Evangelical Christianity and Democracy in Latin America by Paul Freston

By Paul Freston

In Latin the United States, evangelical Protestantism poses an expanding problem to Catholicism's fashioned non secular hegemony. even as, the sector is without doubt one of the most widely democratic outdoor the West, regardless of frequently being categorised as 'underdeveloped.' students disagree no matter if Latin American Protestantism, as a fast-growing and predominantly lower-class phenomenon, will motivate a political tradition that's repressive and authoritarian, or if it's going to have democratizing results. Drawing from various assets, Evangelical Christianity and Democracy in Latin America offers case stories of 5 international locations: Brazil, Peru, Mexico, Guatemala, and Nicaragua. The individuals, almost always students established in Latin the US, carry first hand-knowledge to their chapters. the result's a groundbreaking paintings that explores the connection among Latin American evangelicalism and politics, its affects, manifestations, and customers for the future.

Evangelical Christianity and Democracy in Latin America is one in every of 4 volumes within the sequence Evangelical Christianity and Democracy within the worldwide South, which seeks to respond to the query: What occurs whilst a revivalist faith in line with scriptural orthodoxy participates within the unstable politics of the 3rd global? At a time whilst the global-political impression of one other revivalist and scriptural faith - Islam - fuels vexed debate between analysts across the world, those volumes provide an strange comparative viewpoint on a serious factor: the usually flamable interplay of resurgent faith and the constructing world's volatile politics.

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Sample text

However, one cannot take such trends for granted in Latin America; in the early 1960s, democratization seemed so invincible that a 1961 book was entitled The Twilight of the Dictators! Democracy is far from consolidated in many countries. Nevertheless, on Diamond’s (2002, 30) classification of regimes based on the situation in 2001, the Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking countries of Latin America fell mostly within his two categories of democracies, being almost equally divided between full ‘‘liberal democracies’’ (Uruguay, Costa Rica, Panama, Bolivia, Peru, Chile, Dominican Republic) and merely ‘‘electoral democracies’’ (Argentina, El Salvador, Mexico, Brazil, Ecuador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Guatemala).

Globally, the percentage of Christians did not change much in the twentieth century, but their composition was greatly transformed. Christianity is now almost truly global. While Europeans and North Americans constituted 81 percent of Christians in 1900, they accounted for only 40 percent of Christians by the year 2000 (Barrett and Johnson 1999). On the one hand, this is due to lower birth rates, by which the Western percentage of world population fell dramatically from 30 percent to 13 percent, and to the decline of Christianity in the West.

If Latin America was once regarded as a region that mirrored the religious structure of Latin Europe (traditional Catholic dominance and weak Protestant presence), it has now moved somewhat in the direction of the religious voluntarism typical of the United States. The Catholic monopoly of colonial and early postindependence times, and even the secure hegemony of the first half of the twentieth century, are under threat in most countries. The traditional Catholic claim of being an essential part of Latin American identity has lost plausibility as pluralism has increased and Protestantism become deep-rooted.

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