans movement – related to the homosexuality debates. Brazil has experienced a serious diocesan schism in its north-eastern Diocese of Recife, followed – after more than a decade of irreconcilable division – by the announcement of a new Brazilian ‘Anglican province’ (the Anglican Church in Brazil, unrecognised as part of the Anglican communion) in 2018. The outcomes are far from neat and uniform. Provincial official lines have been continuously challenged by some clergy and laypeople at the parish or diocesan level. Nevertheless, there is no full alignment of Latin American and Caribbean Anglican churches with the conservative position. Evangelicals and traditionalists, for instance, can be found everywhere among supporters of full acceptance of sexual minorities in church life and ministry. And there are signs that the issue seems to be settled in

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Anglicans  261

Brazil – where its 2018 general synod voted overwhelmingly to change the constitution and canons to allow for both ordination and marriage rites – and a modus vivendi holds in Central America (where Nicaragua and El Salvador have taken non-conservative positions on the issue), though things are not so clear in the US Episcopal Province IX. Both former and current West Indies archbishops, John Holder and Howard Gregory, are known to favour decriminalisation of homosexuality and legal equality of LGBT citizens, despite major rejection in the province of, for instance, same-sex marriage. Together with the province of South America and the newly formed province of Chile, these three provinces have officially upheld the conservative view on the matter.

Conclusion

Anglican presence in Latin America and the Caribbean goes back over 300 years. Despite this, it was held back for too long by the effort to retain an ethnic mark of British religious identity even after religious freedom had been legally or practically secured everywhere. Since the mid-twentieth century, the highly diverse Latin American and Caribbean Anglican trajectories and contributions have produced not only decolonising efforts but also modest self-assertion within the Anglican communion. Churches became more openly engaged in national and transnational debates and social struggles as they sought voices of their own in the global Anglican conversation. In this process, the tension is still very marked between Indigenous growth, active presence in the regional historical dynamics, and having an impact on the Anglican communion. Alongside the contested theological, ethical and ecclesiological issues that threaten to shatter global Anglicanism there remain many similarities among the region’s provinces, and several efforts are being made to articulate new forms of ‘non-alignment’ that can perhaps hold promise for the future.

Bibliography

Cavieses, Guillermo, ¡Anglicanos! Latin American Anglicanism: A Study of the Ecclesiology and Identity of the Anglican Churches of Latin America (Uppsala: Uppsala University, 2010). Kater, John L. Jr, ‘Latin American Anglicanism in the Twentieth Century’, in William L. Sachs (ed.), The Oxford History of Anglicanism, Volume V: Global Anglicanism, c. 1910–2000 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018), 98–123. Maraschin, Jaci, ‘Culture, Spirit and Worship’, in Ian T. Douglas and Kwok Pui-Lan (eds), Beyond Colonial Anglicanism: The Anglican Communion in the Twenty-First Century (New York: Church Publishing, 2000), 318–36. Markham, Ian S., J. Barney Hawkins IV, Justyn Terry and Leslie Nuñez Steffensen (eds), The Wiley-Blackwell Companion to the Anglican Communion (Malden, MA: Wiley & Blackwell, 2013), chs 44, 45, 49 and 50. Roland Guzmán, Carla E., Unmasking Latinx Ministry for Episcopalians: An Anglican Approach (New York: Church Publishing, 2020).

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Independents William Mauricio Beltrán

Although it is well known that Latin America has been a predominantly Catholic continent, this has been changing rapidly in recent decades. Currently in the region, hundreds of churches that have no formal or institutional relationship with the Catholic Church, nor with any of the other historical Christian denominations, are inaugurated weekly. In addition, most of the new churches, although they can be located within the Pente­ costal movement, are not born in traditional Pentecostal denominations (such as Assemblies of God, Church of the Foursquare Gospel, Church of God, Church of God in Christ and Pentecostal Holiness Church) or join them. These new churches also show no interest in being part of the World Council of Churches. Thus, the clear majority of the new Latin American Christian churches can be defined as ‘Independent churches’ or, at least, this is what their founders and pastors consider them to be. The ‘Independent churches’ category attempts to encompass a great diversity of Christian communities, since – more than a doctrinal category – it encompasses a certain form of religious organisation or ecclesial government that has become recurrent, or, rather, predominant in Latin America. To attempt to describe this phenomenon, an exposure method based on what the sociologist Max Weber called ideal types or pure types is proposed here. This means that, given the great diversity of Independent churches that are found on Latin American soil, the present description tends to generalise from some cases that can be considered emblematic, extracting data from these cases that allow the reader to have a general idea of the characteristics of the Independent churches and of the reasons why they proliferate and prosper in Latin America. It is pertinent to clarify, however, that the present description (due to its generalising claims and its schematic nature) omits details of the trajectory and characteristics of each of the churches that fall in the category ‘Independent’. For this reason, the description offered here should be read with caution, since although simplifying the phenomenon helps us to under­stand it, this general description omits details that can be considered fundamental for another observer, or for a member or supporter of any of the churches mentioned here.

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Independents  263

Independents, Pentecostalism and Charismatic Leadership

For this description, we start from a fact supported by numerous investi­ gations: most of the Independent churches that are born and prosper in Latin America have their origin in Evangelical Protestantism and, particularly, in the Pentecostal movement. As is well known, Pentecostalism is growing strongly throughout the Latin American region, and it is the religious movement to which most Catholics who desert from their church emigrate. Why are most of the new Evangelical and Pentecostal churches that are born and thriving in Latin America organised as Independent churches? This question leads us to be interested in Pentecostalism, ­especially the leadership models and forms of government that predominate in the congregations of this religious movement. In general terms, the new Pentecostal congregations do not follow the forms of government that are usually associated with historical Protestantism – for example, the episcopal, presbyterian or congregationalist government – but are based on a model of government in which most of the authority focuses on the figure of the pastor of the local congregation. This model can be understood using the pure type of Charismatic leadership that Max Weber developed at the beginning of the twentieth century. This means that, in the Pentecostal congregations, the authority of the Pente­ costal pastor rests on the trust granted by his faithful, who are convinced that their pastor has been called and anointed by God to guide the flock. In other words, God has given the pastor gifts or charisms necessary to accomplish this task. But it also means that the Pentecostal pastor must show the flock evidence of truly being called by God – namely, the pastor must display the charisms of the Holy Spirit. For example, the Pentecostal pastor may be God’s instrument for the manifestation of the charism of divine healing, or of prophecy, or the power to exorcise demons. Also, the pastor can enjoy the charism of teaching or speaking ‘the gift of the Word’, which translates into effective communication with the faithful. Whatever the charism exhibited by the Pentecostal pastor, it must be confirmed at each meeting or liturgical event

Independents in Latin America and the Caribbean, 1970 Region Latin America Caribbean Central America South America Global total

Total population

Christian population

Independent population

% of region Independent

% of Christians Independent

288,077,000 25,310,000 69,925,000 192,842,000 3,700,578,000

271,568,000 19,798,000 68,273,000 183,496,000 1,229,309,000

9,786,000 562,000 1,582,000 7,642,000 89,480,000

3.4% 2.2% 2.3% 4.0% 2.4%

3.6% 2.8% 2.3% 4.2% 7.3%

Source: Todd M. Johnson and Gina A. Zurlo (eds), World Christian Database (Leiden/Boston: Brill), accessed January 2020.

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264  William Mauricio Beltrán because, if the charism stops manifesting, the faithful can assume that the Holy Spirit has abandoned their pastor, which in turn implies that the pastor no longer has the authority to guide them. This characteristic of Pentecostalism explains the importance leaders of this religious movement place on demonstrating results that can be measured through quantifiable indicators. For example, Pente­costal pastors can boast of the healings that have occurred through their ministry, or the number of converts who ‘have accepted Christ’ through their preaching, or the number of faithful who meet in their congregation. Successful Pentecostal ministers can boast even more mundane indicators – for example, the size of the building where their faithful gather, the number of radio or television stations at the service of their ministry, or the number of books of their authorship that have been sold. In Pente­ costalism – through a phenomenon that Jean-Pierre Bastian called the ‘law of numbers’ – these figures constitute evidence of the legitimacy of the pastor’s authority and of the truthfulness of the message that is preached in the congregations, evidence that might be as important as a doctrinal or biblical argument – if not more so. In other words, these types of results are often seen by Pentecostal believers as evidence that God ‘supports’ their pastor and, therefore, that the preaching they hear is ‘sound doctrine’. On the one hand, if these indicators are low – if pastors cannot demonstrate that miracles have occurred in their ministries, if their sermons do not attract converts and if few believers congregate in their churches – then both their own faithful and other Pentecostals might doubt their religious authority, as well as doubting that God has called them to exercise pastoral ministry. On the other hand, becoming a pastor of a large congregation, especially a mega-church (a congregation in which thousands of faithful gather), not only is considered by Pentecostals the ‘fruit’ of a genuine ministry through which the power of the Holy Spirit is manifested but in addition is, for the pastor, the gateway to most symbols of social distinction in consumer societies, such as high income, ostentatious consumption, prestige and social recognition – symbols that are valued

Independents in Latin America and the Caribbean, 2020 Region Latin America Caribbean Central America South America Global total

Total population

Christian population

Independent population

% of region Independent

% of Christians Independent

664,474,000 44,679,000 184,127,000 435,667,000 7,795,482,000

611,964,000 37,719,000 176,298,000 397,947,000 2,518,834,000

58,185,000 2,757,000 13,210,000 42,218,000 391,125,000

8.8% 6.2% 7.2% 9.7% 5.0%

9.5% 7.3% 7.5% 10.6% 15.5%

Source: Todd M. Johnson and Gina A. Zurlo (eds), World Christian Database (Leiden/Boston: Brill), accessed January 2020.

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Independents  265

beyond the walls of the temple. However, the few religious leaders who achieve the goal of leading a large congregation are also often visionary entrepreneurs who have made the appropriate administrative decisions to consolidate an expanding organisation. Therefore, as proposed by Heinrich Schäfer, in addition to pastors, they can be considered managers. In that sense, administrative and social skills, and the vision for business, are usually some of the qualities expected of pastor-managers of Independent mega-churches. In Latin America, Indigenous Pentecostal churches (founded by local leaders) that privilege the results, admire the mega-ecclesial model and organise themselves as Independent churches (do not join a traditional religious denomination), and whose leaders proudly display the symbols of the success of the consumer society, are usually considered by experts and lay people as ‘Neo-Pentecostal churches’. That is, they constitute autonomous and native second- or third-generation Pentecostal versions. However, we do not use the term ‘Neo-Pentecostal’ here because it might be misleading, especially since the difference between Pentecostalism and Neo-Pentecostalism is not clear in relation to doctrine and liturgy. One could simply say that the latter movement is one of the manifestations into which the former has evolved. Nevertheless, it is important to reiterate that an important sector of Pentecostalism does not consider the characteristics of the mega-ecclesial model to be desirable; on the contrary, they observe it with distrust, considering that it moves away from biblical principles and the ecclesial model that predominated in the first Christian communities (early Christianity). In Independent churches where the authority of the leader is measured by the results, especially by the size of the congregations, pastors do not need the accreditation of an official theological formation, to have a pro­ fessional diploma or to have achieved a certain degree of formal education. Nor must they belong to a religious institution or organisation that can certify ‘apostolic succession’ or that the candidate has the necessary skills to properly guide a community of believers. Changes in Independents in Latin America and the Caribbean, 1970–2020, growth rate, % per year Region

Total population

Christian population

Independent population

Latin America

1.69%

1.64%

3.63%

Caribbean

1.14%

1.30%

3.23%

Central America

1.96%

1.92%

4.34%

South America

1.64%

1.56%

3.48%

Global total

1.50%

1.45%

2.99%

Source: Todd M. Johnson and Gina A. Zurlo (eds), World Christian Database (Leiden/Boston: Brill), accessed January 2020.

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266  William Mauricio Beltrán As can be seen in their autobiographies – which in most cases become bestsellers – many of the pastor-managers of the mega-churches that thrive in Latin America, at the time they founded their religious organisations, did not have a diploma in theology; some had not even finished basic school education. Now, it is possible that after having achieved success related to the growth of their churches, some of them have also accessed academic degrees that they use as symbols of prestige and social distinction. In any case, the important thing is to reiterate that the authority of the pastors of this type of church does not depend on the diplomas obtained but on the results (or fruits) of ministry, and that it is by the evidence of these results that the faithful follow and obey them.

Theology of the Independent Churches

That, in the Independent churches, the theological formation of the pastors is of little importance has various practical implications. It is reflected especially in the way pastors interpret the Bible. Although the Bible is still considered the sacred book revealed by God to guide the lives of the faithful, the interpretation that shepherds make of it can hardly be located in a theological tradition or in any particular hermeneutical method. In addition, for this task, pastors do not resort (or at least not necessarily) to knowledge in philosophy, linguistics, history, hermeneutics or some other body of knowledge related to the work of theologians. Nor should they submit to any prior agreement (for example something agreed at or by a council) or to the control of any external body responsible for ensuring ‘sound doctrine’. In most cases, pastors of Independent churches believe that the guidance (illumination or revelation) of the Holy Spirit is sufficient for interpreting the Bible properly and that this guidance can manifest itself through all kinds of experiences. For example, the Holy Spirit can communicate with them through dreams and visions but can also send them ‘signs’ through all kinds of everyday life situations. In any case, in this type of church, pastors enjoy a wide range of autonomy to interpret the Bible and to define doctrine; perhaps the only criterion that guides them is that their preaching should be credible in the ear of their faithful. This allows doctrinal innovations to emerge frequently from In­ dependent churches that distance them from both Catholic and Protestant Christian orthodoxy. Therefore, it is not surprising that some of these churches are considered heretical by the other Christian denominations. These types of statements have fallen, for example, on the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God (founded in 1977 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) and on the Church of God Ministry of Jesus Christ International (founded in 1972 in Bogotá, Colombia). In fact, other churches that followed a path

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similar to the one described above might no longer be considered part of Protestantism, in which case it might be more appropriate to consider them new religions. This would be the case of the Light of the World (founded in 1926 in Guadalajara, Mexico) and the Evangelical Association of the Israelite Mission of the New Universal Covenant (founded in 1955 or 1958 in Peru). In administrative and organisational aspects, the churches just mentioned currently follow paths that are largely comparable to those followed by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (also known as the Mormon Church, founded by Joseph Smith in 1830) and Jehovah’s Witnesses (founded by Charles Taze Russell in 1870). These were born in the cultural and religious context of North American Protestantism, but they quickly moved away from Protestantism by modifying or questioning some of the central doctrines of Christian orthodoxy, including the doctrine of the Trinity. Although they consider the Bible one of their sacred books, both confer on the teachings of their founders a status similar to that of ‘revealed truths’. Because they are depositories of these new revelations, each of these organisations considers itself the only way of salvation and believes that it holds a monopoly on the correct interpretation of the Bible and on sound doctrine. For this reason, they regard other Christian denominations as heretical. All this leads them to maintain a hostile attitude to ecumenism, although it must be said that the other Christian denominations do not show interest in establishing a dialogue with them and, in general terms, they judge them to be teaching ‘false doctrines’. Today, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and Jehovah’s Witnesses are present in most countries of the world, including all Latin American countries, have millions of faithful and manage a multimilliondollar infrastructure (church buildings, mass media, educational centres, publishing houses). Their organisational structures are hierarchical and centralised at the world level, and the teachings and liturgical activities that are celebrated in each of their venues obey a single and synchronised global plan. Both give great importance to proselytising strategies, and they try to involve as many of their faithful as possible in a worldwide evangelisation strategy. It can be said that their constant expansion is explained precisely by their ability to activate the commitment of the laity in proselytising activities. As they consider that their growth confirms the fact of being truth bearers, they strive to keep accurate, up-to-date statistics on the number of converts, baptised, missionaries, leaders and active preachers in each region and country. It is also pertinent that their organisational structures include mechanisms to avoid schisms or divisions within, including dissenting opinions.

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268  William Mauricio Beltrán We reiterate, nevertheless, that the new Independent Latin American Christian churches that seem to be following a trajectory comparable to the one we have just described – to consolidate themselves as new doctrines or religions – are the exception rather than the rule. However, in a phenome­ non that is still surprising, most of the new Independent Latin American churches maintain a doctrine and liturgy close to the broader slope of Pentecostalism. Thus, most of these churches attach great importance to the supernatural manifestations of the Holy Spirit, especially to the occurrence of miracles (for example, of physical healing, economic prosperity, ‘family restoration’ and emotional health – which Pentecostals call ‘inner healing’). In addition, they encourage their faithful to seek emotional and ecstatic experiences in their worship services. In these churches, cultural elements from the religious tradition to which their pastors belonged before experiencing religious conversion take on an important role. To the extent that the clear majority of these leaders are heirs of some of the expressions of Latin American popular religiosity, it is common for these churches to mix beliefs from popular Catholicism, North American Pentecostalism and the ancestral religions of Africa and Latin America. This in turn is possible due to the various affinities that exist between Pentecostalism and Latin American popular religiosity. For example, in both religious systems, the faithful consider legitimate the expectation of obtaining miracles, for which these religious systems offer a whole repertoire of rites. In addition, in both religious systems, it is believed that the evils of this life (including sickness and poverty) might be a consequence of witchcraft or the action of evil spirits (‘demons’). However, witchcraft and demons can be resisted, driven away or defeated with the help of the power of a higher spirit (the Holy Spirit). Some examples of these forms of syncretism and religious hybridisation can be clearly seen in the aforementioned Universal Church of the Kingdom of God or in God Is Love Pentecostal Church (founded in 1962 in São Paolo, Brazil) and Bethesda Mission Center (founded in 1975 in Bogotá, Colombia). The messages that are preached in these churches depend very much on the type of audience to which the pastors direct their messages. For example, the doctrinal emphases that are heard in churches that seek to attract the most vulnerable social sectors, who often have low levels of formal education, are different from those heard in churches that seek to attract middle classes, composed of professionals, merchants and entrepreneurs who aspire to social ascent. In the case of churches that seek to attract vulnerable sectors, in addition to the offer of miracles that promise immediate solutions to the most urgent needs of the faithful, it is still possible to hear eschatological messages that announce the imminent

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return of Christ and the arrival of the end times, an imminent historical rupture that includes the establishment of a millennial kingdom in which the members of these churches will be called to govern. On the other hand, as Schäfer has pointed out, in the churches that seek to attract the urban middle classes who aspire to promotion and social recognition, the eschatological announcements of the end times are often pushed to the background and prosperity is preached, along with economic access to ostentatious consumption, as symbols par excellence of the divine blessing. Therefore, in these churches the values of the consumer society are not questioned, nor do pastors preach about the contradictions of the free market and capitalism. On the contrary, the faithful are encouraged to enjoy the benefits of capitalism and take full advantage of the advantages offered by the consumer society. In particular, enjoying growing purchasing power is considered something that ‘the children of God’ should desire. Additionally, the faithful in these churches are encouraged to access positions of political and business power, since their enjoyment of power, prestige and social recognition is esteemed as something desired by God. This type of doctrinal emphasis allows the leaders of these churches to be involved in electoral political activity, since, as ‘children of God’, they feel called to govern. In the case of mega-churches, pastors use their power of persuasion and all the material infrastructure of the religious enterprise to try to convince their faithful to accompany them in this new enterprise, and some manage to convert the loyalty of a sector of their faithful into votes. In this regard, throughout Latin America, the participation in electoral politics of numerous Christian churches can be documented. Some of the most studied cases are those of the afore­mentioned Universal Church of the Kingdom of God in Brazil and the Church of God Ministry of Jesus Christ International in Colombia, to which the International Charismatic Mission Church can be added (founded in 1983 in Bogotá). These churches have in common the fact that at some point they have organised their own political parties to participate in electoral contests. For this reason, the leaders of these churches are criticised by leaders of other denominations not only on points pertaining to biblical interpretation, doctrinal innovations or ostentatious lifestyle, but also for the way they take advantage of their religious authority to gain power in the electoral political field. The doctrinal emphasis just described is known as ‘prosperity theology’. In Latin America, the churches that preach this ‘theology’ multiply rapidly. However, the first disseminators of this type of message in Latin America were all North American preachers, among them Kenneth E. Hagin (1917–2003), Oral Roberts (1918–2009) and Peter Wagner (1930–2016). In

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270  William Mauricio Beltrán addition to the aforementioned Universal Church of the Kingdom of God and International Charismatic Mission Church, other churches that preach the so-called ‘prosperity theology’ with notable success are the House of God (founded in 1994 in Guatemala) and King Jesus International Ministry (founded in 1996 in Miami, Florida, USA), aimed at Latino immigrants living in the USA. However, it should be reiterated that Independent churches offer a wide variety of doctrinal and liturgical emphases. Therefore, to describe them, the expression coined by the well known pastor and writer Rick Warren is very useful: ‘it takes all kind of churches to reach all kinds of people’.

Independent Churches and Religious Entrepreneurship

Although the churches that we have mentioned – that is, the megachurches and the large Independent Christian organisations – are the most visible thanks to their presence in the mass media, as well as the ones that are most frequently involved in public debates and in local electoral processes, the clear majority of Independent churches in Latin America are small congregations, rarely exceeding 100 members. Although these can be observed in almost every corner of the continent, they proliferate, especially in the slums, in the favelas and, in general, in the excluded social sectors, both rural and urban. Most of these Independent churches have not had foreign economic subsidies, nor the sponsorship of other religious organisations to consolidate. Rather, the clear majority of them are the product of the initiative of religious leaders who, after ‘having felt the call of God’, have risked founding new communities of faithful for which, in a broad sense, they have assumed the role of an independent entrepreneur. To establish one of these churches requires only a modest economic investment; having a room in a house, a garage or any other place where the first faithful can meet is enough. While the pastor’s family generally constitutes the initial congregation, it is also common for the new pastor to choose from among close relatives (such as spouse and children) a cadre of more reliable collaborators. Therefore, the new church is often organised as a family business, as is the case with most Latin American micro-businesses. Thus, establishing one of these congregations can be considered an entrepreneurial strategy of leaders who do not have capital other than their religious charism and the support of their family nucleus. As is well known, Latin American countries maintain high rates of unemployment and underemployment, and large sectors of the population suffer from conditions of economic precariousness. For Christians who feel the religious vocation, but also suffer unemployment or job insecurity, being

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a pastor of a small Christian church can become a way to meet (to some extent) their material needs and to access some degree of social recognition. As already mentioned, for the new churches to remain and prosper, the pastors must not only show charisma, they must also have certain administrative knowledge, which is essential for overcoming the many practical problems involved in organising and leading a community of faithful. Since many of the new pastors lack ‘charisma’ (that is, they are unable to prove to a growing number of followers that God uses them in an ex­traordinary way) or do not have adequate formal education, most Independent Christian communities that are born in Latin America remain small and do not achieve any degree of institutionalisation, or else dissolve in a short period of time (measured in weeks or months). Therefore, in the same way that hundreds of Independent churches are born weekly, hundreds disappear or are absorbed by other better-organised churches. The few who achieve some degree of consolidation frequently observe the mega-ecclesial role model. In other words, the leaders of these organis­ ations aspire to transform a small community into a massive religious organisation. Once this goal is achieved, they are usually projected to open new sites in the same city, or in other cities, or even in other countries. That is, frequently, the most successful Independent churches eventually become transnational or multinational religious organisations. The first international venues usually extend initially to the other countries of Latin America and to the countries to which Latin Americans migrate most frequently, such as Spain and the USA. In general, the pastor-founder-manager aspires to maintain control of the new headquarters, both economically and doctrinally, so it is in­ appropriate to define these new religious organisations as denominations. In this, too, the actions of pastors resemble those of successful entrepreneurs who aspire to accumulate the greatest amount of economic capital and, in this case, also of religious capital; that is, they seek to accumulate prestige and authority over a growing community of faithful (here, religious capital is used in the sense defined by the sociologist Pierre Bourdieu in 1971). Without trying to question the sincerity and religious vocation of the new pastors, it is clear that the success of some Pentecostal pastor-­ managers (who have managed not only to attract thousands of followers but also to accumulate large fortunes) is a source of inspiration for many of the new Independent entrepreneurs who take the risk of organising a new church. The autobiographies of pastors such as Edir Macedo, César Castellanos and María Luisa Piraquive de Moreno are widely known in the Latin American region. Coming from backgrounds in poverty, these pastors now lead multinational religious empires and enjoy the economic

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272  William Mauricio Beltrán benefits reserved for the elite. Thus, establishing an Independent church should not be seen only as a strategy of material survival, but also as a way for the social ascent of talented and visionary religious leaders. The consolidation of the mega-ecclesial model as a model to be imitated by the new pastors has brought a certain standardisation of Latin American Christianity around strategies that have already proved their success. These include the musicalisation of worship, the occurrence of miracles, the use of mass media for the expansion of the message and the generalisation of certain theological emphases, among which the so-called ‘prosperity theology’ stands out. These successful strategies can include the tendency of the new Christian churches to remain independent – that is, not to join any Christian denomination that enjoys tradition and recognition – in a phenomenon often called the ‘post-denominational movement’. Although many of the new Christian churches decide to remain independent for a variety of reasons, we present here some of the most frequent ones, again using the tool of pure types. Generally, it is purely practical reasons, rather than doctrinal or biblical ones, that motivate the founder of a new Christian church not to affiliate the congregation to an already estab­ lished denomination or church. Before their faithful, however, pastors will justify their decisions through predominantly doctrinal or biblical arguments. This means that, in Latin America, a religious leader who decides to establish a new Christian church and grow it in member­ ship finds considerable advantages in remaining independent. For example, denominations and religious associations have means to monitor the doctrine preached by their affiliated pastors. In addition, they establish mechanisms to monitor the behaviour of their pastors, to observe that they behave as is proper for ministers of God. Especially, they pay attention to their sexual and family behaviour, to avoid scandals that compromise the image of the denomination. Finally, these entities monitor the way in which leaders govern the church, especially the way in which they make decisions that affect the life of the community and the way in which they administer the economic resources provided by the faithful. The pastor who decides to maintain an independent congregation evades all these instances of vigilance and control, therefore, and has almost complete freedom to decide in relation to the doctrine that is preached, the way in which the congregation is governed and the way in which the economic resources provided by the faithful are managed. As they are considered ‘called by God’, these leaders often argue that ‘God is the only one who can ask them about their actions’. There is therefore often a lack of internal control mechanisms, even within the local congregation itself. For example, the new mega-churches

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rarely include in their form of government institutions such as con­sistories, administrative boards, bodies of deacons or councils of elders, which are common in the forms of government of traditional Protestant denominations. In the case of those mega-churches that do have such institutions, those admitted to membership are usually appointed exclusively by the pastor; that is, in their election they do rely on democratic ways through which the members of the congregation can participate in the decisions. On the other hand, staying independent also allows churches to evade the economic contributions that every denomination or religious association imposes on its affiliates, contributions that, in general terms, are destined for the maintenance of bureaucratic structures and the central offices of these entities. Finally, an already consolidated mega-church or a transnational religious organisation finds no greater practical advantages in being part of a denomination or an association of churches since, by virtue of the infrastructure they have built and the economic power they have accumulated, they can achieve the objectives related to their growth and expansion without the support of other churches or denominations. Now, as already mentioned, the pastor justifies before the faithful the decision to remain independent by turning to arguments that can be considered theological. For example, one can argue that Jesus Christ did not establish a religious denomination, mission or association, but founded a church that in turn materialises in local congregations or churches. Through this argument, the religious leader also manages to enrol in a tradition that, according to its interpretation, was typical of the early church and was inaugurated by Jesus Christ himself. For example, the leaders of some of the most successful mega-churches in Latin America are enrolled in what has been called the New Apostolic Movement, whose first manifestations in Latin America date back to the 1980s. Taking the apostle Paul and his leading role in the consolidation of the doctrine and organisation of the first Christian communities as a biblical model, the leaders of some of the new mega-churches no longer recognise themselves as pastors, but instead call themselves apostles. These new apostles argue that they are not part of any human religious denomination or organisation and, on the contrary, that they have been called to the religious ministry directly by Jesus Christ (as the first apostles were called). In this way, they again manage to locate their ecclesial government models in affinity with the model followed by the first Christian communities (the early church). This type of argument even allows these ‘new apostles’ to claim an authority that comes from Jesus Christ himself to continue a supposed apostolic succession. In other words, these new apostles claim to have received from the same Jesus Christ the authority to ‘anoint’ or ‘ordain’

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274  William Mauricio Beltrán new pastors, and that, therefore, these new pastors must act under the guidance and ‘coverage’ of their apostolate. The New Apostolic Movement is gaining strength in Latin America and the number of new apostles increases rapidly. One could say that these new apostles are the elite of post-denominational Christianity today and enjoy exceptional benefits. On the one hand, as religious leaders they need not give any account to anyone about the doctrine they preach and about the way in which they administer their (mega-)churches. But, on the other hand, they enjoy the authority and recognition offered by other (self-styled) apostles, as well as the admiration of hundreds of religious leaders who want to follow their example and aspire to serve God under the guidance and authority of some of these prestigious (neo-)apostles.

Bibliography

Bastian, Jean-Pierre, La mutación religiosa de América Latina: Para una sociología del cambio social en la modernidad periférica (Mexico City: Fondo de Cultura Económica, 1997). Boudewijnse, Barbara, André Droogers and Frans Kamsteeg (eds), More than Opium: An Anthropological Approach to Latin American and Caribbean Pentecostal Praxis (Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press, 1998). Gooren, Henri (ed.), Encyclopedia of Latin American Religions (Cham: Springer International Publishing, 2019). Schäfer, Heinrich, Protestantismo y crisis social en América Central (San José: DEI, 1992). Silveira Campos, Leonildo, Teatro, templo e mercado: Organisação e marketing de um empre­ endimento Neopentecostal (Petropolis: Vozes, 1999).

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Orthodox Austreberto Martínez Villegas

Latin America, as a region, has remained outside the scope of territorial expansion of the countries of the Orthodox Christian tradition. However, growing migrations from both Eastern Europe and the Middle East throughout the twentieth century and the first years of the twenty-first have brought a significant Orthodox presence to the continent. In this sense, and since the Orthodox churches are characterised by not having extensive missionary activity, their presence in the Latin American continent is almost always linked to migrant ethnic communities that try to rebuild their original ways of life. This does not make Orthodoxy a religious confession exclusively for migrants and their descendants, however. An increasing number of native Latin Americans have joined, interested in spiritual options other than those traditionally practised in Latin America. This essay will provide a general review of the growth of the Orthodox Church in some countries of the region, with special emphasis on Mexico.

What is Orthodox Christianity?

Orthodox Christianity is the term used to describe the churches that historic­ally remained under the authority of the patriarchates of Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch and Jerusalem after the separation between them and the headquarters of Rome in the year 1054. The reasons for this division in Christianity were not only dogmatic but also politicalcultural. As for the former, the Orthodox Christians opposed the Church of Rome when it added the formula of the ‘filioque’ to the recitation of the Creed. For Western Christians, the third person of the Holy Trinity, the Holy Spirit, proceeds from the Father and the Son, whereas Eastern Orthodoxy holds that the Spirit proceeds only from the Father. As to the latter, political differences between the Byzantine Empire and first the ­Carolingian Empire, then the Holy Roman Empire, marked an open rivalry between two geopolitical entities. In addition to the above, the Pope of Rome intended to assume an authority of full jurisdiction in the space of the Christian East beyond the traditional title based on the idea of the ‘primacy of honour’, something that the patriarchs and Eastern hierarchs were not willing to accept.

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276  Austreberto Martínez Villegas In the sixteenth century, the Moscow Patriarchate, head of the Russian Orthodox Church, emerged within the bosom of the Orthodox churches. During the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, in most cases in the context of the independence of various Eastern European countries, new patriarchates were established in Serbia, Romania, Bulgaria and Georgia. Other communities are called ‘autocephalous’ and are presided over by an archbishop who enjoys total autonomy in their governance, such as the Orthodox churches of Cyprus, Greece, Albania, Poland and Slovakia. There is also the case of the Orthodox Church in America, led by a ­Washington-based archbishop and recognised by the Russian Orthodox Church but not by the Patriarchate of Constantinople. Although these communities are separated by their hierarchies, they believe in the same dogmas, preserve the same liturgy and practise in general terms the same ritual acts.

Antiochian Orthodoxy and Syrian-Lebanese Migrants

The Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch brings together Orthodox Christians residing in Lebanon and Syria under its jurisdiction. As of 2020, it has four metropolitan archbishops in Latin America, residing in Mexico City, São Paulo in Brazil, Buenos Aires in Argentina and Santiago de Chile, each of them with several countries under his jurisdiction. This Patriarchate has a greater relative presence in the subcontinent, due to the scale of SyrianLebanese migration. Since the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, a sustained increase in migratory flows to Latin America from the then Ottoman Empire can be detected. Countries such as Argentina and Brazil, and to a lesser extent Mexico, Uruguay and Chile, exercised an important attraction for migrant Christians who sought spaces with opportunities for socio-economic improvement and with freedom to practise their faith without the restrictions to which they were subjected under Turkish power, which treated them as second-class citizens required to pay higher taxes than Muslim subjects. Of these Syrian-Lebanese, only a minority

Orthodox in Latin America and the Caribbean, 1970 Region Latin America Caribbean Central America South America Global total

Total population

Christian population

Orthodox population

% of region Orthodox

% of Christians Orthodox

288,077,000 25,310,000 69,925,000 192,842,000 3,700,578,000

271,568,000 19,798,000 68,273,000 183,496,000 1,229,309,000

401,000 13,300 60,200 328,000 141,930,000

0.1% 0.1% 0.1% 0.2% 3.8%

0.1% 0.1% 0.1% 0.2% 11.5%

Source: Todd M. Johnson and Gina A. Zurlo (eds), World Christian Database (Leiden/Boston: Brill), accessed January 2020.

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Orthodox  277

were Orthodox Christians; the majority were Catholics of the Maronite rite who, due to their common obedience to the authority of the Roman papacy, integrated more easily into Latin American societies. In Mexico, during the early twentieth century, the Syrian-Lebanese Orthodox communities had relatively scarce resources and commonly engaged in trade on credit in the popular neighbourhood of La Merced in the Mexican capital. They were attended by only one or two priests who came from the USA on a regular basis and who officiated the Divine Liturgy in private homes. This situation changed when funds were obtained for the purchase of a property in the middle-class Roma neighbourhood of Mexico City, where the Cathedral of San Jorge was built in 1947. In 1966, Bishop Antonio Chedraoui Tannous was sent to the Mexican capital and led the archdiocese until his death in 2017. He played a decisive role in consolidating the Orthodox presence in the country, as well as becoming an important leader for the now economically powerful Syrian-­Lebanese community in Mexico, which, within a few generations, had markedly increased its economic status. Chedraoui’s profile was a sign of the growing relevance of this com­ munity. In 1996 he was appointed Archbishop of Mexico, Venezuela, Central America and the Caribbean, and enjoyed a good relationship with elements of the country’s political elites, including a close relationship with Presidents Gustavo Díaz Ordaz, Vicente Fox and Enrique Peña Nieto. Not only was the intention to influence the Syrian-Lebanese community residing in Mexico; there was also an interest in reaching out to members of the Mexican political elite. Chedraoui issued opinions on issues such as abortion and same-sex marriage, taking a conservative stance that brought him close to the positions of the then Roman Catholic Archbishop of Mexico City, Norberto Rivera. Archbishop Chedraoui encouraged the introduction of Orthodoxy in several of the Central American countries. In the case of Honduras, beginning in 1962 Bishop Miguel Cheim made several visits from the USA to San Pedro Sula, where he worked with the Palestinian community.

Orthodox in Latin America and the Caribbean, 2020 Region Latin America Caribbean Central America South America Global total

Total population

Christian population

Orthodox population

% of region Orthodox

% of Christians Orthodox

664,474,000 44,679,000 184,127,000 435,667,000 7,795,482,000

611,964,000 37,719,000 176,298,000 397,947,000 2,518,834,000

1,365,000 61,000 333,000 971,000 292,132,000

0.2% 0.1% 0.2% 0.2% 3.7%

0.2% 0.2% 0.2% 0.2% 11.6%

Source: Todd M. Johnson and Gina A. Zurlo (eds), World Christian Database (Leiden/Boston: Brill), accessed January 2020.

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278  Austreberto Martínez Villegas Contact between the Orthodox hierarchy and the migrants of each region did not necessarily have to be with people of Syrian-Lebanese origin. It was enough that they were of Arab culture. In Guatemala, three nuns from the Franciscan order entered Orthodox Christianity in 1993, led by Mother Inés Ayáu. They founded the Orthodox Monastery of the Holy Trinity-Lavra Mambré and from 1996, they administered the Rafael Ayáu Home for orphaned children, named in honour of the great-great-grandfather of the leader of the nuns. Mother Inés is the daughter of Manuel Ayáu, founder of the Francisco Marroquín University, one of the most prestigious in the country. In 2014, Mother Inés founded the Rafael Ayáu Institute for Interdisciplinary Studies. When Chedraoui died in 2017, the nuns emigrated to the Serbian Orthodox Church, under whose jurisdiction the educational centres and the monastery remained. The case of this group of nuns shows the way in which small nuclei of Catholic converts who decided to come under Orthodox jurisdiction could be susceptible to moving from one patriarchate to another. In the Caribbean, also due to the impulse given by Archbishop Chedraoui, the Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch began its work with some priests who, from the 1990s, worked with communities of Syrian origin in countries such as Puerto Rico (where a convert from Anglican­ ism was later ordained an Orthodox priest) and, as of 2005, in the Lesser ­ uadeloupe Antilles, for example in Antigua, Martinique, Saint Lucia, G and Trinidad. In Venezuela, the presence of the Antiochian Patriarchate began in the 1950s but was not consolidated until the 1970s, when Father Sergio Abad arrived in Caracas and began to celebrate the Divine Liturgy on a regular basis, serving 120 families. In the city of Valencia, also in Venezuela, Father Abad began to have contacts with various Syrian families from ancient Antioch, with whom he founded a new community. Over the years, missions were founded in towns such as Puerto de la Cruz, Maturín, Bolívar and Opata. In 2011, Ignacio Saamán was appointed as the first auxiliary bishop of Caracas, until in 2017 he left for Mexico to become Changes in Orthodox in Latin America and the Caribbean, 1970–2020, growth rate, % per year Region

Total population

Christian population

Orthodox population

Latin America

1.69%

1.64%

2.48%

Caribbean

1.14%

1.30%

3.10%

Central America

1.96%

1.92%

3.48%

South America

1.64%

1.56%

2.20%

Global total

1.50%

1.45%

1.45%

Source: Todd M. Johnson and Gina A. Zurlo (eds), World Christian Database (Leiden/Boston: Brill), accessed January 2020.

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Orthodox  279

the new Archbishop of Mexico, Venezuela, Central America and the Caribbean, following the death of Antonio Chedraoui. In Venezuela, there have been some politicians who are also Antiochene Orthodox parishioners, such as the deputy in the National Assembly, Johny Rahal, who has represented the opposition Democratic Unity Table since 2016. The Antiochene Orthodox Archbishop of Brazil is based in Rio de Janeiro and has the additional title of Patriarchal Vicar, which gives him a higher rank than the rest of the Antiochene Orthodox hierarchs in Latin America. Most of the parishioners in this jurisdiction are of Syrian-­Lebanese origin. In Brazil, some Orthodox parishioners have been politically active, such as Paulo Salim Maluf, twice mayor of the city of São Paulo and governor of the state of São Paulo, as well as a federal deputy between 2007 and 2018. Guillermo Afif can also be mentioned, presidential candidate in 1989 of the Liberal Party, who held various positions under the government of Dilma Rousseff. The Antiochian Orthodox Archbishop of Argentina resides in Buenos Aires. Since the end of the nineteenth century, the Orthodox of SyrianLebanese origin have settled not only in the country’s capital but also in cities such as Córdoba, Rosario and Mendoza. Ignacio Aburrus was the first Antiochian bishop in the national capital and governed the diocese between 1920 and 1953. In 1946, the Argentine Cathedral of San Jorge was inaugurated in the Palermo neighbourhood of Buenos Aires. Some members of the Antiochian Orthodox community have stood out in the political milieu, such as Juan Luis Manzur, Governor of Tucumán since 2015 and Minister of Health between 2009 and 2015, and Julio Alak, Minister of Justice between 2009 and 2015 and from 2018 to the present. The Archbishop of Chile is based in Santiago and serves primarily members of the Palestinian community. Communities of Arab origin have been the main foundation of the presence of the Patriarchate of Antioch in Latin America. However, for about four decades there have also been several converts of autochthonous origin from other Christian confessions, mainly Catholicism, who have played a prominent role in the development of this jurisdiction in the region. The main nucleus of parishioners and clergy continues to be Syrian-Lebanese migrants and their descendants (and in some cases, as in Honduras and Chile, Palestinians). The economic and business power of the Syrian-Lebanese communities in various countries has helped to build cathedrals, churches and monasteries.

Patriarchate of Constantinople and the Greek Diaspora

The Patriarchate of Constantinople has jurisdiction over the Greek Orthodox population living outside their country; therefore, the Greeks

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280  Austreberto Martínez Villegas residing in Latin America fall under its authority. During the first decades of the twentieth century, they gathered in private homes to celebrate the liturgy and other rites, as well as to receive sporadic visits from GreekAmerican priests. In 1959, the former Spanish Franciscan Pablo de Ballester arrived in Mexico as Episcopal Vicar of the Patriarchate, a representative case of a hierarch who was a convert from Catholicism who played a central role in the development of this community. This cleric ordered the construction of the Santa Sofía Cathedral in Naucalpan, west of Mexico City, in 1964. De Ballester served as episcopal vicar until 1970, when he was appointed Bishop of Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean, Bahamas, Venezuela, Colombia and Ecuador. During his administration, he erected the Cathedral of the Annunciation in Bogotá and that of San Andrés in Caracas. In addition to his religious activity, de Ballester promoted extensive ­initiatives to promote Greek culture in Mexico, among which the founding of the Hellenic Cultural Institute stands out. This implies a double role, that is, not only as a representative of an ecclesiastical community but also as a person committed to the dissemination of Greek culture in Mexico. Helping de Ballester in this cultural work was his friendship with Carmen Romano, the wife of José López Portillo, President of Mexico between 1976 and 1982. On 31 January 1984, de Ballester was assassinated in the Cathedral of Santa Sofia by a mentally ill person. In January 1996, the Patriarchate of Constantinople elevated the bishopric to become an archbishopric and appointed an American, ­Athenagoras Anastasiadis, as the new head. In recent years, the Greek Orthodox Church in Mexico has had missions in the states of Mérida, Torreón, Tampico, Guadalajara, Culiacán and Chiapas. It also has a monastery in the state of Puebla. Cuba has a Greek Orthodox community in Havana, which, since 2004, has gathered in the Cathedral of San Nicolás. President Fidel Castro attended the Cathedral’s consecration. In Colombia there are Greek Orthodox communities in Bogotá, Cali, Medellín, Cúcuta and Pereira. Small but very active Greek Orthodox communities are also found in Chile, Brazil and Argentina. In addition, since the 1930s there have been some Ukrainian Orthodox communities who are dependent on the Patriarchate of Constantinople in Paraguay and Uruguay. Although the Greek presence in Latin America is much smaller than that of the SyrianLebanese and Palestinians, the Greeks constitute the main nucleus of the Patriarchate of Constantinople. Its economic power, relatively significant in some countries, has also been central to the construction of church buildings. The case of Archbishop de Ballester is exceptional in terms of the contacts that he promoted in the world of culture.

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Orthodox  281

The Presence of Russian Orthodoxy

Russians are a minority presence, especially in South America, and they are even more scarce in countries like Mexico, where the Orthodox presence dates from the existence of Russian colonies on the coast of California when it was part of New Spain and later independent Mexico. Russian Orthodoxy was not reactivated in Mexico until the Catholic priest Serafín Fuentes converted to Orthodox Christianity and, in 1972, founded the Parroquia de la Protección de la Santa Madre de Dios in the town of Nepantla, in the State of Mexico, a centre that serves Russian immigrant families and a few Mexican ones. They recently started a mission in San Juan del Río, Querétaro. In 2007, the Monastery of the Holy Trinity, located in the Cuauhtémoc district of Mexico City, incardinated under the authority of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia (ROCOR). A priest of Greek origin, Nektary Petropoulos, was appointed as abbot. Due to its location in a central area of the Mexican capital, it serves many Russian residents in that city. It was the first place in Mexico where the liturgy was celebrated almost entirely in the Old Slavic language. The rites are attended by people of other nationalities, such as Serbs, Poles, Moldovans, Ukrainians, Armenians, Georgians, Belarusians, Romanians and Bulgarians, as well as some Mexicans whose spouses are of Russian nationality and who have converted to Orthodox Christianity. This community also serves some Russians who reside in the states of G ­ uanajuato, San Luis Potosí, Jalisco, Morelos, Puebla and the state of Mexico. In Cuba, between 2005 and 2007, the Russian embassy in Havana sponsored the construction of a large Orthodox cathedral that has already become an architectural landmark in the port. In Ecuador, there is a chapel inside the Russian embassy. The Moscow Patriarchate founded the bishopric corresponding to Buenos Aires in 1946, which had jurisdiction throughout South America. In Brazil, Chile and other South American countries since the mid-1930s, the aforementioned ROCOR was present, a jurisdiction established in 1924 after the consolidation of the Soviet Union and which has been the most active Russian congregation in South America. ROCOR’s jurisdiction began in Venezuela in the 1950s, with a presence in Caracas, Barquisimeto, Maracay and Valencia. In the case of Santiago de Chile, the parishioners under the jurisdiction of ROCOR established the Church of the Virgin of Kazan in 1933. They also have a presence in the Chilean cities of Concepción and Valdivia. In Argentina, since the mid-nineteenth century, a significant number of Russian migrants have arrived. Between 1898 and 1901, the Cathedral of the Holy Trinity was built, located in the San Telmo neighbourhood. Today it has become a tourist and historical attraction of the city. Its construction was financed by Tsar Nicholas II, and President Julio A. Roca

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282  Austreberto Martínez Villegas was present at its inauguration. In 1951, the Archbishopric of Buenos Aires, Argentina and Paraguay was established under ROCOR. In the 1990s, all ROCOR juris­dictions in South America were reorganised under a single diocese that was named Buenos Aires and South America. Since 2001, in the face of previous approaches to unity between ROCOR and the Moscow Patriarchate, several South American Orthodox communities decided to separate from ROCOR because, due to a series of traditionalist and anti-communist approaches, they considered the authority of the Moscow Patriarchate illegitimate. In 2007, when ROCOR officially joined the Moscow Patriarchate, the clergy and faithful of several Argentine parishes, in addition to those of the Holy Trinity Cathedral, refused to follow this decision and remained autonomous. Faced with this situation, the Orthodox faction that remained united with ROCOR and that accepted the union with the Moscow Patriarchate was hierarchically reconstituted in 2008 in the Diocese of Caracas with jurisdiction for all of South America. ROCOR maintains two communities in Argentina, in Quilmes and Lomas de Zamora. ROCOR has been established in recent years also in other countries such as Costa Rica, where a community was formed in 2009. In these countries, the majority of the parishioners were of Russian origin, although, unlike what happened in the cases of Antonio Chedraoui and Pablo de Ballester, there has not been a prominent leader in the Orthodox community who could play a decisive role in the expansion of the community or make enough connections with local elites. On the other hand, the lower purchasing power of the Russian colony has also limited the material possibilities of the presence of the Moscow Patriarchate or ROCOR, despite the fact that the embassies of the Russian government have shown themselves as important allies in some cases, willing to collaborate with the expansion of the community.

Other Orthodox Minority Communities

In addition to the three aforementioned Orthodox communities, founded and sustained mainly by migrants, other Orthodox churches have been present in the subcontinent, although on a smaller scale. One of them is the Orthodox Church in America. The origins of this church are in the Russian colonies established in Alaska and other North American ter­ritories from the late eighteenth century. Although they originally depended on the Moscow Patriarchate, in 1970 they proclaimed their autocephaly. In Latin America, this Church has been present only in Mexico and its existence in this country is not due to any migratory flow as is the case of the other Orthodox communities. It originated when the Mexican Bishop José Cortés Olmos of the Catholic Church Nacional Mexicana, a

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community linked in the 1920s to the government of Plutarco Elías Calles, began in 1965 a process of conversion to Orthodoxy together with the entire community, which culminated in 1972. It was thus that the Mexican Exarchate of the Orthodox Church in America, based in the Peñón de los Baños neighbourhood, which is home to members of underprivileged classes, contrasts with the other Orthodox communities, whose membership is largely part of the social elites. This circumstance has allowed this community to be made up almost entirely of Indigenous Mexicans and has given the clergy the opportunity to carry out some community work such as distribution of food and clothing to those in need. The Orthodox Church in America also has a presence in various popu­lations, some of them with limited resources, in the State of Mexico and the states of Veracruz, Chiapas, Colima, Tijuana, Puebla and León. It is the only Orthodox community established in Mexico that so far has had missions in remote rural communities, as well as in humble neighbourhoods of Mexico City and its metropolitan area. It is the Orthodox community that has the most roots in popular social sectors of the nonimmigrant Mexican population. Other jurisdictions also have a small presence. The Romanian Orthodox Church is present in Caracas, where it has had a sanctuary since 2008. The Serbian Orthodox Patriarchate, also in the Venezuelan capital, has had a community since 2014. In Argentina, the Serbian diocese in Buenos Aires was founded in 2010 and maintains two women’s monasteries. There are also some Serbian Orthodox missions in Brazil, Peru, Ecuador, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic and El Salvador.

Conclusion

Orthodox Christianity in Latin America is a religious expression fundamentally linked to groups of migrants or their descendants, and though the number of native converts in the region is increasing, these religious communities have a predominantly ethnic identity. This might in some cases decrease and stagnate their ability to attract new followers. However, they play a significant role in preserving community traditions among the various Orthodox migrant communities present in the region. These communities, mainly the Syrian-Lebanese and the Greek, which generally have significant economic and social power and have even managed to acquire positions of political responsibility, have been fundamental for consolidation at the material level of the Orthodox Christian communities in Latin America, especially in relation to the material construction of churches, cathedrals and monasteries. Although there have been various cases in which autochthonous converts from Catholicism have played a relevant role in the leadership of Orthodox communities in

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284  Austreberto Martínez Villegas Latin America, most of them continue to depend largely on the presence of the migratory nuclei already mentioned. The relative importance of the origin of Orthodox Christians depends on the country. While in Mexico, the Caribbean and Central America the Syrian-Lebanese community has played a central role in the dissemination of Orthodoxy, in countries like Argentina it is the Russians with their different jurisdictions who have taken the lead. Each of the Orthodox communities is representative of the cultural heritage of the people linked to it, and this makes the Orthodox churches a reference for the reconstruction of the collective memory of the groups of migrants who do not always pay enough attention to the past of their ancestors. At the same time, they represent a growing option for those ‘native’ Latin Americans who are looking for a community that can be considered close to the Christianity of the first centuries.

Bibliography

Akmir, Abbdeluahed (ed.), Los árabes en América Latina, historia de una emigración (Madrid: Siglo XXI /Biblioteca de Casa Árabe, 2009). Baeza Espejel, José Gabriel, Una minoría olvidada: griegos en México, 1903–1942 (Mexico City: Instituto Nacional de Migración/Secretaría de Gobernación, 2006). Fernández, Chedraui Rodrigo (ed.), Antonio Chedraoui Tannous (Xalapa: Academia Nacional de Historia y Geografía, Las Animas, 2013). Martínez Villegas, Austreberto, ‘El desarrollo del cristianismo ortodoxo en la Ciudad de México de principios del siglo XX a la actualidad’, in Franco Savarino, Berenise Bravo Rubio and Andrea Mutolo (eds), Política y religión en la Ciudad de México, siglos XIX y XX (Mexico City: Instituto Mexicano de Doctrina Social Cristiana, 2014). Zeraoui, Zidane, ‘Los árabes en México: el perfil de la migración’, in Ota Mishima María Elena (ed.), Destino México. Un estudio de las migraciones asiáticas a México, siglos XIX y XX (Mexico City: Colegio de México, 1997), 257–304.

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Protestants Pablo Moreno

Protestants in Latin America are often described as ‘Evangelicals’, a term used as a catch-all for non-Catholic Christians, though sometimes having a narrower reference to mean only those Protestants who identify with the worldwide Evangelical movement. Latin America’s Protestants can be classified according to five distinct types. Immigration Protestants appeared from the seventeenth century with the Dutch colony in Pernambuco, Brazil, and the English Protestants in the Caribbean. By the nineteenth century, varied European migration had brought Protestants to the Southern Cone and other Latin American countries. This first presence of Protestantism was limited to the religious practice of foreigners who had migrated to the continent for different reasons. Their purpose was not to establish churches for the participation of local Latin Americans, but rather to preserve for themselves the religious worship that they had brought from their countries of origin. Liberal or ‘historical’ Protestantism includes churches such as the Presbyterian, Methodist, Lutheran and Baptist. These churches took the form of ‘denominations’ in the USA and brought an evangelistic emphasis when they established their presence in Latin America during the nineteenth century. Their witness was also marked by an intention to change or influence society by promoting the principles of political liberalism. Mission or ‘evangelical’ Protestants promoted evangelisation above social responsibility. This type of Protestantism was represented by, for example, the Latin American Mission, Inter-American Mission, Pan American Mission, Gospel Missionary Union, and Christian and Missionary Alliance. Its message was characterised by preaching the salvation of the soul and a focus on the individual. Pentecostal Protestantism includes such churches as the Assemblies of God, Church of the Foursquare Gospel, World Missionary Movement and United Pentecostal Church. Their original inspiration often arose from a missionary who was impacted by a spiritual experience, and they often attracted Indigenous leaders who had grown up in one of the historic churches. They place a strong emphasis on spiritual gifts, particularly speaking in tongues, and on health and exorcism. They have had strong popular appeal.

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286  Pablo Moreno Neo-Pentecostals emerged in the 1980s, and their churches are sometimes described as ‘Charismatic’ or ‘Independent’. Prominent examples include the International Charismatic Mission; the World Revival Center, born in Colombia; the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God, from Brazil; the Guatemalan Christian Fraternity Church (Mega Frater) in Guatemala; and the Elim Christian Mission in El Salvador. Although these churches have roots in Protestantism, they break with some of the theological assumptions of the Reformation tradition and define themselves as ‘post-denominational’. Their hallmarks include: the ‘prosperity gospel’, spiritual warfare, the use of the gifts of healing and a vision to participate in politics.

Colonial Protestantism

The first Protestants to arrive in Latin America came through the Caribbean, following the route of the Spanish conquerors. Many arrived in order to do business in the new lands. Protestantism during the colonial period had a double dynamic. On the one hand, there was an element of rivalry as the Protestant nations attempted to establish themselves in the New World on lands belonging to the Spanish and Portuguese. On the other hand, they were responding to condemnation and expulsion, carried out by the Inquisition, of those who spread Protestant ideas. Not until 1655, when the English took Jamaica, was the establishment of Protestantism on the island achieved. Before that date, attempts at colonis­ ation had been made by France and the Netherlands. Lutheran ideas also reached the Venezuelan coasts with the Welser bankers of Augsburg, thanks to a concession given to them by Charles V. When they arrived in Venezuela in 1528 and tried to influence the population to embark on gold mining, the Council of the Indies maintained strict control of the arrival of new non-Spanish colonisers. A Huguenot colony was established on the island of Guanabara, off Rio de Janeiro, in 1555, when about 600 people arrived in three ships. This island became a centre for refugees who dreamed of a new Geneva where

Protestants in Latin America and the Caribbean, 1970 Region Latin America Caribbean Central America South America Global total

Total population

Christian population

Protestant population

% of region Protestant

% of Christians Protestant

288,077,000 25,310,000 69,925,000 192,842,000 3,700,578,000

271,568,000 19,798,000 68,273,000 183,496,000 1,229,309,000

12,321,000 1,712,000 1,407,000 9,203,000 204,506,000

4.3% 6.8% 2.0% 4.8% 5.5%

4.5% 8.6% 2.1% 5.0% 16.6%

Source: Todd M. Johnson and Gina A. Zurlo (eds), World Christian Database (Leiden/Boston: Brill), accessed January 2020.

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Protestants  287

they could freely celebrate their Calvinist faith. In 1630 the Dutch made a new attempt at a Protestant presence in Pernambuco, a colony with 90,000 inhabitants, including Indigenous people, Dutch and Portuguese, as well as black slaves who formed one-third of the population. From the beginning of the seventeenth century, the Caribbean became a battleground between the Dutch, French and English, who fought for the Guianas. In the midst of these struggles Spain tried to maintain control, but in 1655 an English expedition organised by Oliver Cromwell took possession of Jamaica. With the English came Protestant churches and the rise of an immigration Protestantism that, little by little, won over other inhabitants of the islands, particularly the enslaved black population. This led the predominance of Protestantism in the Caribbean. As a Protestant presence was established in the Antilles, its influence extended to the coasts of Honduras. Other intentional missionary activity included, for example, Moravian missionaries arriving on the Caribbean coast of Central America from 1732. Slavery was at the centre of Protestant evangelisation, which in some cases was the result of the imposition of a faith. The Anglican Church, the Puritans and even the Quakers were involved with the slave trade; this caused several groups to resist the Protestant faith that was being implanted. The cimarrones (runaway rebellious slaves) resisted being co-opted by the Protestant faith and preserved their own practices in marriages and funerals. From the second half of the eighteenth century, Methodists and Baptists opposed slavery in Jamaica. The Inquisition in Hispanic America began to combat Lutheranism in the sixteenth century. It monitored suspected sympathisers such as corsairs, pirates and merchants from the Netherlands and Germany. It also controlled the books that entered the continent so that texts could be confiscated and carriers investigated. The urban population was impacted by this control, and this greatly influenced their later perception of Lutheran­ism. No significant reports of people being prosecuted for alleged Lutheranism emerged in the seventeenth century. Danger was

Protestants in Latin America and the Caribbean, 2020 Region Latin America Caribbean Central America South America Global total

Total population

Christian population

Protestant population

% of region Protestant

% of Christians Protestant

664,474,000 44,679,000 184,127,000 435,667,000 7,795,482,000

611,964,000 37,719,000 176,298,000 397,947,000 2,518,834,000

62,624,000 5,709,000 13,787,000 43,127,000 485,935,000

9.4% 12.8% 7.5% 9.9% 6.2%

10.2% 15.1% 7.8% 10.8% 19.3%

Source: Todd M. Johnson and Gina A. Zurlo (eds), World Christian Database (Leiden/Boston: Brill), accessed January 2020.

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288  Pablo Moreno detected rather in witchcraft and idolatry, as well as in the presence of Jews. In the eighteenth century the persecution of Lutherans was associated with rejection of the influence of the Enlightenment. Later, liberalism was associated with Protestantism. The position of Hispanic political elites and the influence of the Council of Trent prevented the influence of the Enlightenment from spreading in Latin America, despite the Bourbon reforms in Spain that led to a certain modernisation of society.

Immigration and Liberal Protestantism

Between 1800 and 1830, the various colonial societies were notably affected by the wars of independence. Unlike classical explanations that identify the cause of this process in the French Revolution and the North American Revolution, today it is considered that an event internal to the Spanish Empire itself produced this opening to the independence of the colonies in Latin America and the Caribbean. The invasion of Spain and Portugal by the Napoleonic armies and the coronation of José Bonaparte as King of Spain impacted the Creole elites, who saw the fall of the old monarchs as a sign of an opening to new times. However, long-standing structures such as land ownership and the continuity of a political system in tune with the dominance of the colonial church motivated historians of the 1980s to find new explanations for independence and to underline the attempts at rupture in a later period: in the liberal reforms of the mid-nineteenth century. The Protestant presence during the nineteenth century can be classified as immigration Protestantism and the liberal or ‘historical’ type. The first was represented by merchants, diplomats and teachers who were invited by pro-independence leaders such as Simón Bolívar, José de San Martín and Bernardo O’Higgins to ‘modernise’ the continent. One of the most recognised figures of this period was Diego Thomson, a Scottish Baptist teacher and preacher who was working for the British Bible Society between 1821 and 1837, starting in Chile and ending in the Antilles. He was a pioneer in education, promoting the Lancastrian method, which aimed Changes in Protestants in Latin America and the Caribbean, 1970–2020, growth rate, % per year Region

Total population

Christian population

Latin America

1.69%

1.64%

Protestant population 3.31%

Caribbean

1.14%

1.30%

2.44%

Central America

1.96%

1.92%

4.67%

South America

1.64%

1.56%

3.14%

Global total

1.50%

1.45%

1.75%

Source: Todd M. Johnson and Gina A. Zurlo (eds), World Christian Database (Leiden/Boston: Brill), accessed January 2020.

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Protestants  289

to prepare small groups to learn to read in a short time. In addition, to teach reading he used a version of the Bible in Spanish that did not include the explanatory notes required by the Catholic Church. This provoked a strong reaction from conservative Catholics, who for this reason opposed the dissemination of that Bible. Thomson was not the only one to come as a teacher and colporteur, or bookseller. William Morris, from the New York Bible Society, and a dozen other colporteurs followed in Thomson’s footsteps. However, his purpose was to support the reform of Catholicism, which explains his affinity with liberal Catholics, Freemasons and members of philanthropic and political societies. Since his objective was not to establish churches, he intervened in commercial, medical and diplomatic activities. The second type, liberal or ‘historical’ Protestantism, arrived in Latin America in the mid-nineteenth century from the USA, the UK, Germany and Sweden. Most of the missionaries came from the USA and found a welcome in Latin America among liberal and anti-Catholic sectors who shared Protestant ideas without having constituted a separate church. They identified with Protestant proposals on education and the modernisation of society, drawing on the inheritance left by the first colporteurs such as Thomson and Morris. The missionaries who arrived summed up their message as reading the Bible, raising the moral and material condition of peoples and promoting civil rights. They provided intellectual tools to combat Catholicism and its alleged corruption. The missionary work was an extension of the purpose of ‘Christianising’ the social and economic relations of the American Wild West. This is why in Protestant preaching the gospel was presented as ‘civilising’ and many of its listeners could interpret this process as the realisation of the ‘North American miracle’ in Latin American lands. The male missionaries were pastors, doctors, nurses and teachers, while the female missionaries were mostly nurses and teachers. These missionaries were motivated by the evangelistic campaigns of Dwight L. Moody and by the Christian student movement of John R. Mott, whose goal was the evangelisation of the world in one generation. Just as during the colonial period some missionaries questioned the practices of the conquest and its negative effect on Christian civilisation, so too among the Protestant missionaries were those who criticised the big businessmen who set their eyes only on the gold and silver mines, or on the rubber plantations, without respect for Christian values. Geographically, Protestantism in the nineteenth century spread throughout practically the entire continent, but it had its greatest success in Argentina, Chile, Brazil, Peru, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Cuba and much of Central America. Education was perhaps one of the most important

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290  Pablo Moreno banners for the spread of Protestantism. The Presbyterian missionary Henry B. Pratt, who worked in Colombia, said in 1856, ‘To change a country you need not only a sanctuary, but also a school’. Education set out to instil Protestant Christian values and promote adult literacy, especially among artisans, who represented an emerging and politically active social sector. The geography of the expansion of schools in Mexico coincided with the spread of liberal ideas. In Buenos Aires, Protestants came to have a strong presence among the working class, while in Brazil they found a good reception in heterodox networks in the state of São Paulo, where Presbyterianism later flourished. This type of Protestantism was linked to the principles that radical liberalism promoted in different countries in the mid-nineteenth century. Radical liberalism opposed the pro-independence generation who had promoted an enlightened colonial reformism, tried to impose capitalist modernity in deeply traditional societies and fought the Catholic Church because they considered it to be providing an ideological underpinning for colonial rule. In addition, they expropriated church assets such as large estates and communal lands of the Indigenous people; slavery was prohibited and a mobile labour sector was favoured to take new jobs that were the result of the nascent industry and foreign investment. In Mexico, the liberals brought Benito Juárez to power. In Colombia José Hilario López came to power with a programme of anti-clericalism. His successor, José María Obando, promoted the closure of convents and sale of church property. In Guatemala, Rufino Barrios proposed to secularise society. In Argentina, although the legal rights of the clergy were suppressed, radical measures were not implemented as in Mexico and Colombia. In other countries, such as Chile and Uruguay, this process began in an incipient manner at the end of the nineteenth century and was consolidated in the twentieth. The rise of radical liberalism, as in Colombia, lasted a few years and ended with a return to the restoration of the role of the Catholic Church in society through a concordat (1887). In Ecuador, García Moreno tried to create a model of Catholic modernity to unite the people in an integrated system in which religion had a cohesive role. Against this background, during the second half of the nineteenth century Protestants emerged from religious and political societies inspired by radical liberalism and the arrival of missionaries in order to establish churches and schools through which they aimed to achieve the modernisation of their societies. The tension was not only between traditional society and a modern one, but between ‘a real country and a legal country’. Radical liberals were highly optimistic that liberal constitutions would be enough to implement their modernising project. The reality proved otherwise.

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Protestants  291

Pan-Americanism

Latin American Protestantism began the twentieth century with a missionary conference, the Panama Congress of 1916, which was a response to a conference held in Edinburgh in 1910, since in the latter Latin America was not considered as a mission field. The Panama Congress brought together a significant number of missionaries, mostly North Americans. The mission boards represented in Panama affirmed that Latin America was still a mission field. The statistics showed very low results regarding the presence of churches, church members and schools. In addition, in the assessment of the Congress, what was achieved by the Catholic Church was not enough to justify the claims of the continent to be Christian. The Congress analysed eight themes: strategy, message, education, Christian literature, women in the church, missions, the action of the churches, and cooperation and unity. Unity of action was the central theme, leading to unity in theological training with the creation of united theological seminaries. The Protestant press was promoted, steps were taken to avoid competition in different territories and comity arrangements were established between different missions. The Cooperation Committee for Latin America (CCLA), founded in 1914, tried to give answers to the dispersion with which the Protestants worked in the continent and to their dependency on the foreign missions. The CCLA appointed Pastor Samuel G. Inman, who had been a missionary and was influenced by Walter Rauschenbusch’s ‘Social Gospel’, to promote the organisation in Latin America. Pan-Americanism sought to replace the pan-Hispanic influence inherited from the colonial period and from conservative independence movements with a more Latin American unity profile, but under the influence of the USA. The Monroe Doctrine had inspired the presence of the USA through interventionism in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The idea of definitively breaking with colonial Spain and Portugal encouraged missionaries to see the Protestant presence in Latin America as promising. The New Democracy magazine, directed by Inman, was a platform on which Latin American intellectuals with an anti-imperialist orientation, such as Víctor Raúl Haya de la Torre, could publish their positions. Although Inman’s pan-Americanism was critical of that im­ perialism, it also aroused suspicions among other intellectuals, such as José Vasconcelos, who saw a close relationship between Protestantism and US foreign policy. Conferences held in Montevideo (1925) and Havana (1929) did not remain in tune with pan-Americanism and awakened Latin American consciousness and a sense of cooperation, without the dominant US influence. More Latin American leaders and theologians participated in

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292  Pablo Moreno these later conferences, and Spanish was the official language of events. Thinkers such as Erasmo Braga from Brazil and Gonzalo Báez Camargo from Mexico stood out at these congresses, presiding over Montevideo and Havana, respectively. Pan-Americanism represented a reformist trend that rejected US interventions in several Latin American countries. However, due to the rise of socialism worldwide and the fears that it aroused in this continent, the missionaries had an ambivalent position on US imperialism. Some rejected it openly, while others accepted these interventions as a logical reaction to the socialism present in working-class sectors. During the first half of the twentieth century, Protestants maintained their alliances with the most radical sectors of liberalism, and with other anti-Catholic minorities such as socialists, Freemasons, theosophists and spiritualists. However, these alliances were more practical than ideological, while two factors contributed to the demarcation of borders. On the one hand was the growing presence of missionaries of the ‘Evangelical’ type, who, due to their proselytising purpose, could not accept these alliances. On the other hand, these minorities radicalised their anti-­ Protestant positions, especially the socialists, who went from the labour demands of the workers, supported by the Protestants, to a political aspir­ ation and opposition to the liberal capitalist modernising project. The Protestant churches during this first half of the twentieth century were characterised by having worship services in sanctuaries or their own headquarters in the main cities. However, hostility shown by conservative sectors that found an echo in an intransigent Catholicism made freedom of worship in rural areas an unfulfilled dream. For this reason, the Protestants organised to fight for their civil rights, such as civil birth registration instead of the Catholic baptism certificate, civil marriage, civil cemeteries and non-Catholic education. The first Protestant sanctuaries in the main Latin American cities were large buildings, located in spaces near the commercial centres. In this way they represented competition with the Catholic Church to attract church members. Although the missionary conferences sought the unity of the Protestants, leaving a second place for denominational aspirations, not all of them accepted this proposal. For example, the strand of American mission Evangelicalism or Protestantism that had its roots in nineteenth-century fundamentalism rejected the theological liberalism of some mission boards that participated in Congresses from Panama to Havana. The proposal of Evangelicalism consisted of a greater emphasis on evangelisation, individual salvation, millennialism and an individualistic perspective on ethical issues. Its thinking about social responsibility did not include a transformation of society or political participation. This distinguished it from historical Protestantism, which, with its heritage of the Social Gospel,

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supported the improvement of the social condition of the poorest and demanded a change in social and political structures.

The Crisis of Historical Protestantism

Derived from the conferences of the early twentieth century and subsequent ones held in Latin America in the middle of the twentieth century, two types of Protestantism were configured. On the one hand was historical Protestantism, within which some leaders and churches adopted a social and political commitment with the vision of transforming society. In this camp, the Christian Student Movement (Movimiento de Estudiantes Cristianos, MEC) stands out, which maintained relationships with its peers worldwide. Among the first Latin American members of the World Federation of Christian Students were groups from Puerto Rico and Brazil. Later, in the 1960s, there were representatives from Argentina, Bolivia, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Mexico, Nicaragua, Peru, Uruguay, Venezuela and the Dominican Republic. The MEC was the main precedent for a movement called Church and Society in Latin America (Iglesia y Sociedad en América Latina, ISAL), founded in 1961, in which the future Protestant theologians of liberation theology stood out, such as Julio de Santa Ana, Richard Shaull, José Míguez Bonino, Hiber Conteris, Valdo Galland, Emilio Castro, Mortimer Arias, Julio Barreiro, Oscar Bolioli, Julia Campos, Gonzalo Castillo Cárdenas and Rubén Alves. Another type of historical Protestantism, closer to the Evangelical wing, distanced itself from this because it reduced the gospel to the anticommunist stance of the great evangelists and opted for a more articulated relationship to the Latin American context. As a consequence, the Latin American Theological Fraternity (Fraternidad Teológica Latino­americana, FTL) was formed in 1970, in Cochabamba, Bolivia, when a consultation was carried out on contextual hermeneutics. Its founders had participated in the 1969 Latin American Evangelisation Conference in Bogotá, with a strong North American mission­ary presence. At this conference, several Latin Americans demanded more autonomy and greater contextualisation of evangelisation. Among the leaders of this movement were René Padilla, Samuel Escobar, Pedro Arana, Robinson Cavalcanti, Andrés Kirk, Emilio A. Nuñez, Enrique Pereira, Pedro Wagner and Pedro Savage. In summary, the differences between ISAL and the FTL were marked by the emphasis placed by the former on ‘liberation’, while the latter stressed ‘contextualisation’. In ISAL the critical reading of the biblical text was opened, while the FTL gave prominence to the Bible as the word of God. ISAL emphasised the option for the poor while the FTL spoke of the integral mission of the church. Finally, ISAL promoted the conception of history as divine revelation versus the FTL’s vision of history as the terrain

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294  Pablo Moreno of God’s mission. Both expressions of Latin American Protestantism were in the minority compared with conservative Evangelicals and the different Pentecostalisms that emerged in the 1960s. However, both ISAL and the FTL influenced the theological environment for at least three decades. Historical Protestantism underwent changes in the early 1990s as most denominations experienced the ‘Pentecostalisation’ of their worship services, doctrines and practices. This produced divisions within various denominations and the abandonment or redesign of their heritage in the face of new times. Theological currents such as liberation theology and integral mission theology suffered a crisis that led them to rethink their postulates. Liberation theology took new paths of reflection on ecology, women and the various faces of the ‘poor’. In integral mission theology, searches for new themes, reflections on the resurgence of fundamentalism, some approaches to the decolonisation of theological work and genitive theologies were presented. Education has been one of the characteristics of historical Protestantism since its beginnings in Latin America. Examples include Ward College of the Methodists in Buenos Aires, the Mackenzie College of the Presby­ terians in São Paulo, the American College of the Methodists in Callao, the American Presbyterian College in Bogotá and the Baptist College of San Salvador. However, it was university education, and particularly theological education, that had the greatest relevance in the formation of several generations of leaders in Latin America. Until the early 1990s, theological education played an influential role in the formation of pastors, leaders and teachers of the historic denominations and other churches. However, in that decade, some seminaries began to be transformed into Christian universities, thereby expanding the range of their influence, not only for the church but also for society itself. Prominent examples include the Latin American Biblical University in Costa Rica, the Higher Institute of Theological Studies (Instituto Superior Evangélico de Estudios Teológicas, ISEDET) in Argentina, the Baptist University and the Reformed University Cor­poration in Colombia, the Evangelical Seminary of Matanzas in Cuba, the Evangelical Seminary University of Lima in Peru and the Methodist Institute of Higher Education in Brazil. These institutions were born as theological seminaries or faculties of theology that, over time, were expanded and achieved the recognition of the respective ministries of national education in each country. There have been many seminaries that did not advance to this level, and even those that did have to struggle to sustain themselves as a university institution. ISEDET in Buenos Aires had to close in 2015 due to the decrease in students, low financial resources and failure to meet all the requirements to be a university.

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Within historical Protestantism from 1982 the Latin American Council of Churches (Consejo Latinoamericano de Iglesias, CLAI) provided various services to churches and Christian movements that were committed to ecumenism. CLAI developed programmes in faith, economy and society (FES); pastoral care of women, youth, boys, girls and adolescents; liturgy; communications; health and salvation; and environmental citizenship; as well as the Solidarity Support Programme for Churches. At the beginning of the twenty-first century, this type of organisation entered into crisis due to lack of resources, lack of relevance of the programmes offered and crisis within member churches with the impact of Neo-Pentecostalism. One of the most important characteristics of the historical churches has been the participation of women in the life of the church. In each country, region and locality it can be seen that the majority of the parishioners are women and they in turn have been the promoters of attention to children in the churches. A greater awareness of the role of women in the church, their participation in the pastorate and the care for children are an open response to the new times. The participation of women in the leadership of the churches has been the result of a struggle to achieve that recognition. Breaking with patriarchy has not been easy, implying new readings of the Bible and new practices despite the resistance to change by some powerful forces. The theological production of women from Latin American has been important, offering feminist perspectives. The first decade of the twenty-first century was the first stage of the emergence of Protestants and Evangelicals in politics, when they already formed 10% of the Latin American population. This participation was characterised by claiming religious freedom but, beyond this old claim, the situation was taken advantage of to break into the public arena. Participating in politics was considered not only in terms of accessing public office but as a way to carry out the mission of the church. To achieve this objective, the use of the media became an imperative as a strategy to be visible in the public domain. The historical Protestants accompanied this irruption with reserve, since they considered that autonomy with respect to the state could be lost and the critical capacity of the churches diminished. Some historical churches, influenced by Neo-Pentecostalism, have supported these movements of political participation, but the bulk of this Protestantism has continued with its agenda of social action, sustainable development projects and expansion of rights to minorities ignored because of their ethnicity, gender or sexual orientation. In a second stage of political participation by Protestants and Evangelicals, there was a deepening of the proposals for the liberalisation and laicisation of society. Until the 1990s, it was thought that religion would only be part of the past and would be confined to the private sphere.

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296  Pablo Moreno However, it has been strengthened in the public sphere, now with a new agenda. On the one hand, Evangelicals focus on the defence of traditional values such as the family, marriage between a man and a woman, the defence of life from the conception of the fetus and the moral reform of society as the way to true change. On the other hand, historical Protestantism has focused on defending human rights, supporting peace processes in contexts like Colombia, participating in the social movement in each country, minimising partisan political participation and developing a major involvement in political advocacy, social engagement and grassroots community organisation. After two decades of the twenty-first century, the most recent studies on religious affiliation carried out in Argentina and Colombia show a significant decrease in the Catholic Church, a significant increase in Evangelical churches – within which historical Protestantism is a minority – and a significant growth of unchurched ‘Christians’. This last group has reached a non-negligible percentage of 15% on average in both countries, which might be an indicator of a new rupture and dynamic change in the religious field. Protestantism in the Caribbean has shown important cultural nuances. In Cuba during the period of the revolution there were ups and downs, exits and entrances in the development of the Evangelical churches in general. Nevertheless, historical Protestants managed to work together in the Cuba Council of Churches, which also brings together Pentecostal and Evangelical churches. This Council develops diakonia and formation ministries, through which it supports the churches and the general population, especially in times of emergency. Historical Protestantism also has a notable presence in Jamaica, especially through the long-established Baptist Church. There are more than 50,000 Baptists in Jamaica and they have been visible in the leadership of the Baptist World Alliance, which Neville Callam served as General Secretary from 2007 to 2017. Puerto Rico is presented as the most Protestant of the Caribbean countries, due to the great influence of American Protestantism. The figures there show 56% Catholics, 33% Protestants, 8% without religion and 3% with different beliefs. Protestant churches have historically cooperated in projects such as the Evangelical Seminary of Puerto Rico sponsored by Baptist churches, Disciples of Christ, Lutheran Church, United Evangelical Church of Puerto Rico, Methodist Church and Presbyterian Synod of Borinquen. Today, the Protestant presence in Latin America and the Caribbean is more extensive, numerous and influential than ever before. Changing forms of spirituality and changing emphases in public witness have presented challenges but also highly significant opportunities.

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Bibliography

Bastian, Jean Pierre, Protestantismo y modernidad latinoamericana, historia de unas minorías religiosas activas en América Latina (Mexico City: Fondo de Cultura Económica, 1994). Míguez Bonino, José, Rostros del protestantismo latinoamericano (Buenos Aires: Nueva Creación, 1995). Pérez Guadalupe, José Luis and Sebastian Grundberger (eds), Evangélicos y poder político en América Latina (Lima: Konrad Adenauer Instituto de Estudios Social Cristianos, 2018). Pew Research Center, ‘Religión en América Latina: Cambio generalizado en una región históric­amente católica’, accessed online at . Schafer, Heinrich, Protestantismo y crisis social en América Central (San José: DEI, 1992).

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Catholics Susana Nuin and Gremaud Angée

The twenty-first century put one of its spotlights on Latin America when the 2013 conclave named Argentine Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio as Pope. Francisco, as he chose to call himself, would be the first Latin American to be named Pope and also the first Jesuit in the Pontificate. The fact that a Latin American was constituted Bishop of Rome was not a matter of chance; this fact came to show the social and theological fruits of this continent 521 years after the arrival of the conquerors and their religion in the lands of America. Since the mid-twentieth century, the Latin American Catholic Church as a block had been processing its own theological history and interpretation. Latin America was experiencing the political tension of right-wing governments, some of them military dictatorships, and governments of left-wing movements highly monitored by the USA. From Mexico to Patagonia, poverty, coupled with a demographic explosion in the area and the increasing trend of human mobility from the countryside to the cities, led the bishops to seek consensus in the region to work together. As we will analyse, in Latin American Catholicism the long, medium and short durations of times intermingle to generate the present and give an originality to culture and Christianity. This is especially clear in the case of popular Catholicism and even Pentecostalism, which continue to draw on the early experiences of Christianity in these lands and the symbiosis between Christianity and local spiritual traditions.

Episcopal Conferences

Following in time and its own style, according to those constitutive elements that characterise the Latin American and Caribbean church, a church emerged seeded with real networks of interaction with concrete and challenging objectives, an advanced conception of pastoral life in ecclesial assembly and ecclesial communities. Undoubtedly, as Leonidas Ortiz affirms, the sixteenth-century Limean and Mexican councils, the many that followed and the Latin American Plenary Council of the late nineteenth century were true ‘precursor milestones’. In the twentieth century, with greater emphasis, the founding in 1942 of the Episcopal Secretariat of Central America (SEDAC) emerged. In Río de Janeiro in 1955,

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CELAM, the Latin American Episcopal Council, was founded. It symbolised the movement that would serve for the new evangelisation of what it called ‘Continent of Hope’. The years that followed fitted the Latin American church like a glove. The Pope in Rome had summoned the Second Vatican Council. John XXIII died without seeing it culminate, and it was Paul VI who continued the task of putting it into practice. The spirit of aggiornamento came to the continent with a recognition of the faith of the Indigenous and native people, the joy of the vernacular in the offices and the recognition of the groups that, since the 1930s, had been feeding the social and religious life of the people. After the Council, Latin America continued with a series of meetings in Medellín (1968), Puebla (1979), Santo Domingo (1992) and Aparecida (2007); in the latter, Cardinal Bergoglio would be one of its main editors. Words and phrases such as ‘justice’, ‘preferential option for the poor’, ‘search for peace’, ‘communion and collegiality’ echoed through those conferences, defining the evangelisation of the twenty-first century. But that search for justice was not new.

An Impeccable and Relentless Speech

In December 1511, on the fourth Sunday of Advent, Fray Antón Montesino went up to the pulpit of the Dominican church in La Española (Santo Domingo – known today as the Dominican Republic) commissioned by the Prior of the Community to deliver the sermon, before a church filled with the highest authorities of the time. It would go down in history as one of the first and most radical denunciations of abuses against the Indigenous people and a precursor of Latin American liberation theology. Undoubtedly, of the utmost importance is that the sermon was prepared by all the members of the Santo Domingo community, who signed it with their own hands to record the collective authorship and the relevance of such a decisive oratory. The Dominicans had prepared it conscientiously from their own enquiries about the ‘cruel captivity’ to which the Indigenous people were subjected. After such a thorough analysis of reality, they agreed to denounce the regime from the pulpit, considering it Catholics in Latin America and the Caribbean, 1970 Region Latin America Caribbean Central America South America Global total

Total population

Christian population

Catholic population

% of region Catholic

% of Christians Catholic

288,077,000 25,310,000 69,925,000 192,842,000 3,700,578,000

271,568,000 19,798,000 68,273,000 183,496,000 1,229,309,000

251,922,000 15,557,000 62,492,000 173,872,000 658,556,000

87.4% 61.5% 89.4% 90.2% 17.8%

92.8% 78.6% 91.5% 94.8% 53.6%

Source: Todd M. Johnson and Gina A. Zurlo (eds), World Christian Database (Leiden/Boston: Brill), accessed January 2020.

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300  Susana Nuin and Gremaud Angée contrary ‘to divine, natural and human law’. That sermon did not fall on deaf ears and marked forever the difficulty of a Christianity that until now has accom­panied the colonial processes and the presence of empires, first Spanish, then British, and in the twentieth century the domination of the USA. It sealed the beginning of liberating Latin American Christianity, the recognition of the defence of the dignity of the Indigenous people and the respect for cultural and religious diversity in Amerindia. Three years later, Bartolomé de las Casas resigned from his functions at the service of the Spanish crown and became the defender of the rights of the Indigenous people. For a variety of authors, he is the initiator of the Latin variant of the European philosophy of otherness and of tolerance. He was, however, one among many. Other notable cases include the Jesuits in the southern reductions of the continent, the Franciscans in the area of Mexico and Santo Toribio de Mogrovejo, Bishop of Lima, in the viceroyalty of Peru. From the first day the conquerors arrived in the Caribbean, they were accompanied by a banner with a cross and Catholic priests and missionaries, as a sign of the double task of conquering, the divine and the human. Since then, state and church would be together in search of fortune and evangelisation in American lands. While Europe was going through the Protestant Reformation and the loss of millions of Catholic souls, America became a land of hope like a fall from heaven. With the reforms of the Council of Trent, the territorial division gave rise to new dioceses and bishops in the area. The territories gave permits to religious communities (many of which had arrived earlier) to be part of the new viceroyalties and the dioceses. The Indigenous people became the subject of evangelisation and tax regimes. It was intended that the tribes remain close to the parishes and sanctuaries and thus labour together in their work and in catechesis.

Community Life

Already in the roots of the Indigenous people there is evidence of a tendency towards community, sociality, presence, ‘seeds of the Word’ that Catholics in Latin America and the Caribbean, 2020 Region Latin America Caribbean Central America South America Global total

Total population

Christian population

Catholic population

% of region Catholic

% of Christians Catholic

664,474,000 44,679,000 184,127,000 435,667,000 7,795,482,000

611,964,000 37,719,000 176,298,000 397,947,000 2,518,834,000

507,766,000 26,948,000 151,305,000 329,514,000 1,239,909,000

76.4% 60.3% 82.2% 75.6% 15.9%

83.0% 71.4% 85.8% 82.8% 49.2%

Source: Todd M. Johnson and Gina A. Zurlo (eds), World Christian Database (Leiden/Boston: Brill), accessed January 2020.

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speak of an integration of faith and life. There is a religious dimension to patterns of work, to the barter economy, to the social and political organisational forms. From the north to the south of the continent, similar data can be observed. For the Aztecs (Mexico), being a community included the social, economic, religious and political structures that provided for the communal administration of the affairs of the people. In the same way, the Maya in Central America aimed to coordinate the efforts of community members in order to promote the common good. Different peoples, empires and civilisations cascade through history, from Mexico and Central America to Patagonia, producing multiple expressions of community. The Guaranís, aborigines who inhabited and still inhabit Paraguay, Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay, also administered their resources in community. The holding of the first Limean and Mexican Councils became a fundamental precedent for the growth and maturation of the church in America. It is important to consider that already in the nascent church of Latin America the local Indigenous tradition was conjugated with great empathy with the ecclesial life of councils and synods, as a style of application of the church model of the time. As well, where the episcopal body gathered in provincial councils or diocesan synods, the clergy and their ecclesiastical council were manifested as the central nucleus. The particularity of the great Spanish-American conciliarist movement, without denying the accents of the European tradition, takes on a colour of its own. It is the existence of men and women on American soil – Indigenous people, who lived there and had generated their own cultures and whom they called ‘Indians’. The church is without antecedents before the missionary task of founding a church for ‘the Indians’. In the history of European provincial councils and diocesan synods there are very few who are authentically missionaries, and we must go back to the first three centuries of Christianity or to the border areas to find similar cases. American councils and synods, on the other hand, are primarily and sometimes exclusively concerned with ‘the Indian’, regarded as a new Christian or a pagan to be converted. Changes in Catholics in Latin America and the Caribbean, 1970–2020, growth rate, % per year Region

Total population

Christian population

Catholic population

Latin America

1.69%

1.64%

1.41%

Caribbean

1.14%

1.30%

1.10%

Central America

1.96%

1.92%

1.78%

South America

1.64%

1.56%

1.29%

Global total

1.50%

1.45%

1.27%

Source: Todd M. Johnson and Gina A. Zurlo (eds), World Christian Database (Leiden/Boston: Brill), accessed January 2020.

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Art and Education

Since their arrival in America, members of the clergy and religious communities have seen that art (music and paintings) is an effective way of communication and have held the education of the youth as one of their main objectives. Until the present day, Latin American cultural expression has shown a symbiosis between the Indigenous and the Christian. Both the Spanish crown and the papacy demanded the immediate evangelisation of the conquered native people. At first, the idea of teaching the natives the biblical images represented on canvases, prayers and songs served as evangelisation. With the passage of time, efforts were made to teach them Spanish, to read, write, add and subtract. By the seventeenth century, schools, colleges and universities had established themselves in Latin America thanks to the efforts of the church in Rome, Spain, Portugal and France. The Spanish crown directed parts of the budget of the communities to the education of the natives. Although poor, Indigenous and black groups did not have the same type of education as whites and Creoles, children of Spaniards demanded ‘their right’ to be better educated, thus creating more bases of inequality. The Bourbon reforms of the eighteenth century sought a change in education, imposing a liberal model for all strata of society; they created the educational foundations that are still seen in America, although educational parity between classes and ethnic groups has never been achieved. Between the nineteenth and twenty-first centuries, the church has been responsible for the main universities in the area, and Catholic schools are spread throughout all social strata of Latin America. In several countries, as part of current treaties with the Vatican, the chair of Catholic religion is still given as a compulsory part of official government schools.

Emancipatory Struggle and the Catholic Church

The ideas of the French Revolution, of free thought, and of struggles for separation of church and state permeated Europe and in turn reached America as early as the first years of the nineteenth century. With Spanish King Fernando VII in prison and his subsequent abdication, Latin American countries saw the opportunity to proclaim local boards that sought to protect the status quo. However, the independence movements wanted to take advantage of the moment to start the processes of forming Indigenous and liberal governments. With tempers heated and with a church divided on whether to follow the mandates of the crown or join the local revolts and the deeds that followed, a new horizon opened during the nineteenth century. A series of new nations was formed, from Mexico to Argentina, with their own governments and ideals of equality and democracy. With the new nations, the first Constitutions appeared,

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many of which separated religion and state, making the latter supreme for the running of the country. Some presidents succeeded in expelling un­comfortable Jesuits and religious from their countries, and in expropriating their land and wealth. Several liberal governments in pursuit of asserting the power of the state over the Catholic Church, which continued to be the institution with the greatest social influence, persecuted bishops and once again expelled the Jesuits and uncomfortable religious from their countries, expropriating from the church its lands and riches. However, after the radical years, the pendulum swung back, as the church found different ways to connect with more conservative political movements, which it helped from the pulpits. In return, Pius IX, at the end of the nineteenth century, signed nine concordats with Latin American governments during his pontificate, allowing the church to regain responsibility for the education of young people and for the marriage and baptism records of the inhabitants of those countries. Since the second half of the nineteenth century, the immigration of European populations has been a solution to the shortage of labour in some countries that did not have a native population and had abolished slavery. The political elites, children of the Spanish and Portuguese, welcomed the arrival of white populations. They facilitated their integration, granting them lands or other perks, and they were allowed to practise their religious traditions, which began to crack the Catholic monopoly. Towards the middle of the twentieth century, the great challenges of the Catholic Church were in the demographic explosion, with great centres of poverty and rural–urban migration, an enormous shortage of local clergy and the need to face the challenges of an unfinished evangel­ isation. Different sectors of the Catholic laity (men and women, youth and adults) were called, through Catholic Action, to participate in the task, as well as religious missionaries, women religious and clergy who arrived from Europe and the USA.

Local Theology and Biblical Study

One element that takes centre stage is undoubtedly the value of Scripture in Latin America, a value that in the course of time has been presented with different physiognomies. The biblical movement began with enormous force in Brazil and multiplied, generating a true constellation in the continent of study of the Word. The biblical text became the basis of praxis in daily life from the most impoverished to the wealthiest sectors, with a true analysis, reflection and practical application. From north to south and east to west, centres for the deepening of the study of the Bible emerged across the continent, with different orientations. Some centres of ecumenical studies were formed among the Evangelical churches.

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304  Susana Nuin and Gremaud Angée Others, like the Departamento Ecumenico de Investigaciones (Ecumenical Research Department) in Costa Rica, while being Protestant, housed Catholic biblical scholars. Other prominent ecclesiastical centres formed their laboratories for the study of the Word, such as CEBITEPAL-CELAM (Centre of Biblical, Theological and Pastoral Studies for Latin America and the Caribbean) in Bogotá, Colombia. Two elements drove this dynamism. The first and most explosive and shocking was the base ecclesial communities, styles of community that are considered further below. The second element is the silent permeation of the almost 60 years of a movement towards unity on the continent. As church life became more urban than rural there was a fresh engagement with the biblical text. This was energised by the possibility of living the Word, not only studying it, reflecting on it, meditating on it and memorising it, even if it was also vital anyway, because life in God is one. A new pedagogical-methodological approach was penetrating the continent and the church. Liberation theology emerged, described by Gustavo Gutiérrez, one of its pioneers, as a ‘critical reflection on praxis’. At the same time, he makes clear that it does not just start with a simple critical analysis of reality. It involved a mystical experience, a profound encounter with the Lord by someone who is poor and lacks what is necessary. Accompanying the transformations of society and the presence of women in all areas, including university life, the reflection on the presence and construction of Christianity by women arose, with the consequent development of a theology that went on to defend their rights and their dignity. Since the 1980s, Latin American Catholic and Protestant theologians have made known this new facet of liberation theology. At the same time, many of these theologians also opened the space for reflection on the care of nature, giving birth to feminist ecotheology. In the twenty-first century, a growing number of essays on Catholic theology or Christology have looked at the praxis of Jesus Christ in the historical contexts of the poor and their specific realities, a reflection coming from Latin America and whose promoters are theologians from the region. It is worth highlighting the growth that Amerindia has had, the network of Catholics (theologians, social scientists, pastoralists, biblicists) with an ecumenical spirit and open to dialogue and inter-religious cooperation with other organisations. It reaffirms the preferential option for the poor and excluded, the creation of new models of community and participatory church, and the development of liberation theology as a contribution to the universal church. From the base ecclesial communities, catechesis, doctrinal study and theological reflection were promoted with the aim of leading the people

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of God to a greater communion of life through the Word and the witness of evangelical life. Bible study circles and numerous reflection groups multi­ plied and became the seeds of new base ecclesial communities. Communities founded on the life of the Word and on the proliferation of celebrations of the Word flourished, presided over by lay men and women.

Charisma in Communion: Action Groups

Among numerous initiatives and networks, one of the most significant is the Latin American Conference of Religious (CLAR), founded in 1959. It fosters communion and mutual collaboration between the national conferences that encourage Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life. It also establishes timely coordination and cooperation with the Latin American Episcopal Council (CELAM), with the National Episcopal Conferences and with the bishops of each member country. It brings dynamics of communion, articulation and co-­responsibility to the consecrated life of the continent. CLAR promotes collective construction, the synod style, communion and a new way of establishing relationships. It is positioned from the values of the gospel in defence of life, justice and peace. It strives to maintain the prophetic and missionary commitment that it received as a legacy and launches itself into the urgent task of the Kingdom, in a network, aware of its commitment to the dignity of people, care for the earth, respect for cultures and the improvement of living conditions on the continent. According to Pedro Asís Ribeiro de Oliveira, from the beginning until today, the presence and action of the lay faithful have been important in shaping the physiognomy of Catholic Christianity in our continent. The mix of Indigenous, African and European people offered a very particular basis for religious practice. This was characterised by a very rich variety, derived from traditional religions of Indigenous or Afro-American origin. However, this paradigm of Catholic Christian culture, of Iberian inspiration, which formed the sociocultural and religious background, did not survive in our lands without contradictions, ambiguities and resistance. This tradition had to learn to live with the multiplicity of cultural realities present among us. In the twentieth century, Catholic Action represented the great pastoral strategy of the church. The CA (General Catholic Action, 1930s–1950s) was decisive in the knowledge and presence of the church in the social reality and the political organisation of the laity in the Christian democratic parties (Chile, Venezuela, El Salvador, Brazil, Uruguay). Specialised Catholic Action, in the 1960s and 1970s, was influential among the youth (workers, students, rural) with its process of insertion in the world of the poor. The methodology of ‘See, Judge, Act’ led to the renewal of different

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306  Susana Nuin and Gremaud Angée areas of pastoral care. Numerous communities and initiatives flourished, especially in the field of evangelisation and social ministry. There are very interesting pastoral initiatives in some dioceses in Latin America with a strong presence of current Indigenous communities. Despite all institutional pressures and brakes, the Diocese of San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas, in southern Mexico, accompanied and supported by Bishop Samuel Ruiz, maintains the line of an autochthonous church. A similar case is that of Tarahumara, in northern Mexico. There is also a theological reflection on the Indigenous presence initiated by the Mexican theologian of Zapotec origin Eleazar López. For him, Indian, Amerindian or Indigenous theology refers to the rich religious wisdom of the original people of the continent now called America. This wisdom is the result of millennia of searching for divine and spiritual realities, which the first settlers carried out in the past and which their descendants currently maintain autonomously in connection with Christianity. Communities are present in almost all the countries of Latin America, often directly accompanied by the close presence of a bishop, religious communities or lay people. In Ecuador, the multifaceted life and work of Monsignor Proaño as pastor, teacher and counsellor gives life to communities through integral evangelisation. He is renowned as a defender of the rights of the Indian people, evangeliser, educator, pedagogue, promoter of awarenessraising processes, journalist, writer, artist, organiser, economist, ecologist, defender of nature, of the paramo and the jungle, internationalist, lover of life and of the poor, of workers, of the vulnerable and forgotten population. He sowed a seed that bore fruit and that today continues to benefit hundreds of families through community mobilisation at both the urban and the rural levels. Other communities are being animated by biblical and social catechetical pastoral care and are born within the framework of the parishes and also outside the parishes. A clear example is around migrants, be it from the countryside to the cities or between the countries of the region. There are many ecclesial organisations that care for migrants in their basic needs and defend their rights, including the Scalabrinian Sisters and Fathers, the Jesuits who take care of refugees, the Comboni missionaries and many other charisms at the service of migrants. The recently established Latin American and Caribbean Network for Migration, Refuge and Trafficking in Persons (CLAMOR) coordinates their efforts. It aims to provide for the needs of migrants, displaced persons, refugees and victims of human trafficking. It mobilises the functions and services offered by all the institutions and entities that are already active in this work but that can be strengthened and have a greater impact when more clearly articulated and delivered through a network.

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Catholics  307

The Argentine theologian Marcela Mazini has analysed the contribution of Pope Francis’s thought in terms of the unity between theology, pastoral care and spirituality. She identifies the poor as a theological place from which, with their practices, Francis proposes a hermeneutical and pastoral turn. In this context, it is important to understand the work of creating community that former Archbishop of Buenos Aires Bergoglio developed together with the priests who had already made a preferential option for the poor, in the neighbourhoods called ‘shanty towns’, where they were recognised as ‘villeros priests’. There, for decades, Pope Francis and the priests have established communities based on the life of the Word and the liturgical celebration, on the church as closeness to people, and on the appreciation of popular piety with its true mysticism. The communities of the villages have an intense and constant effective and affective fabric of their members, where closeness, neighbourhood, solidarity and the common good are the pillars. In the great cities of Latin America, a plurality of imaginaries and mentalities are perceived that coexist and merge in the same urban space. The theologian Carlos Galli affirms that beliefs, words, symbols, music, jobs, entertainment, studies, ages, groups and fashions are some elements that make up urban subcultures and that configure their identity in an infinity of combinations. It is a true Babel, whose multiculturalism does not depend only on the migrations of foreigners who speak different languages. The same cities generate various subcultural forms of language. Urban culture has endless possibilities. Today there is a new urban pastoral practice in Latin America and the Caribbean, always speaking to the great ­metropolises – living, active communities, based on interests, that make everyday life a space of community, capable of doing without the sanctuary, to become a reality wherever possible.

Chiaroscuro and Challenges

The history of this church in Latin America has also left its moments of chiaroscuro. If sectors of the clergy denounced the abuse against the natives and slaves during the times of conquest and colonisation, the clergy also made use of these same groups for the creation of their wealth and the continuation of their status. If the church could be a force against the dictatorships of Pinochet and Somoza in the twentieth century, some prelates also found close connections to the governments of the dictatorships in Argentina, Paraguay and the Dominican Republic, where the victims numbered in the thousands. At the same time, laity, men and women, religious, priests and even bishops were sent into exile, imprisoned, tortured, assassinated or dis­ appeared throughout this part of America for announcing and living the

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308  Susana Nuin and Gremaud Angée gospel among the poor. In many cases these voices were not well received by Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI, who somehow related their pastoral work and their foundations in liberation theology to Marxist activities within the context of the Cold War. By the end of the twentieth century and the beginning of the twentyfirst century, a devastating child abuse scandal hit the church, especially in Europe and the USA. However, clear cases in Chile, Mexico, Argentina and Colombia revealed protection of paedophile priests by church authorities. A notable example is that of the personal friend of Saint John Paul II and founder of the Legionaries of Christ in Mexico, Marcial Maciel. Investigations revealed the dark face of a paedophile, with a tangle of lies that covered the case of the priest and his community. Benedict XVI and Francis had to make profound changes within the community. Francis has established a strict protocol against these abuses of power and has even lifted the confidentiality of the confessional when it comes to these crimes that must now be addressed to the civil authorities. Social and gender differences, land distribution and corruption continue to be inherited problems since the conquest. Perhaps that is why the church of the twenty-first century in Latin America has taken some major steps to expose the violation of human rights. In Colombia, it has closely accompanied the peace processes with the guerrillas and the assassinations of community leaders. In Chile, the church works with human rights programmes against neoliberal measures that have exposed the shortcomings of these financial schemes. In Nicaragua, Venezuela and Cuba, the church has not lost its prophetic and social character in moments of national and international crisis due to the positions of these governments. It is the Catholic Church that has raised its voice so that the rights and lives of those who emigrate to the USA from Central American countries hit by poverty and violence will be respected. After the Second Vatican Council, ecumenical collaboration between Catholics and Protestants influenced the social, political and cultural reality of Latin America. A good example is the founding of the sociology faculty of the National University of Colombia by a Presbyterian, Dr Orlando Fals Borda, and the Catholic priest Camilo Torres. Recently, and under North American influence, fundamentalist sectors of the Catholic Church have also joined Pentecostal groups to create networks in the world of politics and defend their positions regarding morality and the family. These groups have come together to fight against abortion, same-sex marriages, adoptions by LGTB+ individuals and other bioethical issues. Still being the church with the largest number of practitioners on the continent and an institution with high social credibility, the challenges faced by the Catholic Church are of many kinds. A world that calls for

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greater equality between genders does not find an ally in the church. The Popes have flatly refused to consider priestly ordination of women. Some experts suggest that this has led to the decrease in female vocations to religious life. Pope Francis also failed to give the green light to the ordination of married priests in mission places such as the Amazon, an opportunity that could help to resolve the crisis in priestly vocations. Faced with a world with increasing secularisation, the church is losing adherents in many parts of the planet, and Latin America is no exception. Some changes, such as the Charismatic renewal, have once again shaken the foundations of new groups, such as the Emmaus movement. However, it is not enough to make parishioners resist the temptations of spiritualities and philosophies based on progress without guilt and the individualisation of success. Pentecostal-type Evangelical movements are growing throughout Latin America, causing Catholics to no longer be a majority in many poor communities on the peripheries. The Catholic Church will need to develop less orthodox and rigid plans, promoted since John Paul II, to reach more communities where the lack of religious vocations is not taken up by the new Pentecostal churches. The leaders of the Catholic Church must in this century develop pastoral plans that take them out of their centres and rites and bring them closer to the people, which is ultimately what attracts those who go to other religious experiences. An important experience that was lived in 2019–20 was the Assembly of Laity called by the laity themselves in Chile. Above all, they sought a reading of their reality and asked for a more ‘horizontal’ participation in decision-making and a more inclusive faith, especially in relation to the participation of women in the life of the church. These lay initiatives could promote bonds of hope and dialogue from which Rome could benefit. For the twenty-first century, the concern for the ‘common home’, that is, the ecological issue and what derives from it, is placed as a priority over issues such as global warming, food production for the growing population and redistribution of wealth. With this objective, Pope Francis has authorised the creation of an Ecclesial Conference for the Amazon. During the COVID-19 pandemic, one of the religious leaders who took on media importance was Pope Francis, whose homilies and celebrations were seen in many parts of the world. Local churches have recovered an important space and have learned to handle social networks to good effect, another initiative that could call more young people to their ranks.

Conclusion

This essay has sought to draw out the latent characteristic of being Catholic on the continent and the awareness that exists in the person and the communities to be called to live in relationship, to be with others,

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310  Susana Nuin and Gremaud Angée to constitute another possible sociality. The neoliberalisms that have crossed the continent in recent decades have not stopped impacting culture and thereby weakening any possible commitment to the common good. Along with crossing the routes of continental networks, pastoral theological paths were crossed, important as the already mentioned liberation theology and the theology of the people, which with Francis in the papacy are intertwined in a harmonious way and are recognised in their multiple possibilities and richness. Francis in St Peter’s Basilica symbolises five centuries of falls and rises, of unfinished struggles, of abuse of Indigenous people, blacks and settlers, but also of profound moments of prayer, vision, construction of thought and community. The Aparecida document, of which Pope Francis was one of the main drafters, highlights the need to make collegiate and synodical decisions. In other words, the Latin American church does not see itself as an island that they see from Europe, almost as it was seen five centuries ago from Spain and Rome, but, rather, as a proactive church, united in mission and protagonist of its own history. The experience of the Aparecida conference sees the parish in its renewing and always current mission, to be a community of communities, a vocation that can be set in motion if the church takes the exit as a real and committed vocation, where it goes out to meet God, who lives in history. Its challenge is to be faithful to its original vocation.

Bibliography

De Oliveira, Pedro Asís Ribeiro, Religião e dominação de classe: gênese, estrutura e função do catolicismo romanizado no Brasil (Petrópolis: Vozes, 1985). Dussel, Enrique, Historia general de la iglesia en América Latina tomo I: Introducción general a la historia de la iglesia en América Latina (Salamanca: Ed. Sígueme – CEHILA, 1983). Gutiérrez, Gustavo, Teología de la liberación. Perspectivas (Lima: CEP, 1971). Mazzini, Marcela and Francois Moog (eds), Recherches en theologie des pratiques pastorales (Belo Horizonte: Cahiers Internationaux de Théologie Pratique, 2016). Tamayo, Juan José, Pluralismo religioso, interculturalidad y feminismo (Barcelona: Herder, 2011).

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Evangelicals Darío López Rodríguez

The Evangelical community in Latin America and the Caribbean is a visible, growing and heterogeneous religious expression, with more than 100 years of missionary presence in most Latin American countries. As a collective actor it does not go unnoticed by the media, analysts of social and political reality, and observers of the religious field. Currently – unlike previous years – and against all odds, the Evangelical community is a concrete reality that cannot be made invisible and that is redesigning the Latin American religious field. Its accelerated numerical growth in the late twentieth and early twentyfirst centuries, particularly in countries where the Evangelical community competes for dominance in the religious field with the Roman Catholic Church (El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Honduras) or in countries where the Evangelical population borders 20% or more of the total population (Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic), carries substantial social and political capital as well as significant electoral potential. The Evangelical community can be regarded as a key and decisive factor in the electoral processes of such countries as Guatemala, Honduras, Colombia, Costa Rica and Brazil. This essay will address two specific questions: Who are the Evangelicals? And how is the Evangelical community different from the other religious denominations present on Latin American soil? Specifically, the particularity of the Evangelical identity, its precise theological substrate and its past and present public face will be explained. The description will be panoramic, of course, without losing sight of the significant details that contribute to a better understanding of the Evangelical presence in Latin America.

Collective Identity of Evangelicals

The Evangelical community in all Latin American countries is heterogeneous and diverse, both in its origin and in its theology. As for its liturgy, form of government, insertion in the context of mission, impact on society, social composition and numerical percentage, there is also great variety. In Latin America, the Evangelical community comprises a number of denominations of foreign origin, national churches resulting from internal

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312  Darío López Rodríguez divisions or spontaneously born as a result of religious revivals, and independent local or regional churches. All these aspects, although they maintain their particular denominational or ecclesial distinctions, share a common theological substratum, a militant missionary and evangelising practice, and a collective inheritance in which several theological tendencies and spiritualities intersect. In the case of Latin America, ‘Protestantism’ as a generic term and its great variety of ideas and movements ranges from the Pentecostal churches, in great expansion, to churches of a few faithful, like the Anglican or the Lutheran. All are part of what is known as ‘evangelical’. José Míguez Bonino identified four faces that, from their point of view, make up Latin American Protestantism: the liberal face, the Evangelical face, the Pentecostal face and an ‘ethnic face’. He also states that in Latin America, ‘Protestant’ and ‘Evangelical’ have been synonymous. Samuel Escobar, on this same issue, points out that the preference of Protestants for the term ‘Evangelical’ corresponds to a historical reality, since most missionaries during the twentieth century defined themselves as such. With this, a reference was made to a doctrinally conservative, evangelising and missionary Protestantism. The following would be, according to Samuel Escobar, the distinctive notes of Evangelical identity in Latin America: the theological heritage of the Reformation, evangelising passion, personal piety, Anabaptist posture, Puritan ethics and the social dimension of the gospel. Moreover, about the Evangelical identity, Míguez Bonino adds that, from the beginning and especially towards the middle of the last century, missions that represent the Holiness movement and the millennial and fundamentalist lines of the UK and the USA have arrived in Latin America. These influence the already established churches like Methodists, Presbyterians and Baptists. In a certain way, all Protestantism became absorbed by this religious practice that was characterised by dualism and spiritualism, marked by an ethic of separation from the world and accompanied by great legalistic rigidity.

Evangelicals in Latin America and the Caribbean, 1970 Region Latin America Caribbean Central America South America Global total

Total population

Christian population

Evangelicalpopulation

% of region Evangelical

% of Christians Evangelical

288,077,000 25,310,000 69,925,000 192,842,000 3,700,578,000

271,568,000 19,798,000 68,273,000 183,496,000 1,229,309,000

9,463,000 1,224,000 1,142,000 7,096,000 111,809,000

3.3% 4.8% 1.6% 3.7% 3.0%

3.5% 6.2% 1.7% 3.9% 9.1%

Source: Todd M. Johnson and Gina A. Zurlo (eds), World Christian Database (Leiden/Boston: Brill), accessed January 2020.

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Evangelicals  313

As noted, the churches that make up the Latin American Evangelical community, beyond their origin and diversity, share a common theological substrate that identifies them as Evangelicals, despite their liturgical differences and doctrinal emphasis. Some are churches linked to transplanted or immigrant Protestantism, such as the Lutheran churches in southern Brazil and Chile that came with migratory movements and established themselves to serve immigrant communities. Others are the result of independent and interdenominational mission movements that gave rise to national denominations such as the Peruvian Evangelical Church or the Christian Evangelical Union in Bolivia. Still other churches in Latin America are the result of the missionary effort of denominations such as the Methodists, the Church of the Nazarene, the Presbyterians or the Baptists. And there are also Pentecostal denominations of foreign origin such as the Assemblies of God and the Church of God, quite widespread in Latin America, as well as Pentecostal denominations of national origin such as the Pentecostal Methodist Church in Chile or the Pente­­costal Mission­ary Church in Peru. Of all this heterogeneity characterising the Latin American Evangelical community, it should be noted that the churches that have grown the most in recent decades are grassroots Evangelical churches such as Pentecostals. These churches are located in the poorest and most oppressed areas of the big cities and the rural areas, and have connected very well with the social and spiritual expectations of the poor and excluded. The social composition of these churches, with a majority of poor people and immigrants, their participatory and festive liturgy, and the active participation of the laity in leadership, among other visible characteristics, testify to their popular character.

Distinguishing Characteristics of Evangelicals

In a sense, it can also be affirmed that Latin American Evangelical churches are inclusive and levelling. This reality can be observed in most Evangelical churches, regardless of where they are located. It is not just a characteristic

Evangelicals in Latin America and the Caribbean, 2020 Region Latin America Caribbean Central America South America Global total

Total population

Christian population

Evangelical population

% of region Evangelical

% of Christians Evangelical

664,474,000 44,679,000 184,127,000 435,667,000 7,795,482,000

611,964,000 37,719,000 176,298,000 397,947,000 2,518,834,000

50,595,000 3,793,000 9,155,000 37,648,000 387,026,000

7.6% 8.5% 5.0% 8.6% 5.0%

8.3% 10.1% 5.2% 9.5% 15.4%

Source: Todd M. Johnson and Gina A. Zurlo (eds), World Christian Database (Leiden/Boston: Brill), accessed January 2020.

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314  Darío López Rodríguez of grassroots churches such as Pentecostals. In the churches located in the middle-class areas, a presence of immigrants and poor families who come from the grassroots neighbourhoods is growing as well. And the same thing happens in the few Evangelical churches that have been established in the upper-class areas. In all these cases, there is a heterogeneity in the attendance at worship; however, the same is not always the case when it comes to leadership positions, where certain preferences for middle- and upper-class people are observed. The Evangelical Latin American churches are also missionary churches. The verbal proclamation of the gospel, using various means such as outdoor preaching or the delivery of leaflets, is one of its most outstanding features. For any Latin American Evangelical church, beyond its doctrinal emphasis and its particular history, being Evangelical implies sharing its faith with other people. In this sense, each believer becomes a missionary who has a testimony to share with his or her family, neighbours, co-­ workers and students. In recent years a growing missionary awareness has also developed, and the number of Latin American missionaries working in other regions of the world is increasing. In addition, as a result of the immigration process, many Latin Americans who went to the countries of Europe or North America in search of better economic opportunities, as they had a faith to share, became missionaries along the way and established churches in the countries where they settled.

Notorious Deficits of Evangelicals

Aside from the above, it must be pointed out that one of the most notorious deficits of the Latin American Evangelical churches, because they have focused mostly on the verbal proclamation of the gospel as the supreme and unique task of the church, has been their low level of involvement in public life. A radical separation from the world based on an undeveloped understanding of the church–world relationship – with its correlation of passivity, indifference and silence in the face of critical issues such as the violation of human rights and the scandalous poverty in which thousands Changes in Evangelicals in Latin America and the Caribbean, 1970–2020, growth rate, % per year Region

Total population

Christian population

Latin America

1.69%

1.64%

Evangelical population 3.41%

Caribbean

1.14%

1.30%

2.29%

Central America

1.96%

1.92%

4.25%

South America

1.64%

1.56%

3.39%

Global total

1.50%

1.45%

2.51%

Source: Todd M. Johnson and Gina A. Zurlo (eds), World Christian Database (Leiden/Boston: Brill), accessed January 2020.

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Evangelicals  315

of Latin Americans live – has limited their missionary impact in these lands. Although this situation has changed to some extent in recent years and some Evangelical congregations have significant social work in the fields of health, education, income generation and the fight against poverty, the emphasis nonetheless is still on the public denunciation of individual sin, with little or no mention of social sins such as institutionalised violence and indifference to problems such as exploitation and oppression. Even less attention is paid to long-standing structural sins in Latin America, such as poverty, racism and exclusion. In other words, most Evangelical churches address the effects of institutionalised violence but have little interest in denouncing sinful structures and actively participating in the construction of a more just and inclusive society, closer to the proposal of the Kingdom of God. In summary, not ignoring the deficits that Evangelical churches have with regard especially to their public testimony, it is clear that the following elements structure, articulate and mould their identity, with particular nuances or emphasis on any of these elements: the theological heritage of the Reformation (only Scripture, only Christ, only faith, only grace, the priesthood of all believers), missionary and evangelising passion (all are missionaries who have a message to share with everyone, starting from the family and the neighbourhood), personal piety (personal experience with Christ, reading the Bible, prayer and personal testimony), the Anabaptist posture (adult baptism, separation between church and state, the authority of Scripture over tradition), puritan ethics (individual and public morals as marks of the following of Christ) and the social dimension of the gospel (a public truth to be exposed and lived in everyday human relationships).

Evangelical Theology – Three Eras

The course of Evangelical theology in Latin America, a missionary heritage that greatly influenced its public testimony, can be divided into three particular eras: modernity, democracy, education and social work (midnineteenth century and first decades of the twentieth century); evangelism and numerical growth (from the 1940s to the first decade of the twentyfirst century); and public emergency, theocracy and political power (from 2010 to the present).

Modernity, democracy, education and social work

A historical balance of the first years of the Protestant presence in our lands can be found in the investigations of Juan Fonseca (2002) and Carlos Mondragón (2005). From the reading of these historical approaches and other extremely valuable investigations to understand and interpret this

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316  Darío López Rodríguez period, it appears that the Protestant presence was linked to the political proposal of the nineteenth-century liberal tradition, particularly with the modernising project and with democracy. A number of factors account for the identification of the first Protestant missions with modernity and democracy: Methodist and Presbyterian schools, among others, with an advanced pedagogical proposal that included the education of women and the English language; the struggle for religious freedom and marriage and civil registration; and the struggle for the secularisation of cemeteries and the nursing profession, which opened a new field for the vocation of serving women in countries where they were not entitled to vote. Significant for our case is consideration of the theology that accompanied the missionary proposal of the first Protestant missions and, especially, their understanding of spirituality. The first Protestant missionary generation did not separate the secular from the religious, the private from the public, or the sacred from the profane. Otherwise, how can you explain their participation in the struggle for religious freedom, civil marriage, civil registration and the opening of lay cemeteries? How can you explain their modernising pedagogical proposal and their concern for secular professions such as nursing? How can you explain their interest in the education of women and in the training of nurses and educators in the service of the helpless neighbour in static societies in which women were marginalised and considered non-citizens? The spirituality of the first Protestant generation was far from an ethical rigour that limited holiness to clothing and personal appearance, from a privatisation of faith that confined the action of God to the four walls of the sanctuary, restricting the Spirit to religious matters. The focus was on a deferred hope to life in the beyond that eliminated all preoccupation with the construction of a more just society and a church–world relationship that opposed faith with doing and the secular with the spiritual. The first Protestant generation considered that private life and public life, personal holiness and social holiness, justification by faith and the struggle for social justice could not be separated. It stressed the Christian hope of a concern for all human needs, love of neighbour for the defence of human dignity. The first Protestant generation’s understanding of the Christian mission and spirituality explains why they actively participated in the struggle for the rights of religious minorities. It also explains why they supported the modernisation project promoted by liberal political sectors and the construction of a democracy in which rights are equal for all citizens, regardless of their religious differences. It opted for a modern and inclusive education as a way out of backwardness and under­ development, taking a special interest in social work for the benefit of

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the defenceless social sectors of our countries and developing hospitals, orphanages and nursing schools.

Evangelism and numerical growth

What happened to cause a change in the public presence of the still small Protestant community in the 1930s and 1940s? How can this step be explained, from being part of a civilising utopia and an alternative carrier of new cultural values to being only one more religious alternative within the national culture? The sectors of Evangelical Protestantism that arrived in Latin America in the mid-1940s, it must be remembered, came mainly from a religious and political context, such as the American, in which a strong theological debate called into question such central doctrines of the Evangelical faith as the authority of the Bible, the sufficiency of the work of Christ on the cross and the call to repentance. For the churches and missions that arrived in Latin America in those years, the supreme task of the church was evangelisation – understood as a verbal proclamation of the gospel – and everything else (call it social, educational or political participation) was considered unnecessary, not a priority and even worldly. A dualism expressed in a marked separation from the world, an ethical rigour and an understanding of the mission of the church reduced to the verbal proclamation of the gospel were all characteristic theological notes that manifested in a spirituality which reduced Christian life to the private sphere and the religious sphere. The establishment of new churches and the numerical growth of the Evangelical community mattered more. It was claimed that personal conversion would lead to social transformation and that when countries were evangelised, then societies would change. In the 1970s, Latin American Protestantism split into two blocks: the ecumenical sector and the Evangelical sector. The mutually disqualifying discussions from both sides, particularly about the mission of the church in the world, ultimately led to the formation of two entities that claimed to represent all or most of the Protestant community: the Latin American Council of Churches and the Latin American Evangelical Confraternity (LAEC). The internal struggles in the Evangelical denominations produced in some cases divisions and in other cases painful distancing that affected the missionary presence and public testimony of the Evangelical community. Most of the Evangelical community aligned with the conservative theological and political perspective that LAEC represented. One of the most serious consequences of this development in the Latin American Evangelical movement was that the sector linked to LAEC disregarded the social and political problems of our countries that equally affected Evangelicals

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318  Darío López Rodríguez and non-Evangelicals (poverty, institutionalised injustice, discrimination), except the struggle for freedom of conscience and religion, which has always been one of its historical claims. And, in addition, during the 1970s and 1980s it justified and legitimised dictatorial governments in such countries as Argentina, Chile and Guatemala, which were accused of violating human rights, extra-judicial killings, and arrests and subsequent disappearance of citizens.

Public emergency, theocracy, political power

In recent years and as a consequence of the numerical growth that made Evangelicals electorally significant, the participation of pastors and Evangelical leaders in electoral processes has been featuring in all the countries of the region. Evangelicals have stood as candidates for local governments, national congresses and the executive branch of government. Using the Evangelical people as an electoral base and holding the belief that the children of God are called to be ‘the head and not the tail’ in the public space, they sought (and seek) access to political decision-making spaces to enjoy the material advantages granted by the acquisition of power. But the political ambition and the acquisition of power did not stop there. Since the middle of 2020, the most conservative and fundamentalist sector of the Evangelical community – having as political allies the urban, numerically growing Neo-Pentecostal churches that have a strong media presence – began to develop a political-religious force that managed to install their religious point of view on education, sexuality, abortion, sexual options and family as part of the public agenda. Its intention is not only to have a media presence but to influence public policies, domesticate the state and, eventually, capture political power in order to impose, from the epicentre of power, a theocratic model of government. This is precisely what has been happening in broad Evangelical and Neo-Pentecostal sectors that are politically mobilised and manipulated by their leaders, whose political-electoral interests are unquestionable – not so much because they seek to strengthen democracy, but because they intend to impose their religious point of view on all citizens, whether Evangelical or not. Recent cases from Brazil, Colombia and Peru illustrate this reality. The same can be affirmed with respect to the campaigns called ‘Do Not Mess With My Children’ and ‘I Educate My Children’, which question the responsibility of the state to provide comprehensive education to children and adolescents in public schools and affirm that public policies (including health, population and educational policies) must be contingent upon religious beliefs or built on religious beliefs. Evangelisation, numerical growth, politics and theocracy are the key elements to understand the theology and spirituality of the Evangelical

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presence in recent decades. It is true that not all sectors of the broad, multifaceted and heterogeneous Latin American Evangelical movement fit this characterisation. But it also is true that most of it, whatever its denominational identity, has had this theological emphasis expressed in its piety or spirituality. It should be noted as well that not all evangelicals are supporters of a theocratic vision of power and a political practice based on religious interests. A minority but growing sector of evangelical citizens is betting, rather, on the construction of a citizens’ democracy in which the state has a special concern for social justice, the common good, the fight against poverty and exclusion, and a dignified treatment for minorities, among other matters that are not necessarily subject to religious control or the subordination of the state to religious interests.

Public Presence

Considering the most noticeable deficiencies of a large part of the Latin American Evangelical churches, so that in the light of the liberating dimension of the Kingdom of God their presence in the public space is socially and politically more effective and efficient, one of the first problems that must be corrected in their theology and spirituality is the common practice of turning churches into instruments of political power or justifying dehumanising ideologies. In this sense, so that the presence in the public space is more in line with the principles of the Kingdom of God and its justice, we should consider that, in Latin America, religion and religious people have become, in several cases, political instruments of the state and of the temporary rulers, justifying and theologically legitimising all their abuses. This happened in Chile (1973–89) and in Argentina (1976–85) during the military dictatorships in which many innocent people were killed and disappeared. The same can be said regarding Guatemala during the government of Efraín Ríos Montt (1982–3) and in Peru during the dictatorial regime of Alberto Fujimori (1990–2000). However, it must be recognised that the history of the Evangelical Church also includes moments in which prophetic minorities changed the course of history, defending the law and justice despite the insults, persecution and death threats of the defenders of the status quo. A critical examination of the Evangelical presence indicates that within the Latin American Evangelical community there are still pastors, leaders and members for whom the defence of human dignity, particularly its political dimension, is not part of the Christian witness. They believe that it is an improper task for Christians and, therefore, a worldly matter that belongs only to non-Evangelical social activists and militants of the political left. This reductionist theological perspective – whose foundation is quite weak, considering the testimony of the Holy Scriptures regarding

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320  Darío López Rodríguez the justice of God and the sanctity of human life – has a direct harmful effect, both in the understanding and in the practice of the mission of the churches, and does not contribute at all to the strengthening of the fragile democracies of the region. Critical reflection from some Evangelicals suggests that they need to appreciate that Christian mission must necessarily include a concern for defenceless social sectors and for people living in poverty and extreme poverty. They must also understand that sensitive and critical issues such as violence against women, immigration of people and families, and care for the common good are part of the Christian testimony, and that their calling is to be in the front row when they try to defend women, show solidarity with immigrants and responsibly care for the environment. Regarding the social and political responsibility of Evangelicals, whatever the way in which the growing public presence of Evangelicals is expressed (forming confessional political parties, inserting themselves into political parties of diverse backgrounds, participating in social movements or being good neighbours), Evangelicals have to understand that politics is not restricted to the parliamentary sphere or to local governments, nor to the role of organised civil society, but is a matter that belongs to all citizens. Politics is more than participation in periodic elections and the act of granting the vote to a certain candidate or political party in each electoral process. Politics is a task for all and requires that all citizens demand accountability, transparency in public management and good use of public funds, as well as equal opportunities for all citizens, whatever their religious confession, social status or cultural background.

Facing the Future

The Evangelical presence in Latin America, as in every human experience, has lights and shadows and even gloom. Thus, on the one hand, it can be affirmed that its contribution to democracy was to expand the margins of freedom for the human person in a continent in which a religious majority strongly imposed a single vision of life on believers and non-believers. It was also active in empowering the marginalised, the excluded and the ‘nobodies’, giving them a voice and making them citizens aware of their rights and responsible for their duties. However, on the other hand, it can also be noted that, at certain historical junctures, due to their conservative political stance and support for the status quo, there were pastors and leaders who publicly justified and uncritically legitimised military dictator­ships (Chile, Argentina, Guatemala) and human rights violations (Peru, Colombia, Brazil). In light of what is currently happening in the region, it is possible that, in the coming years, if it continues its accelerated numerical growth,

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conservative Evangelicalism will break the Roman Catholic hegemony in the religious and political field. It might control and assume the leadership of the community and impose its religious vision of life, not only on public policies, but on the daily life of social relationships. Its ideal and theocratic dream points in that direction. In addition, they are convinced that they have divine approval and that, as ‘sons of the King’ and ‘anointed Princes’, they have the heavenly imprint to govern the nations and, from the epicentre of power, design and implement public policies consistent with their exclusive religious and political thinking.

Bibliography

Escobar, Samuel, ‘¿Qué significa ser evangélico hoy?’, Misión, 1:1 (March–June 1982), 14–18, 35–9. Fonseca, Juan, Misioneros y civilizadores: Protestantismo y modernización en el Perú (1915–1930) (Lima: Fondo Editorial de la Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú, 2002). López, Darío, ‘Protestantismo y espiritualidad en América Latina’, in H. Fernando Bullón and Nicolás Panoto (eds), ¿Hacia dónde va el Protestantismo en América Latina? Una visión multidisciplinaria y prospectiva a los 500 años de la Reforma (Buenos Aires: Ediciones Kairos, 2017), 159–71. Míguez Bonino, José, Rostros del Protestantismo latinoamericano (Buenos Aires and Grand Rapids, MI: Nueva Creación and William B. Eerdmans, 1995). Mondragón, Carlos, Leudar la masa: En pensamiento social de los protestantes en América Latina 1920–1950 (Buenos Aires: Ediciones Kairos, 2005).

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Pentecostals/Charismatics Nicolas Iglesias Schneider

The Latin American religious landscape has changed radically over the last 50 years. Pentecostalism is the most dynamic and growing religious sector in Latin America. This field includes the classical (or traditional), free, Indigenous and Neo-Pentecostal denominations and churches, as well as its theological influence on other traditions of Christianity. The Latin American urban landscape has been transformed with the Pentecostal presence, which has converted many cinemas and theatres into the busiest mega-centres of faith in big cities. A diversity of channels is employed: Christian bookstores and media, gospel music and tele-­preachers, poli­ ticians and Pentecostal influencers flood the networks with their message about the Holy Spirit. Catholic hegemony has expired, giving rise to a Pentecostal presence: in the streets, on social networks, among family and friends, in politics and through cultural production on various levels. To graph the growth of Pentecostal/Charismatic Christianity, we can observe that at the beginning of the twentieth century, the non-Catholic Christians in Central and South America did not exceed 1% of the total population. By 2014 they had increased to an average of 19% in Latin America, according to Pew Research. Also of note, the population of Brazil, the country with the most Catholics in the world, comprises 50% Catholics and 31% Evangelicals according to research by DataFolha published in December 2019. It is estimated that, in Brazil, Evangelicals, who are mostly Pentecostals, will equal Roman Catholics in number by 2032. A similar scenario occurs in some Central American countries, such as Guatemala and Honduras, where the percentage of Evangelicals is already equal to or greater than that of Catholics, with Pentecostals being the largest part of the Evangelical world in Latin America and the Caribbean. According to Pew Research, more than a third of the current ‘Protestants’ (who in Latin America are mostly Evangelicals or Pentecostals) were raised and baptised Catholic. Pentecostals within the Protestant camp carry out the most proselytising work for the conversion of atheists or Catholics who, as stated in this research, seek a ‘more personal connection with God’. Christianity has changed its face in Latin America as Catholic religious and cultural hegemony has given way to Pentecostalism. Pentecostalism, after more than 100 years in this continent, not only

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demon­strates growth at the popular level but also great capacity for action in the social, political and cultural spheres. So that we may present a comprehensive account of the phenomenon, this essay covers five areas in separate sections: local histories of Pentecostalism, central theological affirmations, growth from the poorer neighbourhoods, media and Christian cultural production, and life and nation for Christ.

Local Stories of Pentecostalism

Of all Christian groups, Pentecostalism globalised and expanded most spectacularly during the twentieth century, not only in Latin America but in all continents. In order to understand the origins of Pentecostalism, it is valuable to examine its parallel emergence in various parts of the globe. This includes places as remote as Sweden, Norway, the USA, India and Chile. The renowned Chilean theologian Dr Juan Sepúlveda, the only Pentecostal speaker at the fifth general conference of the Latin American Episcopal Council (in Aparecida, 2007), describes Pentecostalism as a movement of Protestant origin that has its roots in the nineteenth-century holiness movement. In this sense, Pentecostalism maintains central elements of this Anglo-Saxon Protestant Christianity, such as the unearned nature of salvation and the priesthood of all believers, but it reinforces the Puritan and Pietistic elements of personal ethics and missionary action. In the Latin American context, holiness and ‘Christian perfection’ in personal life became a hallmark in the poorer sectors, a way of approaching social and moral problems. Like the first Methodism in England, the Pente­ costals in Latin America provide for the discipline and social mobility of the underclass. The birth of Pentecostalism is generally associated with the experience in Wales (1904) or the revival that occurred in 1906 on Azusa Street in Los Angeles, California, USA, within an African Methodist Episcopal Church, where the ‘initial evidence’ of the baptism of the Holy Spirit will acquire central importance, according to an interpretation of the book of the Acts Pentecostals/Charismatics in Latin America and the Caribbean, 1970 Region Latin America Caribbean Central America South America Global total

Total population

Christian population

Pentecostal/ Charismatic population

% of region Pentecostal/ Charismatic

% of Christians Pentecostal/ Charismatic

288,077,000 25,310,000 69,925,000 192,842,000 3,700,578,000

271,568,000 19,798,000 68,273,000 183,496,000 1,229,309,000

12,530,000 798,000 1,673,000 10,059,000 57,637,000

4.3% 3.2% 2.4% 5.2% 1.6%

4.6% 4.0% 2.5% 5.5% 4.7%

Source: Todd M. Johnson and Gina A. Zurlo (eds), World Christian Database (Leiden/Boston: Brill), accessed January 2020.

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324  Nicolas Iglesias Schneider of the Apostles, in reference to the gift of speaking in tongues. However, today, most historians recognise that this was one of the foci with the greatest impacts on the origins of Pentecostalism, but not the only one. From its origin, Pentecostalism had a popular social and spiritual character, and its emergence can be read as a criticism of the traditionalism and gentrification of the established Protestant churches. Since the beginning, several constants have been true of Latin American Pente­ costalism: it is a movement rather than a centralised institution; it has a great capacity to link its message to local spiritualities; and it has flexible, varied and easily appropriable theology and liturgy by which it is spread among the most diverse segments of the population from different national contexts. The first Pentecostal presences in Latin America occurred in Valparaíso, Chile, in 1909; Argentina and Brazil in 1910; Peru in 1911; Nicaragua in 1912; Mexico in 1914; and Guatemala and Puerto Rico in 1916. Contrary to popular belief, autochthonous Pentecostalism preceded the arrival of the great missionary denominations from the USA, which set theological trends up to the present time. In this first phase, most of the small Pentecostal churches grew in impoverished rural sectors and in the emerging peripheral neighbourhoods around the cities. The first converts to Pentecostalism in Latin America had been baptised Catholic but did not have pastoral care; in most cases, they were people who shared their own ex­ perience of faith in their localities. Although Pentecostalism has a significant presence throughout Latin America and the Caribbean, Chile and Brazil are the two countries that we will use to explain two different forms of development of the movement. In the case of Chile, the ‘revival’ (a word used to refer to the Pente­costal experience) dates to the arrival of the American pastor Willis Hoover (known in Chile as Willis Hoover Kurt), a missionary of the Methodist Episcopal Church. In 1902, Hoover was transferred to Valparaíso. Between 1905 and 1906, two great tragedies occurred in Valparaíso: a smallpox epidemic, followed by an earthquake that destroyed the church where Pentecostals/Charismatics in Latin America and the Caribbean, 2020 Region Latin America Caribbean Central America South America Global total

Total population

Christian population

Pentecostal/ Charismatic population

% of region Pentecostal/ Charismatic

% of Christians Pentecostal/ Charismatic

664,474,000 44,679,000 184,127,000 435,667,000 7,795,482,000

611,964,000 37,719,000 176,298,000 397,947,000 2,518,834,000

195,222,000 7,179,000 32,475,000 155,568,000 644,260,000

29.4% 16.1% 17.6% 35.7% 8.3%

31.9% 19.0% 18.4% 39.1% 25.6%

Source: Todd M. Johnson and Gina A. Zurlo (eds), World Christian Database (Leiden/Boston: Brill), accessed January 2020.

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Hoover was the pastor. This church was not influenced by North America but by a missionary from India, in 1905, who seems to have transferred the Pentecostal spark to this country. On 12 September 1909, a revival occurred in the congregation. This situation, including speaking in tongues and other spiritual manifestations, generated a series of conflicts with the Methodist Episcopal Church, from which they ended up separating. In 1910 the Pentecostal Methodist Church formed a new denomination and in 1911 there were more than 10 Pentecostal churches. From then on, street preaching began to be carried out, although it was limited, given that in Chile the official religion of the state would be Catholicism until 1925. Autochthonous Chilean Pentecostalism continued its development, multiplication and diversification, connecting with the lower classes and even with Indigenous people (Mapuches) who had migrated from the countryside to the city. This growth was, though, plagued by internal power disputes. In a second phase, like other countries in the region, it received North American and Brazilian missions, but it also sent its Chilean missionaries to other countries, and they founded Pentecostal churches in Argentina, Bolivia and Uruguay. According to studies carried out by the government in 2019 on religion, 18% of Chileans are Evangelicals, with Pentecostals and Neo-Pentecostals being the groups with the most dynamic growth. The other emblematic case of first Pentecostalism emerged in Brazil in 1910 with the arrival of Swedish evangelists Gunnar Vingren and Daniel Berg and the Italian Luigi Francescon (of Waldensian origin). The evangelists arrived as ‘Pentecostal’ converts from the USA and tried to attend the established churches, from which they were expelled. The two Swedes arrived in Belén and founded what would later become the Assemblies of God. In the Brás neighbourhood of São Paulo, the Italian founded what would become the Christian Congregation. In his book on the history of Brazilian Pentecostalism, Paul Freston speaks of three consecutive and separate waves. A first wave, from 1910 Changes in Pentecostals/Charismatics in Latin America and the Caribbean, 1970–2020, growth rate, % per year Region

Total population

Christian population

Pentecostal/Charismatic population

Latin America

1.69%

1.64%

5.65%

Caribbean

1.14%

1.30%

4.49%

Central America

1.96%

1.92%

6.11%

South America

1.64%

1.56%

5.63%

Global total

1.50%

1.45%

4.95%

Source: Todd M. Johnson and Gina A. Zurlo (eds), World Christian Database (Leiden/Boston: Brill), accessed January 2020.

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326  Nicolas Iglesias Schneider to 1950, saw the foundation of Classical Pentecostalism and the implantation of the already traditional denominations in Brazil: Assemblies of God, Christian Congregation, and the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel. In a Pentecostal ‘second wave’, Indigenous groups (Brazil for Christ and God is Love, among others), emerged in Brazil between the 1950s and 1970s, with an evangelism that began to use public spaces, radio and television and started to adapt the US models of the first televangelists. In this ‘second wave’, Pentecostalism had an autonomous development throughout the continent, combining an emphasis on earthly salvation and on ‘divine healing’, superimposed on original Pentecostalism, which emphasises sanctification and the repudiation of sin. In this way, the second Pentecostalism had a great capacity for dialogue with popular sensibility and for expansion due to its ability to respond effectively to concrete needs. The ‘third wave’ identified by Paul Freston is what is called NeoPentecostalism. This group, which emerged from 1970, has maintained its growth and diversification throughout Latin America. Notable examples include the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God (1977), founded by Edir Macedo, the World Church of the Power of God and the Inter­national Church of the Grace of God, among others. These Neo-Pentecostal churches share three theological concepts that have had an impact on the entire Pentecostal spectrum: a theology of spiritual warfare (in the field of combat against other religions, especially those of African origin), a theology of dominionism (on the political level, where God chose his children to rule the nations) and a theology of prosperity (on the economic level, where God will give you up to 10 times more than what you offer in faith). From its beginnings, a strong emphasis on evangelism characterised Pentecostalism. Later, Neo-Pentecostalism took this principle even further. It did so, on the one hand, by implementing more aggressive and pro­fessionalised efforts and, on the other, by seeking a new audience that had not been reached by Pentecostals: middle- and upper-class people, pro­fessionals and businesspeople. To achieve this, the Neo-Pentecostal churches resorted to strategies similar to those of the marketing world, although in the case of Latin America their most direct influence probably came from some mega-churches in the USA. The predominant leadership model is the caudillista (‘strongman’) form, typical of Latin American political leadership, and even nepotism, where leadership is inherited from generation to generation, always through the male route. Some churches that have been started by female leaders (pastors, apostles, prophets), after taking on greater relevance and increasing their membership, have seen the power taken by their husbands, reproducing

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the model of the apostle. In established churches, female leadership is overwhelming, but at the lowest levels of power: small prayer groups, social work and visits. In a few cases, churches founded by female apostles are still led by them. Some authors argue that certain younger Neo-Pentecostal churches have revised these practices, applying more participatory forms of government and generating operational networks. Some churches have even incorporated social justice, defence of human rights and ecumenical dialogue into their theology and pastoral practice.

Central Theological Affirmations

Although it has an important starting point in the USA, Pentecostal religiosity achieves a strong anchorage in Africa and Latin America because it manages to relate to the popular spiritual world and the native people. We can distil the central concepts of Pentecostalism into the words ‘Jesus heals, saves, sanctifies and returns as king’. In these central doctrinal claims, we see reflected the bodily, spiritual, moral and political healing dimensions of Pentecostal theology. As noted earlier, the baptism of the Holy Spirit is a central doctrine of Pentecostalism. This should not be understood from a secularised logic as a metaphor; from the Pentecostal perspective, the Holy Spirit is an entity with the capacity to manifest on a bodily level: healing, exorcism, speaking in unknown languages and prophecy. The Holy Spirit’s presence is evidenced as well in improvements in concrete living conditions: success in working life, as well as improvement in interpersonal and family relationships. In Pentecostal theology, the action of the Holy Spirit allows the concrete transformation of the reality of suffering. The religious narrative of many Pentecostal churches is marked by the possibility of overcoming social, family or economic problems as evidence of the presence of the Holy Spirit in people’s lives. From a Pentecostal perspective, evidence of spiritual power over daily life in different fields is essential. This thought is reflected in the slogans of the Pentecostal churches, which adorn canopies on the streets all over Latin America: ‘Christ heals, saves and gives power’, ‘Christ is the answer’, ‘Church Nation’, ‘King of Kings’ and ‘Christ is the Victory’, among others. Other features of Pentecostal belief are those derived from the baptism of the Holy Spirit. This involves speaking in tongues, healing, performing miracles, exorcising, making prophecies, and expressing religiosity from the emotional rather than from a rational, elaborate discourse. That is why the Brazilian sociologist Paul Freston can say that the Pentecostal Church also has the power to invert social hierarchies, since an illiterate person can also speak under the influence of the Holy Spirit.

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328  Nicolas Iglesias Schneider Although Pentecostals are often antagonistic towards liberation theology with respect to its understanding of poverty, Juan Sepúlveda’s analysis suggests that similarities exist between Pentecostalism and the experiences of the base ecclesial communities, highlighting four common elements: their emergence in the poorer sectors; popular reading of the Bible; the centrality of the conversion experience; and the understanding of the church as a community. Catholicism after the Second Vatican Council also experienced a movement from within similar to Pentecostalism called the Catholic Charismatic Renewal Movement, which emerged in the USA in 1967 and rapidly moved to Latin America, proposing mainly liturgical changes and providing an important place for the presence of the Holy Spirit expressed, as in Pentecostalism, in healing, speaking in tongues and exorcism.

Growth from the Grassroots

To understand the growth of Pentecostalism in Latin America, we must consider a series of complementary elements that are at the same time insufficient due to the diversity and vastness of the movement. Unlike historical Protestantism and Catholicism, Pentecostalism manages to connect through the notion of the Holy Spirit with the religious sensitivity of most of the grassroots population of Latin America. For Pentecostalism, the miracle is key, since this creates an opportunity to update, translate and concretise the presence of the Holy Spirit in daily life. Unlike Catholicism and Protestantism – where rationalism prevails and where miracles are considered as exceptional possibilities, after or alongside the action of science – Pentecostalism maintains an enchanted sensitivity in which miracles are daily and de­centralised possibilities. Another key element for explaining Pentecostal growth is the priesthood of all believers, a theological tenet that Pentecostalism inherited from the Protestant tradition but that it applies in more radical ways. This possi­ bility for each believer quickly, and in a decentralised way, to become a ‘priest’ gives a logistical advantage, as it facilitates the emergence of new Pentecostal leaders in each local community. Each pastor and each local church recreates the good news in a local idiom and with cultural products adapted to each territory and sensitivity. This closeness of the pastors and leaders has allowed Pentecostalism to put down local roots, which makes it a more incarnational religiosity and a spiritual presence close to the problems of the people. Although led primarily by male pastors exercising vertical leadership styles, they are highly decentralised churches where power is distributed by this logic to the lowest levels, showing a possible path to social advancement and community legitimacy through committed participation in the church.

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The ability of the Pentecostal churches to act, to develop the social fabric and to provide social and emotional assistance in contexts where the state is largely absent has become an element of credibility and power. Whereas in the past this role was filled by other Protestant churches or Catholicism encouraged by liberation theology, today Pentecostal churches are the religious actors that accompany the great changes and growth of cities, especially with migrants arriving from rural areas or other countries. This displacement of the grassroots from Catholicism to Pentecostalism is a process that was marked by the Cold War and its religious dimension. Pentecostal churches influenced by American missionaries preach a version of the gospel impregnated with an anti-communist, anti-Catholic and anti-ecumenical imprint. At the same time, Catholicism linked to liberation theology is embedded in the grassroots population, which suffered political persecution from dictatorial regimes in Latin America. This process was consolidated with the pontificate of John Paul II, which resulted in rigidity and decontextualisation among the clergy, making them increasingly remote from the realities of the people. This presence of Pentecostalism at the grassroots reflects in part the capacity of this religious movement to occupy the place in the social fabric that the Catholic Church occupied in the 1950s and 1960s. Some female theologians who work on the emotional, bodily and spiritual discipline of Christianity have called attention to the way in which Pentecostal religious practices, on the one hand, allow the expression of emotions and feelings repressed by the traditional churches in a context of religious ecstasy, but, on the other, enable religious and emotional power to be used to develop devices for moral discipline, es­ pecially among women.

Media and Production of Christian ‘Culture’

It is important to understand that the expansion of the religious message today occurs through various means of communication beyond what occurs in the sanctuary or in the liturgy. One of the distinctive elements of Pentecostalism, since its beginnings, has been its strong media presence as part of its evangelisation strategy. According to the Melhores Radios website, there are 264 Catholic radio stations in Brazil, compared with 963 Evangelical radio stations (mostly Pentecostal), which is representative of the situation in the rest of the continent. Music has been employed as a way of spreading the Protestant message. From Luther’s ‘A Mighty Fortress is Our God’ to ‘We Shall Overcome’ as the hymn of the Civil Rights Movement with Martin Luther King Jr, music has been a source of religious and political meaning. The Pentecostalism of the American black churches has given space to gospel music and the

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330  Nicolas Iglesias Schneider incorporation of other rhythms into worship. In the 1960s, a further step was taken, linked to the rock counterculture, with the Jesus Movement and Christian rock, which reached Latin America in the 1970s when it tried to evangelise other sectors of the population through youth culture. At this point, two fundamental aspects of the ‘success’ of Pentecostalism and Neo-Pentecostalism are demonstrated: the ability, on the one hand, to dialogue with new cultural phenomena and the ability to capitalise on its oppositional element, and, on the other, to turn this into products for a religious market. That is, without fully overcoming the sacred and profane dichotomy of its classical form, Pentecostalism takes the ­strategies of the ‘world’ and puts them to use for the ‘glory of God’, strengthening the religious status quo and generating a new form of Christianity. Pentecostalism is a great promoter of multiplication. This is true regarding locations or sanctuaries of worship, which are present throughout the continent, with musical styles adapted to new musical trends. But, more than that, it is also a religiosity that manages to produce and reproduce its message outside the sanctuary through various channels. Even market spaces and competition in the artistic world reflect this great trend of ‘Evangelical pop culture’, with a Grammy Award for Christian Music and dozens of singers who fill football stadiums as Christian stars, such as Marcos Witt, gospel singer and music producer, or the popular singer Juan Luis Guerra, who experienced a conversion in the late 1990s. Commercial and religious examples of this consumerist phenomenon are evident in a conglomerate of regional television media, such as Enlace TV, and in record labels that produce, market and disseminate Pentecostal and Neo-Pentecostal theology in different formats. The Universal Church alone, with exponential growth and an organisational model similar to a large company, has digital and print media such as Folha Universal (with a circulation of 2.3 million) and a network of hundreds of radio stations throughout Latin America, as well as nine satellite channels with a reach of 150 countries on all continents. This market generates, in a decentralised fashion, cultural products such as music, television programmes, books, podcasts, mobile applications and thousands of YouTube videos. Like Luther with the printing press, today these groups are capitalising on the new ‘Gutenberg’ effect of social networks for religious purposes. The twenty-first century is marked by increasing production of content that is not only broadcast on television but also on YouTube, applications and social networks, where the elements of youth culture are mixed with moral content or religious discourse. Social networks have been part of the contribution of some of the huge Pentecostal and Neo-Pentecostal churches in Brazil to the political campaign of the current President, Jair Bolsonaro.

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Testimony of faith

To capture the Pentecostal experience in Latin America, it may be helpful to switch from prose to poetry: Where is God in the middle of so much loneliness? Who will come to save me from poverty, drugs and marginalisation? How will we bring order to this moral chaos? How long will we suffer, the grandmother and the mother wonder? They take a Bible and begin to preach: Christ heals, saves and is coming soon. Turn on a Christian cumbia on your cell phone and travel in peace on the crowded bus. The woman tired of her violent husband and her poorly paid job, She goes to a Pentecostal service, dances, screams, hugs and releases her frustration. The necessary exorcism to be able to resist in this system. You need to survive, abide by authority, and learn to obey the Word. Feeling as you belong is essential, being able to be successful and take what God has prepared for me. The politician in the church and on social networks also says so, God asks us to defend family, property and good morals.

Life and Nation for Christ

The attention of journalists, politicians and academics has in recent years been captured by the growth of Pentecostal participation in political parties and social participation in several countries in the region. Researchers who have raised the political potential of Pentecostalism in Latin America include Willems (1967), Lalive d’Espinay (1968), Stoll (1990), Droogers (1991) and Algranti (2010). In recent years, dozens of academic studies have been carried out, including the systematic analysis of Guadalupe and Grundberger (2019) and the multidisciplinary analysis of Nicolas Pannoto (2018). Pentecostalism has a functionality that derives from the symbolic rebellion generated by democratic access to the religious function and a presidency of the clergy. It also exercises a strong meritocratic mediation, which involves belonging to a new religion that distances the faithful from alcohol and ‘other vices’ of the lower classes, generating from religious and moral practices a middle-class ethic that is crucial for the success of modernising strategies. Another element of the Pentecostal expansion is the rural–city migration in which the community relations and hierarchical submission inherent in rurality are reproduced in the urban Pentecostal expression. Viewed thus,

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332  Nicolas Iglesias Schneider Pentecostalism reproduces the roles of ‘plantation master’ – now occupied by the pastor – and employee in the community. While for Willems Pentecostalism drives liberalism and democracy, for Lalive d’Espinay it fosters authoritarianism and political conformity. It is valuable to consider these complementary views, since they provide the conceptual bases for understanding the political impact of Pentecostalism from the changes in people’s daily lives. For Pentecostalism to take on a public political role, another profound change had to be generated in the political theology of which Pentecostals were heirs and builders for many decades. Pentecostalism of the first and second waves, marked by the political theologies of North American puritan­ism, maintained a message, as regards the political and the social, of not being involved with the ‘things of the world’. A strong separation was therefore maintained between the spheres of the political and the religious, which was reinforced with a strong duality between good and evil, God and the devil, the church and the world. Everything that was not from the Evangelical Christian sphere was considered worldly. This included music, social ties, television, magazines, books with secular content, social activities and especially politics. Politics was the chief extra-ecclesial space rejected in this discourse, since it was considered especially corrupt. In turn, from the 1960s and 1970s, with the presence of American Evangelical missionaries shaped by the Cold War, Pentecostals followed the theological and political lines of anti-Catholicism, anti-communism and anti-ecumenism as distinctive features. As a result of this political formation received by local pastors and developed by American missionaries or missions, most of the Pentecostal churches during the years of the Latin American dictatorships maintained either a posture of silence or one of sympathy with the military authority. A paradigmatic example of this situation is what happened in Guatemala, one of the places where Pentecostalism had the most development and where currently Neo-Pentecostalism is particularly strong. In the 1980s, the military coup and genocide against the native people there were carried out by General Efraín Ríos Montt, who received strong support from the religious ‘spiritual warfare’ ideology of the Pentecostals. Another case of Evangelical political participation was seen regarding the first government of Alberto Fujimori in Peru (1990), who drew support mainly from the more conservative sector. This demonstrated the social capacity that Evangelicals, and especially Pentecostals, were having at the grassroots and showed how it could be turned into political capital. In this case, the alliance did not continue due to the putsch by Fujimori, and many Evangelicals took positions in defence of democracy and human rights.

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The most innovative aspect of this political face of Pentecostalism and Neo-Pentecostalism is shown by its partisan political involvement, which is reflected in the ‘Evangelical fronts’ present in various Latin American countries. In Brazil this religious sector, acting in a corporate manner, reached 198 deputies out of a total of 513 in 2019 (pastors, bishops and Evangelical leaders, mainly Pentecostal and Neo-Pentecostal) – according to information on the website of the Brazilian Parliament. The largest Pentecostal denomination in the world, Latin America and Brazil is the Assemblies of God, which represents 29.1% of the 42 million Brazilian Evangelicals according to the latest census. The last elections in Brazil resulted in the election of 13 deputies who are members or pastors of the Assemblies of God, their main leader being Pastor Silas Malafaia. The other relevant church in presence in Latin America and Brazil is the Neo-Pentecostal Universal Church of the Kingdom of God, with about 10 million members and about 8,000 sanctuaries, including the Temple of Solomon, the largest religious building in the country. Its founder, Bishop Edir Macedo, who has faced several lawsuits in different countries for embezzlement of funds, is, according to Forbes magazine, among the 50 richest people in the country. Both Macedo and Malafia are political allies of President Bolsonaro. At present, a large part of the Independent, Pentecostal and NeoPentecostal Evangelical field is motivating its members to become socially and politically involved in issues related to morality and the control of sexuality. Having overcome the taboos of political participation and the link with fundamentalist Catholicism, they are projecting themselves socially through campaigns against same-sex marriage, sexual and reproductive rights, differential policies for LGBTQ+ people, and sex education with gender perspective and sexual diversity. This political participation of Evangelicals, and especially Pentecostals, has generated confusing images of an alleged ‘Evangelical vote’, which has been proved by many investigators to be false. The significant element of Pentecostal power in Latin American politics is mainly given by the ability to build identity, belonging and horizon of meaning in a context where traditional political parties lose credibility and the democratic system is questioned. As a final reflection, Pentecostalism, and especially its Neo-Pentecostal form, has brought profound religious, cultural and political change to Latin America. The use of new technologies, cultural production in its various forms, and the ability to weave community and virtual social networks allow Pentecostals to evangelise in everyday life and offer, in uncertain times, a strong centre of unity and enormous possibilities for political projection.

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334  Nicolas Iglesias Schneider

Bibliography

Freston, Paul, ‘Breve histórico do pentecostalismo brasileiro’, in Alberto Antoniazzi (ed.), Nem anjos nem demonios. Interpretacoes sociologicas do pentecostalismo (Petrópolis: Vozes, 1994), 67–99. Guadalupe, Pérez and Sebastian Grundberger, Evangélicos y poder en América Latina, 2nd edn (Lima: Konrad Adenauer Stiftung, 2019). Panotto, Nicolás, ‘Del Espíritu a la gente: Sobre las especificidades del ethos pentecostal y su incidencia socio-política. El caso del Centro Cristiano Nueva Vida en Buenos Aires’, Religión e Incidencia Pública, 4 (2016), 53–82. Semán, Pablo, ‘¿Quiénes son? ¿Por qué crecen? ¿En qué creen? Pentecostalismo y política en América Latina’, Nueva Sociedad, 280 (March–April 2019), 26–46. Sepúlveda, Juan, ‘Movimiento pentecostal y teología de la liberación: Dos manifestaciones de la Obra del Espíritu Santo para la renovación de la Iglesia’, in Michael Bergunder (ed.), Movimiento pentecostal y comunidades de base en América Latina. La recepción de conceptos teológicos de liberación a través de la teología pentecostal (Heidelberg: University of Heidelberg, 2009), 104–17.

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Key Themes

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Faith and Culture Renée de la Torre

Faith and culture are intertwined and inseparable aspects of Latin American popular religiosity. When we speak of popular religiosity, we speak of tradition and heritage, but also of current identity experiences. In popular religiosity we discover a way of being and acting Latin American. Popular religiosity is a prominent feature of Latin America, partly because it is colourful and lively, but above all because it reveals the historical tensions associated with the region’s cultural mestizaje. A complex term with no exact translation, mestizaje is the combination of Catholicism imposed by Europeans, Indigenous resistance and, later, African religions. As a result, native cosmo-visions and the African orishas have coexisted with Christianity, often posing as Catholic saints, Christs and Virgin Marys in order to go unnoticed. Many traditions now lauded as part of Latin America’s cultural heritage, both tangible and intangible, stem from popular religiosity, such as the celebration of patron saints, pilgrimages and their sanctuaries, Indigenous dances and the Dance of the Conquest, traditional medicine, animism and related rituals of Afro-Latino religions, nature rites and shamanic knowledge. Yet popular religiosity does more than merely safeguard memory: for the new narratives and cosmologies circulating in an increasingly globalised world, it serves as an anchor to tradition while also yielding a range of transculturised spinoffs and cultural hybrids. There is no single definition of the term ‘popular religiosity’, which has many contradictory uses and meanings. Therefore, in order to clarify how it will be utilised in this essay, our first task is to establish its heuristic value and outline some considerations regarding the term. The first consideration is that the use of the term ‘religiosity’– rather than ‘religion’ – helps to avoid a Catholicentrist view that commonly equates popular religion with popular Catholicism. The term ‘religi­osity’, conversely, makes room for the cosmologies often overlooked by the umbrella term ‘popular Catholicism’. These include Indigenous cosmovisions and others with African roots; different branches of spiritism, especially popular in Brazil; esoteric schools; new holistic and alternative spiritualities; popular versions of Pentecostalism; and other religious heterodoxies that have emerged of late. This enables a focus on other religions,

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338  Renée de la Torre both old and new, and on the identification of different ontologies with a growing presence in Latin America. By avoiding generalisations, ‘popular religiosity’ allows the cross-cutting, manifold dynamics of hybrid and translocalised versions of Christianity to come into view. It also helps researchers identify the nuanced meanings generated in this process by identities that are mestizo but also ambivalent, even dissident. The second consideration involves the polysemic meaning of the adjective ‘popular’ in ‘popular religion’. When religiosity is referred to as ‘popular’, it generally evokes the religious feelings or beliefs of the people. The ‘people’ refers to the majority, those at the bottom of the pyramid. This use of ‘popular’ in reference to ‘the people’ has contributed to building a myth of a homogeneous whole and imagined utopias. This is the use of the term as incorporated in Latin America by movements like liberation theology and the base ecclesial communities (comunidades eclesiales de dase, or CEB). Liberation theology was an outcome of the second conference of the Latin American Episcopal Council, held in Medellín, Colombia, in 1968. The true role of the church, according to liberation theology, is to help the poor emerge from poverty and fight for social justice. The Vatican eventually took a firm position against the movement due to its radical stances. The CEB movement, which has ties to liberation theology, organised small local meetings where participants gathered to read the Bible and other religious texts. These CEBs in turn started neighbourhood and social movements with historical (economic, political and cultural) dimensions; they also promoted a new awareness about emancipation and a struggle for a fairer life for the poor. This politicised many of those involved, leading to different offshoots of the movement, such as Christians for Socialism (Cristianos por el Socialismo) and Christians Committed to Popular Struggles (Cristianos Comprometidos con las Luchas Populares). The political fervour of the CEBs led Catholics to get involved in people’s movements in both the countryside and the major cities of Latin America. In some cases, the radical push for change led Catholics to join armed groups waging guerrilla warfare in different countries of Central and South America. Returning to the term of ‘popular religiosity’, even the adjective ‘popular’ must be used with caution, because the homogenisation that accompanies the phrase ‘the people’ has tended to exclude others within religion, rendering invisible Indigenous and African Latin American cultures, along with feminists, queers and gays. A political and revolutionary movement, liberation theology focused on poverty but overlooked demands that are now seeking outlets in novel forms of theology, building a dialogue with economics, ecology, migrant ministries and other forms of post-colonial criticism.

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Faith and Culture  339

In other cases, ‘popular religiosity’ has been used in the field of institutionalised religion as a pejorative term to refer to the religious beliefs of the ‘everyman’ in contrast to the specialists (priests). Priests limit laypeople’s access to salvation goods, as argued by Pierre Bourdieu in his sociology of the religious field. There is also a class bias associated with the use of ‘popular religiosity’ in which ‘popular’ evokes the uncultured, ignorant and therefore superstitious poor, in contrast to the educated elites. Besides discrediting esoterism, occultism, traditional healing and magic, this class bias also renders such practices invisible. These dis­parag­ ing definitions – which must be deconstructed as part of any study of popular religiosity – stem from a linguistic market that relies on power relations and hierarchies to establish categories based on social class and specialist competencies within the field of religion. The study of lived religion is an alternative way of manoeuvring the loaded meanings of ‘popular religiosity’, a label that discredits practices considered primitive and ignorant, and serves as a means of ‘policing religion’. The term ‘lived religion’ evokes not theological doctrines and theories but a broader, day-to-day religiosity practised individually and immersed in people’s actual circumstances. This methodology has provided an opportunity to study day-to-day religiosity outside the framework of clerical and class bias. In the 2010s, a team of scholars undertook a comparative study of lived religion in three Latin American cities. Besides acknowledging the loss of the Catholic monopoly on religion, and the appearance of diverse forms of believing, it identified those who experience religiosity ‘in their own way’, combining different religious traditions, old and new, to build relations with the transcendental in their daily lives. Following a similar line of thought, it is important to approach popular religiosity not from the perspective of past resistance or as a folksy formula, but as an in-between bounded by new forms of religiosity, on the one hand, and traditional forms of popular Catholicism, on the other. The practical meaning of religion is, even today, constantly redefined and reinterpreted as part of popular religiosity. Far from an empty vessel, popular religiosity is teeming with diverse practices. This puts it at a sort of crossroads where, on the one hand, it remains a bulwark for Indigenous and rural beliefs – unorthodox forms of religion that the religious specialists refer to disparagingly as magic, idolatry, superstition – against dogmatic, clerical order. Yet at this same crossroads, it is a space under constant renovation, where new cultural meanings and forms of identification like New Age and neo-esoteric spiritualities take shape. For that reason, it is necessary to approach the study of popular religiosity from a perspective of lived religion, as this provides, firstly, an

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340  Renée de la Torre alternative response that, at the conceptual and theoretical level, allows us to overcome the dilemma between the institutional and the individual; secondly, a recognition of the historical particularities of religion in Latin America; and thirdly, an emphasis on the valuable contributions by Latin American social scientists on the connections between traditional religion and popular religiosity in Latin America.

Towards Defining Popular Religion

As a region overflowing with religion, even today Latin America poses a quandary for the classic theories of secularisation in the sociology of religion: modernity had no weakening effect on religion here. In the public sphere, religion has remained a constant presence, as seen in the religious symbols that turn up in a wide range of citizen movements and political spectacles. In fact, some have argued that religiousness offers a peripheral access road to different modernities. In Latin America, popular religiosity operated under ‘another logic’, one different from that of many countries in Europe or the USA, where there are rational and even dogmatic explanations for religious behaviours and trends. According to the theory of secularisation, the triumph of the instrumental rationality of modern capitalism – and the technological, democratic and scientific development associated with it – would gradually make religion less relevant and reduce it to a private affair. In Latin America, however, Catholic religion was redefined and reinterpreted under liberation theology. This made it a suitable path for accessing a modernity that would liberate people from oppression, as well as a critical tool for analysing religion’s own power structures and transforming them. It is important to recognise that popular religiosity is not just a way of thinking that faithfully reflects rationalist Western canons. Instead, and above all, it is an alternative to enlightened rationality and its offshoot, rationalised faith. From this perspective, it is possible to avoid dichotomies such as institutional/popular, dominant/dominated, elite/people or enlightened/ignorant, drawing attention instead to the complex dynamics of popular religiosity and framing it within the dichotomies of power and resistance, mastery and dissidence. Similarly, popular religiosity is capable of processing the two principal transformations currently underway: religious pluralisation and a certain degree of cultural secularisation that accompanies modernity. The cultural secularisation can be attributed to popular religiosity, as it offers a cultural creativity capable of responding to the two main current transformations: a pluralisation of religious expressions and the effects of communication technologies on the relative secularisation of culture. In this way, there is no decline in the magical, the festive, the mystical or the multitudinous.

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Faith and Culture  341

On the contrary, the symbolic arsenal of popular religiosity is capable of re-symbolising the effects of modernity. More than secularisation, there is a re-composition activated by the continuous re-enchantment of modern forms of culture, technologies, democratic manifestations and politics. It is also useful to note that popular religiosity does not respond to an institutional logic. It is impossible to establish a categorical division between priests and practising laypeople, given that, although priests retain an exclusive right to certain rites and secrets of salvation, popular religiosity is also a source of specialists in areas like celebration, the saints and pilgrimages. One example is the so-called ‘para-ecclesiastic agent’ (agente paraeclesial), a mediator between saints/Marian apparitions and their devotees with no ties to the Church. We consider popular religiosity to be an expression of syncretism, the cultural collision between the Catholicism introduced by the conquistadors and native (Indigenous) cosmologies, later expanded by the African religions that came with the slaves. The syncretic origin of popular religiosity operates as a generative matrix that combines the frameworks of diverse beliefs. This results in a faith that tends to re-signify and re-­ symbolise Western culture. Therefore, popular religiosity allows us to consider experience and individual logics – both contributions of the lived religion perspective – without overlooking the cultural and his­ torical continuity in which they are immersed. Far from representing solely domination and resistance, this continuity is a source of assimilating the new and updating inherited culture. For that reason, it is no surprise that popular religiosity in Latin America has arisen from popular initiatives like the liberation theology movement. More recently, it has been further expanded by new takes on feminist theologies, Indigenous theology and eco-theologies and by the political expressions of a range of social actors who draw on the rituals and symbols of popular religiosity to build religious movements for the defence of human, gender, environmental, political and even economic rights. These religious movements encompass everything from the theology of poverty to the theology of prosperity promoted by different Evangelical groups. Popular religiosity is the place where the practical meaning of religion is redefined and reinterpreted in continuous negotiations. Though power relations, domination and resistance all come into play, so do creative innovation and even transgression within the system itself. This yields distinct types of power relations between the churches and believers and between class relations and new trends like decolonial criticism. The latter includes recent activist movements that have accompanied new feminine spiritualities, Indigenous movements against capitalism and environmental hippies/anti-globalists (globalifóbicos).

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Tradition and New Religious Forms

In order to capture the current reformulations of popular religiosity in Latin America, researchers have repositioned the focus of their investigations, moving out towards the fringes, where the rationale of popular traditions touches on other logics of production associated with transcendental beliefs. In principle, as part of this trend, research is no longer limited to religious institutions, communities of believers and specialist fields – which is not to suggest these do not exist, or that they are not relevant. The current trend involves acknowledging them but positioning one’s research at the intersections of different religious systems, focusing on the transverse approaches between churches. I will provide some examples of research in the field that has adopted this perspective. One distinctive element of popular religiosity is the cosmological thinking it enables, making it a mechanism for magical thinking, contact with the world of the spirits and communication with beings that inhabit another dimension. While engaging with such thoughts and practices, believers keep their faith in the miracles and supernatural beliefs that accompany the daily devotional practices of popular Catholic religiosity, Evangelicalism, esoteric practices and even New Age spiritual experiences. The ‘popular cosmology’ perspective incorporates the immanence and subordination of an everyday world teeming with sacred, magical, supernatural and miraculous symbols. As this cosmological perspective is holistic and comprehensive, it is not at odds with any religion or belief system. The contents of cosmological beliefs are incorporated into different practices viewed as heterodox under Christianity. One example of this mixing of the mystical and magical is the belief among Pentecostals in the divine gifts. Increasingly, this belief has acquired new meanings associated with the esoteric practices and occultism this religion shuns. The pastors of Neo-Pentecostal churches systematically condemn Catholic saints as idolatrous, treat Indigenous and African religions as diabolic, and consider the occult sciences a doorway to negative forces. This has led to an increase in exorcisms and liberations among churchgoers engaged in any of these ‘heretical practices’. The undue emphasis on the fight against evil as part of a so-called ‘spiritual war’ is a useful metaphor for ideological battles. This has led to a political shift towards the right within Pentecostalism; in its spiritual war against evil, it has engaged in pro-life campaigns and pro-family movements against ‘gender ideology’ and worked to forge a political niche for the movement in different legislative bodies in Latin American countries. Another aspect to be considered is the holistic connotations of New Age spirituality, which have activated a new syncretic matrix in religious movements. In Latin America, New Age spirituality has not

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Faith and Culture  343

only contributed to spreading Eastern spiritual techniques based on selfdevelopment; it has also guided searches for religious meanings based on reconnecting with ancestral, natural, magical and spiritual forces, engaging in a cultural exchange with Indigenous and popular traditions. New Agers collect ancestral and Indigenous traditions and put into action a kind of mystical ‘gentrification’ of traditions associated with shamanism, mind-altering plants, Indigenous rituals in which nature is treated as sacred, and popular repositories of ancestral traditions. At the same time, the circuits of New Age spiritualities reposition traditional beliefs and practices in new transnational circuits like those of alternative health, mystical and spiritual tourism, the entertainment industry, literature on self-betterment, coaching, environmental movements and new gender perspectives. Yet these New Age hybrids also contribute to reconfiguring the identities and otherness that characterise national, ethnic, gender and heritage narratives within the historical and cultural contexts of both spiritual movements and Indigenous communities, generating Indigenous identities (neo-Mayan, neo-Mexican, neo-Incan, neo-Toltec). However, updating tradition is about more than gentrification, and involves a creative reworking of the popular, political and dissident meanings of popular traditions. One example is the Catholic saints and versions of Christ and the Virgin (Marian devotions) considered miraculous. Believers pray to these figures in an iconophilic worship and prayer system that includes churches and homes (altars) as well as the streets (processions and pilgrimages), all of which bear statues and/or other images. The iconophilic system places faith in miracle-working figures (saints, the Virgin Mary, Christ) whose signifiers (their materiality) are established as an expression of the sacred, of miraculous power and of the experience of being in touch with divinity. Besides evoking meanings, as natural symbols do, they are also revered as artefacts with miraculous agency – the ability to intercede or punish – that can alter a person’s destiny, solving problems and protecting from risk and illness. These in-between images re-establish the ties between the ancient resistance of the Indigenous and African cosmologies negated by Christianity and popular Catholicism. At the same time, they forge new traditions associated with the current demands and aspirations of ‘the people’. For example, the old practice of the ex-votos, or votive offerings in appreciation of a saint’s divine intervention, has been revamped to include transgressive messages that bring taboo subjects such as extramarital affairs, incest, pornography and homosexuality into Catholicism. Another revived tradition is that of dressing saints: one example is Maximón, a syncretic Mayan saint of Guatemala, who can be transfigured as an Indigenous deity, a field worker, or – as part of a wave of Guatemalan

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344  Renée de la Torre migration to the USA – as a gringo soldier that is now a centrepiece of a botánica in the city of Los Angeles. In another appropriation with a twist, one of Mexico’s militant political organisations, the Popular Assembly of the Oaxaca Peoples (Asamblea Popular de los Pueblos de Oaxaca, or APPO) has adopted the Santo Niño of Atocha (Holy Infant of Atocha), a Spanish image of the Christ child, as a symbol of its political activities. The Mexican movement has begun a tradition of dressing up statues of the Santo Niño as a guerrilla fighter, even adding the emblematic Che Guevara beret. Fashioned as the APPO child, the Holy Child is thus transfigured. As for the Virgin of Guadalupe, Mexico’s patron saint, when her face was covered with a gas mask, she became Our Lady of the Barricades. This is only one of many aesthetic alterations that have transformed this Virgin into a Chicana worker, a feminist and an Indigenous guerrilla fighter of the Zapatista National Army in Chiapas. In these renderings, however, she never ceases to be seen as the mother of Christ. Indigenous people have also reclaimed Guadalupe as Tonantzin (Our Mother of the Mexicas); she has popped up on tarot decks of women deities on the New Age spiritual circuit, where she is decontextualised and transformed into a universal archetype of motherhood. Something similar has recently occurred in Argentina, where feminists have tied the green handkerchief – a symbol of the demand for legal abortion – around the neck of statues of the Virgin of Luján. Besides giving new meaning to the tradition of dressing the saints, this enables a discussion of the strategy of politicising religious figures by altering what they symbolise. In the worship of the saints today, continuing with tradition is thus combined with reworked meanings. In Mexico, the patron saint of difficult or lost causes, San Judas Tadeo (St Judas Thaddaeus or St Jude), has been dressed as a santero and transformed into San Juditas (also identified as Orunla, the orisha of wisdom and divination), the protector of illegal causes. Saint Toribio Romo, a martyr of the Cristero Rebellion in Mexico (1926–9) whom Pope John Paul II canonised in 2000, has recently been reshaped as the saint who protects undocumented migrants. Another current trend is the incorporation of new popular saints into Catholic traditions: the miscreant saints who protect drug traffickers, the most famous of whom is Jesús Malverde, and Gauchito Gil, a saint favoured by truckers in Argentina. The worship of figures associated with death and the world of crime and violence – Santa Muerte in Mexico and San La Muerte in Argentina – has also been on the rise. Church priests do not condone this worship, which is highly transgressive despite its reliance on the traditional Catholic system. Given the dehumanisation and violence that vast social sectors in Latin America are currently suffering, such figures serve as brokers between good and evil, God and devil, life and death.

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Santa Muerte and other saints and Virgins imbued with ethnic-national meanings are frequently converted into esoteric merchandise (statues, candles and other trinkets with their images used for magic and occultism) sold at botánicas and hierberías, expanding their religious meaning. The blending of magic and religion is also evident in many of the Evangelical television empires. The biggest, the Brazilian Universal Church of the Kingdom of God (Igreja Universal do Reino de Deus), promotes ways to achieve health, love and money by working closely with the Holy Spirit. In other words, the fetishising of religious merchandise is common to different religious systems connected by magical connotations. In summary, the saints are a gateway to a cosmogony that is continuously renovated based on the wishes of creative and diverse believers. This allows faith to be integrated into day-to-day life, in people’s most intimate and familiar spheres. Popular faith is open to creativity: it is cloned and constantly transfigured in order to make it a part of the landscape and keep pace with contemporary life.

Final Thoughts

Religiosity continues to be a widespread, culturally vital practice in the lives of everyday Latin Americans and communities. Much more than the persistence of a dying past, popular religiosity is a pivotal place where medieval, Indigenous and African traditions continue – even those that Christianity rejected or stigmatised – under the cloak of syncretism. On the other hand, however, these practices are also pivotal for the feverish transformations taking place in the region. Thanks to the iconophily of Catholic tradition, which facilitates the transportability, assemblage and re-symbolising of Catholic figures, the uses and contents of traditions can be symbolically appropriated anew. In this regard, popular religiosity retains actual (not imaginary) ties to memory while also allowing tradition to be updated continuously. Given that popular religiosity is not constrained by canon law, it allows a certain degree of freedom for religious self-management and continuous redefinition. While the concept of lived religion allows ordinary, day-to-day religiosity to be approached without the bias of canonical or doctrinal perspectives, it has an individualistic orientation that emphasises the new religious forms. In this essay, I propose that it is necessary to separate the religious from religion and foreground the ‘popular’ as a core of cumulative tensions, without overlooking the present-day tensions and disputes associated with class relations, racialised relations and moral stigmas. On the other hand, the heuristic value of the concept of popular religiosity is that new expressions can be negotiated within traditional religious forms while new narratives are traditionalised. It is a know-how (believers

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346  Renée de la Torre have a ‘para-ecclesiastic’ mastery of the rituals and symbols associated with religious images) that allows for symbolic creativity in new appropriations and reformulations. Finally, any methodology for studying religiosity must take into account that this is a cross-cutting issue: more than identifying the norms that regulate identity borders, it must map out the connections between religious movements and religiousness with other spheres and social logics that modernity has produced. This map leads us to sites where religiousness has made an unexpected appearance. It is critical to follow these connections to understand the new twists, the new packaging and the emerging meanings of lived religiosity today. The study of religiosity today demands that we push past the current borders utilised for reformulating religiosity. It is no longer restricted to temples or religions, nor is it solely individualised, as the lived religion method suggests. Popular religiosity thrives on limits and borders where the new meanings produced by the market, science, information technologies, transnational flows and globalisation are linked with magical, shamanic and even spiritual practices. This is critical to consider in religious studies, while also searching for the mooring points where these new meanings connect to the rituals and symbols of popular religiosity.

Bibliography

de la Torre, Renée, ‘La religiosidad popular como “entre-medio” entre la religión institucional y la espiritualidad individualizada’, Civitas 3 (2012), 506–21. Parker, Cristian, Otra lógica en América Latina. Religión popular y modernización capitalista (Santiago: Fondo de Cultura Económica, 1993). Rabbia, Hugh, Gustavo Morello, Néstor de Costa and Catalina Romero (eds), La religión como experiencia cotidiana: creencias, prácticas y narrativas espirituales en Sudamérica (Rosario: Universidad Católica de Córdoba, 2019). Semán, Pablo, ‘Cosmología holista y relacional: una corriente de la religiosidad popular contemporánea’, in A. P. Oro (ed.), Latinidade da América Latina: enfoques socio-­ antropológicos (São Paulo: Hucitec, 2008), 291–318. Wright, Pablo (ed.), Periferias sagradas en la modernidad argentina (Buenos Aires: Editorial Biblos/Culturalia, 2018).

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Worship and Spirituality Cláudio Carvalhaes

Latin America is a complex place, and not always easy to understand. The history of colonialism deeply marks its development, paradoxes, mixtures, hybridisms and moving definitions of cultures, race, politics, religions and social living. These present a significant challenge to anyone who tries to compose any frame of explanation or understanding. Modernity and all its tragedies turned the continent’s inhabitants into barbarians, sinking their machinery teeth deeply into the flesh and bone of Latin American bodies and land, making coloniality the very plague that turned everything into a commodity, and everyone sick to the point of death. The religiosities of Latin America are expansive and innumerable. Since the first forms of cosmologies from their earliest inhabitants, their ways of being have lived in dispute and cannot be fully known. With the advent of 1492, Christianity brought new forms of spiritualities that were the stamp of the empire, subjugating existing forms of religious existences, suppressing resistances and plundering the very life of Pachamama (Earth Mother). Nonetheless, Latin America cannot be thought of or understood without the presence of Christianity in its paradoxical varieties, both in its imperial forms and in its liberating presence. As we think about the worship and spiritualities of Latin America, we must keep in mind those who were decimated by the Christian forces. As we talk about Christian worship and spiritualities, we must remember those who were annihilated throughout colonial history. We can name a variety of Indigenous religiosities according to each people, as well as African religiosities under the African roots of Banto, Jeje, Ketu, Yoruba, Vodu and Santeria. We can also name European and Eastern religions such as Christianities, Judaisms, Islamisms, Buddhisms, Hinduisms and so many other religious presences. Latin American bodies and souls are a plethora of spiritualities and mixtures that are impossible to classify. Christianities are plural and fill a broad gradient of theologies, spiritualities, emphases and sources. The invasion of the land by different European countries and attempts at conversion have left markers from Spain, Portugal, France, the Netherlands and Switzerland in their various missionary attempts, both successful and failed. Roman Catholicism promoted the Christian wars and kept its major influence until the middle

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348  Cláudio Carvalhaes of the twentieth century. After that, with the growth of the Protestant, Pentecostal and Neo-Pentecostal traditions, Catholicism is said to have lost its majority in Latin America. That these changes have had their centre of mutation within worship spaces and the shifts of Christian spiritualities is the major argument of this essay. One cannot understand the social, political, legislative and cultural shifts in Latin America if one does not pay attention to the recent changes and transformations that happened within the larger and smaller worship spaces in Latin America. At the time of this writing, COVID-19 is sweeping the entire planet and the most vulnerable are suffering the most. The same inequality around the globe can be seen in Latin America, extending the already existent wide social gap and increasing poverty in extreme ways.

A Short History

Religion and economics are deeply tied together. One feeds the other. The religare of Christianity has shaped and been shaped by trade, production and forms of exchange, organising labour, society and cultural production. Christianity provided legitimation for much of the coloniality and all forms of plundering of Latin America. Much has been written about Christianity and money, along with the deep relation between Christianity and the development of capitalism. Our time carries a form of capitalism, expressed in neoliberal terms, that now orients state policies, the idea of the commons, forms of religiosity and the market. While Walter Benjamin refers to capitalism as religion, Christianity has become one of the main religious forms of the neoliberal market. Moreover, Benjamin’s melan­ cholia seems to show us that everything lies under the permanent worship of Capitalism and the God of the Market. In the mid-twentieth century in Latin America, capitalism was used as a force to combat communism following the revolution in Cuba. That is when the USA and the Vatican forged an attack on Central and South American countries to prevent this part of the Americas from becoming communist. The USA, via the CIA and the School of the Americas, now renamed the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation, along with the Vatican crushed many forms of revolutionary movements throughout Latin America. The stories are known; military coups and killings were everywhere. The history of the mid-twentieth century continued the history of the preceding 500 years, a history of genocide and the crushing of the people. To this day, Latin America has been uprooted, pillaged, stolen, murdered, destroyed, extracted, devastated, ruined, kidnapped, raped and devastated. This spirit and matter of plundering, killing, devastation and destruction still present in Latin America, now through nation states and ‘official’

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religions, continue to control and shape the allowed spiritualities among the people. However, under the official forms of Christian religiosities, we see a resistance and flourishing of spiritualities that belong to Latin American people. The presence of women has been fundamental to the resistance and keeping alternative spiritualities within Latin America. Moreover, against the religious and political conservatism of the Roman Catholic Church and the CIA, liberation theology was an alternative movement to combat the religious right and give the people a voice. Liberation theologies found a place within the heart of the Roman Catholic Church and also within Protestant churches throughout Latin America. However, under John Paul II, liberation theology was crushed, and the Protestant churches lost their strength. The ecumenical world, a potent place to hold an alternative side of the Christian churches, also lost its vigour. Very little of liberation theologies in institutional places was kept and very little of any form of socialism was sustained. The erosion of leftist parties throughout Latin America coincided with the erosion of the alternative liberationist forms of religion in the region. With that, fully fledged capitalism, under neoliberalism and conservative politics, has captured the whole landscape of Latin American religiosity and is changing its face rapidly. However, many alternative liberationist spiritualities and forms of knowing still pulse everywhere in the continent. The lack of religious agents formed in liberation theologies among the people gave place to the growth of Pentecostal and Neo-Pentecostal churches, which pursued the poor, who were fast populating the peripheries of Latin America. Their success, among other things, came with the real and daily presence of pastors in the lives of the people, a spirituality that was managed by people without formal access to God, listening to the people’s pain, and a sense of visibility in a society that had forgotten them completely. Moreover, churches gave voice to a people who were now on their own, having to survive in the absence of the state. The growth of Pente­costal and Neo-Pentecostal churches has influenced the Roman Catholic Church and the Protestant churches as well in terms of their worship and forms of spirituality. In many ways, these churches were trying to respond quickly in a market where competition for members meant the growth of offerings and power. Rewriting Psalm 85:10, ‘Fear and greed will meet; market and church will kiss’.

New Economy, Desires and Spirituality

Latin America has always been a place for international plundering and exploitation and national forms of corruption. The same colonial forms of suppressing Indigenous and black people are still forcefully in place everywhere. From liberalism to neoliberalism, Latin America has been easy

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350  Cláudio Carvalhaes prey and a victim of Bretton Woods, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and national banks. International control of the economy and the agenda for investments, education and formulas of development kept Latin America unfinished, since the national debt systems continued and corruption still ruled. The theft of land and the scheme of land­owners controlling the earth’s resources was, and still is, fundamental to the appropriation of the riches of the land and the keeping of the continent under suppression, domination and destruction. The presence of the state has taken the form of controlling capital and maintaining injustices. Under this managerial format of the states, the role of religion was and still is fundamental for its survival. The state uses the police and religion as two of its strong forms of control and management. If the format of capitalism was blessed by Roman Catholicism, neoliberalism blurs its existence with the very core of Christian beliefs. The neoliberal system does not negate religion but, rather, preserves religion as a form of self-construction and agency. One interpretation of religion in neo­ liberalism sees its place as a preserver of social archaisms as a condition of a certain type of bond, a regressive bond for control. Religion under neoliberalism gains particularities, extensions, ruptures and newness, making Christian hegemony as moveable and flexible as capitalism itself. In Latin America, new forms of neoliberalism and its fascist, militarised and dictatorial face have found in Christian churches a fundamental ideological instrument of the state, contiguous to Althusser’s understanding of the apparatus of the state. The neoliberal state finds in the churches a place where preaching means to help the faithful accept the uneven and unjust forces of labour, the precarious conditions of living, the crisis of the economy, the difficulty of the state to provide and the prepara­ tion for the battle against ‘cultural Marxism’. Against such imagined threats as communism, gender theory, homo­ sexuality and minorities, Christian churches in Latin America now have continued with the colonised discourse of war and conquest, whose godly mission is to turn every country to Jesus. The idea that Christians will win only when Christian believers take the highest places in the country’s govern­ment shapes spiritualities, feeds the mission and enlists its members for the battle against the devil. Christian churches have adopted the two major feelings of neoliberalism: fear and anger. This shows how they expect God will take care of them and how anger will be the feeling that will keep them alive against the enemy. But this is not the only form of mission of the church. The mission of Christian churches also involves taking political, secular positions in order to change society, which is now ruled by the devil. Christian believers become cultural agents to help change laws in public spaces. They are now present in local

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neighbourhoods where, for instance, drug dealers have had their families converted from the Catholic Church to Pentecostal or Neo-Pentecostal churches, prohibiting the presence of African religions in their local communities. They are also involved with the Organization of American States or in the United Nations, pushing to change international laws. The relation between economy and religion organises not only forms of desire but what to desire and how to desire. The neoliberal state continues to say what Ronald Reagan once stated: ‘The government can’t help you and you are on your own’. This results in decreasing public investment in health and education and the handing of these resources to the private sector. The churches have picked up this task of fulfilling the dream of the people through prayer and worship. A dramatic shift has occurred in the politics of Latin America: with the neoliberal retreat of the political state, Christian churches have become the ‘state’ of informal social welfare. The churches offer security for believers when the state police are replaced by parallel forms (militias, gangs, drug cartels) who in many cases are ruling parallel forms of the state. The churches offer healing, since public health systems are being dismantled. Churches offer the possibility of social change, since access to wealth is barely possible. Churches offer psychological healing when no psychological systems are in place for the poor. While the gradient of Christians – Catholics, Protestants, Pente­costals and Neo-Pentecostals – is vast, their ways of believing, relating and living are all lived out within the larger scheme of the economic structure. Most of these churches represent the lower middle classes and the poorer classes. Pentecostals have the largest numbers and Neo-Pentecostals are the most media savvy. If from the 1960s to the 1980s, Latin America had political parties and social movements on the streets teaching, training and enlisting people for the struggle, this work is done today by the Pentecostal and Neo-Pentecostal churches. Local churches organise themselves as a church army to conquer the countries for Jesus, training people with an ideology that connects social struggle, cultural battle and spiritual war.

Worship and Spiritualities

One fundamental place most social analysts fail to engage when trying to understand Latin America is current religious houses of worship. In fact, I propose that it is inside of worship spaces where Latin America has also been deeply reshaped. Rituals are windows into the larger social forms of living. To pay attention to rituals is to pay attention to social threads, shifts, values, aspirations, troubles and movements towards the future. Rituals redefine the memory of the people and thus their own history; they organise the present, and thus their political and ethical actions and commitments; and they inspire an aesthetic view of the world, thus providing

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352  Cláudio Carvalhaes a vision for the future. Time during ritual is both deeply historical and a-historical, bringing together the past, present and future into a certain kind of magic, where time stops and all of life is perceived in that moment. To pay attention to a Christian ritual these days is to understand where Latin America has been, where it is and where it will be. Rituals give us a sense of safety, warmth and home. They provide an intermediation with God, with the political and with oneself. Rituals provide lenses to feel, to see and to reshape our whole lives. Rituals give a sense of our belonging, our relation to the earth in time and space; they organise our identities and create ways of understanding ourselves both individually and collectively. Rituals define both the outside and the interior worlds. They create channels of relation with political views, moving either towards democratic forms of living or towards relations of nationalisms, populisms and autocracies. Religious spaces are open vessels where groups can create endless forms of identities and worldviews through symbols, words, songs, actions and offerings. They are places to exchange symbolic currencies, ordain reasoning and distil the affections and emotions of the time. The word of God preached in the worship spaces defines the vision of God – and, often, one’s choice of political candidate as well. Prayers – for survival, help, healing, transformation, being able to pay the rent or find jobs – are based on the circularity of feelings socially cast by the economic state and perceived by the churches. Here, the state is reinstituted time and again by modes of fear and hope, by ways of finding a certain form of emancipation, an ownership of a self, either offering a different way of organising life or keeping the chain of need and control. The worship space has the power to negotiate the real presence of God, by which it also means the ‘real’ presence of the state. God and politics, the ‘two bodies’ of God, have now exploded into various bodies of power organisations and their many dynamics. The same Christian theological understanding of the eucharist that deals with the real presence and absence of Jesus has been reshaped into state presence–absence. Perhaps the real problem of Latin America is the metaphysics of transubstantiation, which can be seen from the anthropophagic leanings of Indigenous peoples to the anthropophagic moves of the state. The definitions of the sacred and what is to be eaten, that is, the presence of the sacred, is the most crucial, complex, multiple and important ‘political’ discussion in Latin America. ‘Where God is’ defines the presence and absence of state power. But not only that. The metaphysics of God’s transubstantiation is the cultural agency where people evoke, invoke and negotiate their lives in the battling threads of society. With any social agency, every individual becomes responsible for survival and making ends meet. The absence of

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the official state gives space (officially) to alternative forms of authority and ruling. These meta-states are the real presence of an absent state, organising the daily lives of the people, charging extra taxes for any public activity such as pubs or churches, or even keeping their homes safe. Usually these meta- or para-states are responsible for the movement of the people in and out of the communities and how one can belong there. Thus, the poor are often simultaneously under two unaligned forms of authority and at the same time left to their own devices. The church becomes everything to everyone, the full presence of God in a world where God is absent. That is, when people get sick and they do not have hospitals, they go to the church that offers healing. When people are depressed, they do not go to therapy or medicine; rather, they go to the church that casts the demon away. When people have economic problems, they do not have a bank to give them loans. Instead, they go to church and bargain with God for a new miracle.

Historical Religious Changes

Significant structural changes occurred in the religious lives of the continent during the second half of the twentieth century. The arrival of liberation theologies, the beginning of Neo-Pentecostal churches, the Charismatic movement within the Roman Catholic Church and the demand for renewal within Protestant churches have deeply changed the religious scene of Latin America. The first movement was the creation of base ecclesial communities (BECs) within the Roman Catholic Church in Latin America in the 1960s and 1970s. BECs comprised poor people who, in many ways, reinvented the church within the birth of liberation theology. BECs became a powerful movement that spread through Latin America. The question of the origin of BECs stresses different perspectives on ecclesiology and the work of the Spirit. BECs began with laypeople who organised themselves due to the lack of priests in many regions in Latin America, and the movement spread and gained strength when the church embraced the movement as its own, especially with the support given by radical and libertarian bishops and priests who were committed to poor people. The liturgical component of the BECs was central to the practices of the community and took a variety of forms. People used different local materials and symbols, sang their own songs, moved around various spaces beyond the church building and decided what was liturgical. Instead of being hierarchical, the whole community participated. Another movement, in the 1980s and 1990s, influenced the Protestant Christian churches: the growth of independent Pentecostal churches. Moving away from the traditional Pentecostal denominations, they started

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354  Cláudio Carvalhaes their own worship services with a more intimate feel. Music was the key element of change in these worship services. They created new songs, introducing them with drums and electric guitars, lighting and a strong theatre feel. Moreover, people could sing for a long time in very emotional services where the leader would guide the worship in mixing very loud and strong songs with soft, warm and slow songs. It was the creation of the Latin American version of the ‘gospel songs’. This new worship challenged every single Protestant church, who experienced struggles between the older generation of traditional members and the new generation wanting their churches to be up to date with the new developments seen in these Pentecostal churches. The singing of hymns was forever challenged, and every pastor had to add a time for ‘praise’ in the worship service with gospel songs. This change has had a huge impact on the lives of the Protestant churches and has also moved denominations into a more conservative theology, the abandonment of the ecumenical movement, and adherence to more conservative political commitments. In the 1970s the growth of the Neo-Pentecostal movement started to appear. The beginning of the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God (Igreja Universal do Reino de Deus, IURD), now one of the largest NeoPentecostal churches in the world, was characterised by a fundamental approach to a new form of Pentecostalism that has spread throughout Christian churches. With a mixture of theatre, temple and market, the IURD has created a hybrid of the key aspects of popular culture: carnival, religiosity and the desire to be included in the social life of the country. It is a certain interlocked triduum that marks most of the worship life of Christian churches: the market that demands a certain form of life also fills the temple with a specific spirituality that can only be lived through a theatre performance. A theatre performs the aesthetic plan of the market within a specific spirituality in the temple, as the temple opens a space for a spirituality of miracles, wonders and distension that fulfils the demands and the rules of an economic market of cruelty. The Roman Catholic Church has seen growth in the Charismatic move­ment and the beginning of singing priests to increase the levels of emotional intensity in worship services. Churches are constantly developing a fuller language that responds to the needs of the people. A social, religious and political language is created and built in the worship space as the place where people gain a new cosmology attached to a political view, a social moral pattern and a cultural understanding to express certain reasoning, feelings and moral actions, all within the context of worship. Worship thus provides an ample environment that shapes individuals, neighbourhoods and the nation. In worship, songs give people a soundtrack to their lives, and the sermon mirrors the anger and exhaustion

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of the people while providing a language for a battle, be it cosmic (against principalities), political (against communism) or individual (against the devil). In worship, songs and dancing provide healing and a voice to the faithful. In worship, prayers give a grammar to their faith, where they can tell God their hurts and God hears their needs. Every week a new ritual of participation is created and a whole performance embraces each member, giving meaning to life, a sense of belonging and a refreshed hope for the next day. Popular religious movements also take many directions, ritual forms, spiritual shapes and political content crisscrossing the entire continent. Within these, the encantaría of the Afro-religions has been shaped into many forms of life. The mixing of African and Indigenous communities has created forms of religions such as Jurema in Brazil and syncretised forms of Roman Catholicism that have found expressions in healing, sacred objects and symbols that the church has embraced. These movements continue to grow and recreate themselves literally at every crossroad. In all these movements, the new/old forms of Christian worship and spiritualities in Latin America are marked by bodily expressions. The body has always been a fundamental site for the colonisation of the land. A body disconnected from the land becomes an easy target, disconnected from its fundamental memory, its own medicine. Uprooted bodies mean bodies ‘on their own’, bodies of individuals and communities encapsulated in necropolitics and death. Colonised bodies are bodies severed from their belonging and resistance, made only for the production of life for the ­colonisers. By uprooting bodies from local knowledges oriented by the earth, the hegemony of coloniality in flux with neoliberalism turns the existence of poor bodies into expenditure, oblivion and worthlessness. The shattering of Indigenous and African religions is the erasure of bodies, land and complex systems of knowledges. No wonder the mission of the new Christian churches is to destroy every spirituality that acknowledges any other bodies: physical bodies, bodies of knowledge, bodies of imagination. On the other hand, Christian spiritualities have focused on the movements and experiences of the body. What feminist theologies wanted to do with theologies of the quotidian was actually developed, although surely in an opposite key, by Christian spiritualities of our time. The presence of God is always attached to the body: the physical body in healing, the moral body in moral norms, the social body in social ascension and the political body in the conquest of higher political ranks.

Hybridisms of Every Kind

Creating understandings of worship can be done in such a way that one sees religion and the formation of spiritualities as based in social archaisms

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356  Cláudio Carvalhaes of control and exploitation. One can surely say that Latin America is now on a descent towards radical forms of conservatism, intolerance, loss of rights, attacks on spiritual and political freedom, and becoming a powerful breeding ground for fascism. On the other hand, one can also say that people, through their religious instances and interactions, are creating and re-creating their lives through religious and cultural actions and forms of agency. The many Christianities in Latin America demonstrate the presence of an expansive form of religious imagination, endless forms of spiritual experiences that are based on and feed various forms of theological rationalities that are lived in worship spaces and determine society as a whole. It is within the rituals of worship services that people organise their cosmologies, learn how to live in the world, negotiate their lives and find themselves in the company of a community. At these crossroads, feminisms of women of all colours are born, queer movements of many kinds rise up, anti-racist theologies are organised, collectives of artists from poor areas are created, new ecological fronts are generated, unheard inter-religious dialogues and solidarities come to fruition and new forms of living, thinking, imagining and acting hold in their interior the pulsing force of other possible worlds. New spiritualities and new subjectivities are formed, and thus new connectivities vibrate, forging new fields of energy that run in contrast to harsh daily realities of death. It is in the worship service that Christians form their religious practices and find ways to act in the world. This formation within Christian churches can happen only because the church becomes a nation within the Nation and each member is seen as a citizen in local communities. When the state does not provide the sources of living and only promotes fear and doom, churches are safe havens for people whose lives are at the edge of endless impending disasters. Thus, one cannot simply name this or that church as conservative or liberal. While it is not difficult to see the leaning of Latin Americans towards a more conservative place, with a growth of intolerance and attacks on democratic gains, the religious field is filled with complexities. The complexity of the determination of the many forms of Christianity is deeply related to the ways in which they were formed, developed and organised, and how they affect various forms of life within the world of Latin America. In Kingston, Jamaica, I witnessed the struggle of a group of people who had had little shops in the public market on a main road in the city for more than 20 years. Due to gentrification, the market was sold and a new shopping mall was going to take its place. Without the provision of any real support, the city council was simply evicting these folks. They partnered with the Jamaica Theological Seminary who, from students to the president, fought together with them to keep the market. The

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struggle was intense, and the Seminary’s chapel became the ground for their prayers, songs, sustenance and political organising. The power of money is evicting millions of people in this region and the religious spaces become not only ways to rearrange and recompose life, but also ways to resist and re-exist. Latin America is a place of many encounters, crossroads, hybridities and junctions. At each place Christian religions are also meeting Afro-religions, Indigenous religions and many other forms of religiosities and spiritualities. There is no religious purity and there are no pure forms of politics. Worship spaces are also places deeply blurred with the walls of local, state and national politics. Religious symbols are in constant movement and negotiation with civic, patriotic and existential symbols as forms of living are changed and transformed. There is no monolithic group that is ruling everything, but at this point, with the loss of institutions and the vivid decay of a pretensive form of democracy, more seems to be at stake than ever before. African religions and Indigenous spiritualities are the most threatened by the new forms of Christianity. But they are also organising and forming ways of support and expansion. We see popular spiritualities everywhere: popular Catholicism, popular Protestantism, African encantarías, Pentecostal hybridities, the renewal and growth of Indigenous spiritualities, Christian queer and black movements, and processes of hybridisation where religious identities constantly and feverishly are negotiated. Ritual spaces, be they streets or worship spaces, are everywhere offering sites for these transformations. But it is within Christian worship services that Christian spiritualities are at the heart of these dynamics, dealing with all sorts of spiritualities and religious estrangements. Within the liturgical spaces, Christians dance like they would in a Yoruba service or engage in spiritual warfare with demons whose names can be seen in daily life within the political arena. In the worship space, negotiation and renegotiation of the liturgy, symbols and rituals happen all the time. One day a symbol belongs to the devil; the next day it is added to the mosaic of religious symbols and belongs to God. Good and evil are constantly renegotiated. The aesthetics are also constantly shifting, and cultural markers move with them. Moreover, according to these changes, some cultural industries are built and others are crushed. Liturgical mutations are fundamentally reshaping politics, aesthetics, cultural actions and ways of relating and belonging. In São Paulo, Brazil, in the very street where I grew up, there is now a new shop-front church begun by Haitians who have recently arrived from Haiti. Some of them have official documents and others do not. I visited their worship service one Sunday morning and at first, standing outside, I could see a mix of their own forms of religion and a central

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358  Cláudio Carvalhaes form of Christianity happening at the same time in the worship gestures, songs and dance. The service was conducted in French, Portuguese and their own local language. When I entered the room, they welcomed me, but the serviced changed drastically. I felt they needed to hold back their full religious expression since they did not know who I was. A Christian worship flourished more clearly, and they prayed for me in the name of Jesus Christ. That blurring, shifting, negotiating and holding on to forms of religious identities and forms of being are a fundamental part of being more or less Christian in Latin America, according to its context and necessities. These encounters, encruzos and hybridities also speak of many forms of justice and life, organisation and resistance. An explosion of spiritualities has been formed and continues to be formed through religious rituals that crisscross a vast array of sources, old and new symbols, new and old revolutions, spurring ways of living not yet seen. Life beyond the grid is always happening. The extraordinary, the ghostly, the Spirit, that which is not given to Cartesian definition pulses at every corner all day and all night. Latin American literature and cinema give testimony to it.

Conclusion

The Samba School Mangueira from Rio de Janeiro, in 2020’s carnival, brought to its parade a poor black boy filled with gunshot wounds who was put on the cross. In that image, a spirituality of resistance was seen from the inside of the communities, a form of resistance, or better reexistence. In that ‘secular’ performance, an entire country saw the most sacred Christian image on the side of the poor, where Christian spirituality springs from the underside of society, from people struggling daily to survive. There have been re-creations, resurrections and restoration of spiritualities that are liberating and transformative. The returning of the body as a body-movement, body-earth, body-territory (María Loreto Moreno Rayman) has been a mark of these transformations not only in Indigenous and Afro-Latino religions but within Christianities as well. The imaginary that creates spiritualities in worship spaces and the cultural daily lives of the people, as well as the spiritualities that expand the imaginaries and solidify their presence in the daily life of the people, continues to be opened, shaped and reshaped. The economic system of neoliberalism cannot be sustained. The question is how Christian churches will develop their own spiritualities and forms of living and how the worship services will continue to give shape, not only to local congregations but to the entire continent.

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Bibliography

Algranti, Joaquín, La industria del creer: sociología de las mercancías religiosas (Buenos Aires: Editorial Biblos, 2013). Béliveau, Verónica Giménez (ed.), La religión ante los problemas sociales espiritualidad, poder y sociabilidad en América Latina (Buenos Aires: CLACSO, 2020). Campos, Leonildo Silveira, Teatro, templo e mercado: uma análise da organização, rituais, marketing e eficácia comunicativa de um empreendimento Neopentecostal - A Igreja Universal do Reino de Deus (Petrópolis: Vozes, 1997). Moulian, Rodrigo, El Sello del espíritu derramado sobre la carne: retórica de la presencia, ­mediaciones rituales y enacción del Espíritu Santo en el Culto Pentecostal (Valdivia, Chile: Ediciones Kultrún, 2018). Smilde, David, Reason to Believe: Cultural Agency in Latin American Evangelicalism (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2007).

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Theology Néstor O. Míguez

Broadly speaking, it could be said that the original people of Latin America, before the European conquest, already had their own theology – diverse in divinities, forms, practices and effect, as these people were themselves diverse. When the Christian message reached these lands, it was influenced by these Indigenous traditions. Therefore, this pre-existing theology cannot be ignored, because of the multiple ways in which it has been mixed, incorporated and syncretised with the theological evolution of the continent. Christian evangelisation in the first centuries of the conquest was exclusively Roman Catholic. In it, the Christian message played a double role: on the one hand, there was a theology that served to legitimate the conquerors but, on the other, some priests and monks offered an alternative reading of Christian dogma and, in their biblical hermeneutics, sought to defend the integrity and dignity of the subject people. This controversy cannot be ignored, for it continues to constitute a necessary reference in Latin America’s theological engagement. In addition, the successive migrations that the continent has experienced, both from abroad and internally, have left their mark. This is how the diverse cultures that make up the motley mosaic that is Latin America today were formed. Among them, the colonisation by European migrants in the centuries after the conquest should not be ignored. The African presence, forcibly introduced by slavery – which had an impact on forms and styles in music, liturgy, rites, spontaneous expressions and popular religiosity – should also be considered. Account needs to be taken as well of forms other than written theology, although it also has its place. The formation of Christian theology will always have to do with this process of conquest and violence, conflict, resistance, plurality and diversity, sometimes explicit and sometimes denied, of memory and liber­ tarian anticipation. The myths and rites, the symbols and traditions, the worldview and perceptions, the teachings and hopes that are born from faith in Jesus the Messiah will be remodelled and resignified in these life experiences. They will be rethought amid a society that will always be diverse and in search of freedom and plenitude, rejecting any rigid systematisation. As in the fabrics of our artisans, some threads are lost in the

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complexity of the plot, but, when the design requires it, they reappear to give colour and shape to the tapestry of our faith. Let us look at some of those components that today inform theology in Latin America.

The Tradition of Theological Resistance

The Indigenous people themselves resorted to biblical texts in order to ‘do their theology’ on the path of resistance and liberation. In their discourse, some themes that will return repeatedly in Latin American theology can be heard, especially in liberation theology: the images of the Exodus, the empowerment of the small against the power of the great, the corruption of the gospel by power and greed, and the idolatry of money. Túpac Amaru, who led the largest Indigenous uprising in the eighteenth century, in Cuzco, during the short time of his government, decreed the total abolition of slavery and forced labour in all its forms, not only for their own people but also for slaves brought from Africa. It was the first decree of this kind in Latin American history and even, probably, worldwide. This heritage is still present in the claims of Indigenous theologies on the continent. The syncretic images of popular religiosity show their persistence, but the claims for their ancestral lands and the valuation of their worldviews are manifested as well in what has been called ‘good living’. There again some of the ancient theologies of the original people erupt. The concept of ‘good living’ (Sumak kausai in the Quechua language) and the question of caring for ‘Mother Earth’ (Pachamama) – which formed central and dynamic elements of various ancient religions, especially in the Andean area – have become a true epistemological axis taken up by various Latin American theologies. In fact, the expression Sumak kausai appears in the new national constitutions of Ecuador and the Plurinational State of Bolivia. In this way, the social utopia that is proposed as a foretaste of and metaphor for the Kingdom of God and its justice is no longer marked only by Western imagery, be it the classless society of Marxism or the absolute individual freedom of the liberal proposal, arising from positivism. Rather, it is a collaborative community view, an understanding from a holistic worldview, where humanity is part of the energy of creation, where subjectivity is built on solidarity. The concept of ‘good living’ is assimilated to that of fullness of life in the Gospel of John and is distinguished from the consumerist idea of a good life as an accumulation of goods from the utopia of the market. It is a proposal for harmony, but a dynamic harmony that requires a constant renewal of both human ties and ties with the whole of creation, a bond affirmed in a sense of common belonging. It is a rereading of spirituality, which distances itself from the subjective or interioristic practices of the classical spirituality of Western

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362  Néstor O. Míguez Christianity and from the religions of the East. It is proposed as part of a decolonisation process, which, without seeking an impossible return to the past prior to the conquest, seeks the integration of the plurality and diversity that Latin America is today, as a construction of liberated peoples who are simultaneously mutually committed.

Catholic Theology and Amerindia

To understand the ambiguous and paradoxical history and theology of Latin America, it is necessary to consider that the Catholicism of conquest, in new forms, continues in many places, as well as the reinvigorating of these Indigenous theologies. Beneath new language and forms of ex­ pression, there is a theological substratum that still considers Latin America a Catholic continent and this Catholicism the cultural base that gives its people common identity. The final documents of the general conferences of the Latin American Episcopal Council (CELAM) make this presumption explicit. The first paragraph of the final document of the third general conference of CELAM (Puebla, 1979) speaks of ‘a fundamental Catholic substrate in Latin America’. The project of ‘new evangelisation’ from the fourth conference (Santo Domingo, 1992) presupposes the same thing. The most conservative sectors of this Catholicism continue to manifest themselves in the preservation of economic, ethnic and social privileges and seek to defend them politically, sociologically and theologically. And although statistics show a growing change in religious identity, with a notable decline in the Catholic population in many countries (although it maintains a relative majority), the Catholic Church remains an important power player, maintaining a theological discourse that still clings to scholastic orthodoxy and a hierarchical ecclesiology. These tendencies sometimes appear in very aggressive forms and with a conservative political agenda, and at other times in more moderate and dialogical forms, but the centrality of power and the ecclesiastical ethos in the social dynamics of the continent do not fail to arise. But other sectors within Catholicism also emerged, with other views and social and ecumenical commitments. Inspired by the Second Vatican Council and the CELAM conference held in Medellín (1968), what would later become known as ‘liberation theology’ emerged (see below). An example of this is the Amerindia group. Formed as a group of theological advisers to the bishops of the CELAM conference in Puebla (1979), they met again at the conference in Santo Domingo (1992). They clearly indicated their ‘preferential option for the poor’. As of 1998, Amerindia has constituted a broader, more diverse and representative network, which includes some bishops, theologians and lay agents of various professions linked to the new movements and to social

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actions. The group remains fundamentally in the sphere of the Catholic Church, although it has established ecumenical relations and dialogue with theologians of other Christian currents as well as inter-religious dialogue. The group played an important role at a major continent-wide Catholic conference held at Aparecida in 2007. Ecological and social exclusion issues appear as a significant part of its current contributions.

Theology, Empire and Mission

However, the theological panorama is inexplicable if we do not also recognise other influences and presences. Especially since the struggles for independence in the first decades of the nineteenth century, the activity of alternative religious groups has become increasingly notable. The states that were then constituted are structured with a more liberal ideology and admit the freedom of religion, even though they maintain Catholicism as a privileged religion. Although this did not manifest itself suddenly, little by little the arrival of colonists and missions from the Evangelical tradition – as well as minority groups of other faiths – was taking place. Again, these influences cannot be separated from the British and North American imperial penetration of the continent. It should be noted that in Latin America and the Spanish-speaking Caribbean, the name evangélicos includes all the churches with a Reformed tradition, as well as those that emerged later, with other ‘revival’ movements. It follows the meaning of German evangelisches more than that of ‘Evangelicals’ in English. Broadly speaking, following the study by José Míguez Bonino, we can point out four theological currents that occurred with the EvangelicalProtestant presence. On the one hand, some missions approached with a liberal theology and greater emphasis on the educational task, social action and health programmes. They had some important political and social influence, although their numerical expansion was relatively low. Then it is necessary to consider the ‘Evangelical’ missions, mainly of Baptists and Plymouth Brethren, greatly influenced by North American conservative theology, with fundamentalist (or dispensationalist, in other cases) traits and with a strong proselytising imprint. These two currents evolved differently on the continent, although they were coincident on some issues, such as a clear anti-Catholic emphasis. Over time they differed on issues such as the ecumenical movement and dialogue, social projection and politics. While the former were more open and ideologically open to liberation movements and social demands, the latter remained relatively detached from social concerns, and when they did become involved, they favoured more conservative positions. However, it is worth noting the position of some theologians and Evangelical churches of a more conservative theological tendency, who nevertheless adopt social criticism of the situations

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364  Néstor O. Míguez of oppression and injustice in the continent. The Latin American Theological Fraternity is one expression of this current. Simultaneously, the Pentecostal presence began to appear, with its first expression occurring with the (autonomous) formation of the Pentecostal Methodist Church of Chile in 1909. Pentecostal missions were more successful than previous ones in their numerical growth. This is probably due to the formation of what Míguez Bonino calls ‘Creole Pentecostalism’, which, although coinciding theologically in some respects with the Evangelical trend, is very different in its manifestations and its capacity to reach the large grassroots public in Latin America. The current variety and breadth of the Pentecostal movement ranges from highly conservative and self-centred extremes to expressions that have embraced social issues and participate in the ecumenical movement. Finally, although earlier in time (the second half of the nineteenth century), it is worth noting the theology of the migrants who came in colonies – Reformed or Lutheran, French, Swiss, German, Waldensian and Mennonite. These were located mainly in the Southern Cone (Argentina, Uruguay, Chile, Paraguay, southern Brazil), although they could also be found in other parts of the continent. They settled mostly in rural areas and maintained their religious traditions, without much interaction with other faiths. This changed towards the middle of the twentieth century, when the urbanisation process launched them more fully into the world of religious exchanges. When this began, they generally approached the most progressive forms and became involved (not without conflict and division) in issues related to the recognition of human rights, social justice and cultural action. Today, many of these churches actively participate in a theology and pastoral actions committed to issues related to the environment, cultural and gender diversity, exclusion and unemployment, among other significant issues, presenting a minority theological alternative but with a strong social presence. The map of the reality of the religious field in Latin America would not be complete if other, more recent movements were not included. Far from Protestantism and even from the more traditional Pentecostalism, the Charismatic movements and other forms of religious organisation that have received the equivocal name of ‘Neo-Pentecostalism’ appear. Their most notable example is the formation of the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God by Bishop Edir Macedo, from Brazil, which has achieved a strong political and media presence, as well as global expansion. Along these same lines, many smaller churches can be counted. Although their ‘Evangelical’ identity is contested by the other Evangelical movements, they are identified as such by the press and the media, and this shapes their public image. Their theology, linked to neoliberal ideology and the

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so-called ‘theology of prosperity’, although with clear syncretic elements in Latin American popular culture, is framed within the political struggle on the continent. These currents worldwide, despite their previous anti-Catholicism, end up coinciding with the conservative Catholic sectors when it comes to social policy and eventually form alliances with them in this regard. This is especially notable on issues such as voluntary termination of pregnancy, same-sex marriage and certain claims about crime, the death penalty or neoliberal economic programmes. This alliance that some call ‘hate ecumenism’ is clearly manifested in Latin America. The coup d’état that overthrew President Evo Morales in Bolivia in November 2019 is a prime example of this, including a claim by the Christianity of conquest against Indigenous religiosity. Its influence has also been seen in the Fujimori movement in Peru, the rejection of President Juan Manuel Santos’s peace treaty in Colombia and the election of Jair Bolsonaro to the presidency of Brazil as more notable, but not unique, examples. Ignorance of its presence and influence in Latin America today would leave without explanation many religious phenomena that occur in these lands.

Liberation Theology and Ecumenism

On the other hand, during this time a trend that we might call the opposite has arisen: liberation theology in Latin America (LTLA). Many consider it the first truly Indigenous theological elaboration from the continent. Its impact coincided and generated productive exchanges with other efforts of liberating theologies in other regions. The particular social situation in Latin America in the 1960s, considered by some to be pre-revolutionary, was the social-political-cultural incentive that generated it. Along with Catholic theologians, the ecumenical movement Church and Society in Latin America (1963) and the World Conference of Church and Society of the World Council of Churches in 1966 also proved influential. It can be said that this is an ecumenical theology: not a theology of ecumenism, but ecumenical in its origin and gestation. Along with the names of the Catholics Gustavo Gutiérrez, Hugo Assmann, Leonardo Boff and Juan L. Segundo, we must add those of the Protestants Richard Shaull, José Míguez Bonino, Julio de Santa Ana and Rubén Alves. It is not possible in this brief exposition even to attempt a summary of the abundant bibliography in this regard. LTLA did not grow as an academic endeavour but gradually developed in working groups, the ecclesial communities of grassroots neighbourhoods, student movements and peasant communities, where the oppressive situation was read against the promises of justice and the announcement of the Kingdom from the God of the Gospel. These concerns were expressed in various texts that

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366  Néstor O. Míguez circulated as brochures and bulletins until Gustavo Gutiérrez systematised this view in his book Theology of Liberation, which is recognised today as the classic of this trend. The Christians for Socialism conference – held in April 1972 in Santiago de Chile and bringing together Christian leaders, both pastoral and lay, union leaders and social activists from across the continent and from various ecclesial traditions – was perhaps the greatest expression of the strength of this current in its beginnings. Without pretending to exhaust all the theological novelty that emerged from LTLA, we can point to some of its most characteristic contributions.

Hermeneutic method and circle

The method called in its simplest form ‘See, Judge, Act’ implies leaving the merely formal scheme of a speculative theology derived from phil­ osophy, and incorporating tools of social analysis and political action into theological elaboration. Some add ‘celebrating’, highlighting the liturgical and joyous dimension that accompanies and influences this theological elaboration. This has generated a new, more complex perspective of the hermeneutical circle. Philosophy will no longer be exclusively the preferred interlocutor of the theological task, but the human sciences and popular participation will be the new travelling companions on the theological journey. The place of political militancy in the theological construction proposed by LTLA can never be overstated. It is this fundamental experience that marks its unique character. That is why more than 10 years passed between the first practical experiences and the production of a written text. This also explains why many of its exponents have known censorship, prison, torture, exile, disappearance and death, even at the hands of ecclesiastical organisations, in times of military dictatorships on the continent, including not only the most literate and academic exponents but also thousands of militants who identified with this option and reading from Christian sources. This hermeneutical praxis built a strongly testimonial, martyrdom reading, which was soon incorporated into LTLA.

The ‘popular reading of the Bible’

A decisive place in LTLA is occupied by what has been called the ‘popular reading of the Bible’. Its distinctive methodology led to a rereading of the biblical texts during the daily struggles and encounters of the common people in their local neighbourhoods, social movements and grassroots communities. This reading of the Bible took place at the barricades of social struggles and even, in some cases, in clandestine groups persecuted by dictatorships. The experiences of struggle and persecution were

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interwoven with the biblical narratives. However, in his inaugural address to the CELAM conference in Puebla in 1979, Pope John Paul II condemned these ‘rereadings’. These experiences led to new approaches to some texts, departing from the proposals of scholarly exegesis and giving birth to new meanings. The Exodus, but also the Exile, took on new meanings as an epic of the liberating God in the former and as accompaniment amid pain in the latter. Understanding of the Psalms was reworked, and the prophetic texts acquired new strength and currency. The option for the poor was read with new strength in the stories of Jesus. Paul, though controversial, was read in light of his relativisation of the law and his messianic thrust. The final triumph of the slaughtered Lamb in the Book of Revelation encouraged hope amid persecution, strife and martyrdom. Revista de Interpretación Bíblica Latinoamericana (Journal of Latin American Biblical Interpretation) is still today the main exponent of this task.

The ‘other’ theologies

Within the general framework of LTLA and the popular reading of the Bible, t