Resources on Faith, Ethics and Public Life

Latin America

As a region, Latin America is predominantly Christian. Despite its history of Catholicism, there has been a recent rise in evangelical and Pentecostal Churches since the late twentieth century. It has been speculated that this is in part a reaction to governments’ crackdowns on Catholic followers of liberation theology, a movement popular in the 1950s to 1980s, which argued that poverty is caused by a world system of political and economic exploitation. There are also Jewish, Muslim, and indigenous communities, but they are not as active in public life. Faith-inspired actors are engaged in issues such as poverty, education, health, and the environment. These development efforts are generally not coordinated through governments, which historically do not have a strong relationship with the Church. There are many transnational faith-inspired development organizations, however, that are active in the region. These resources provide an overview of faith-based development organizations, publications, events, and essays on development issues in Latin America. The resources are part of an ongoing initiative focused on religion and global development sponsored by the Luce Foundation.


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