THE EVANGELICAL IN LATIN AMERICA

By ELIO EDGARDO MILLÁN VALDEZ 


Every day that passes, evangelicals have greater political strength in Latin America. This power was reflected in the last election in Costa Rica, where the evangelical preacher Fabricio Alvarado disputed the second round with a conservative stance, opposed to equal marriage, in vitro fertilization or abortion, and although he lost to Carlos Alvarado, 61 % to 33%. But the fact that the evangelical combined religion and politics and went so far in the presidential race of a country like Costa Rica surprised many.

In our region there was already an evangelical president, the Guatemalan Jimmy Morales; but evangelists leaders seek the same in Venezuela, Colombia, where they supported Duque, current president; in Brazil, where they supported the current president Bolsonaro, while in Mexico a grassroots evangelical party supported the candidate who was a leader in the polls in 2018: Andrés Manuel López Obrador. 


THE EVANGELICAL AND THE CATHOLIC CHURCH. 


Although in our region, where a Hispanic Pope now comes from for the first time, it still has a Catholic predominance: 59%, according to a survey by the Latinobarómetro organization in 18 countries. But that majority has declined significantly since the 80% recorded in 1996, while 19% of Latin Americans define themselves as evangelicals.


In some Central American countries, such as Honduras or Guatemala, the phenomenon is accentuated and evangelicals practically equal or surpass Catholics in percentage. In many parts of the region, the Catholic Church loses power and increases the power of the evangelists. I do not know if the direct political power, but the power of influence in society, as explained to BBC World, Marta Lagos, director of Latinobarómetro. In that sense, there is a tremendous influence of the evangelical church, especially in the poorest people, ” 


ORIGIN AND DESTINY OF THE EVANGELICAL.


Evangelicals in Latin America seem to take advantage of not only the spaces that the Catholic Church loses but also the disenchantment of people with politics and governments. With a strong presence in the popular districts of the region, evangelical churches provide assistance of various kinds, from health care or children to the search for work and offer community services, which attracts a commitment that no party, no NGO, nor any other movement is capable of equaling, “explains Corrales.

Many Protestant evangelical churches, including Pentecostal churches, offer their followers one of the scarce and valuable assets in this world where uncertainty is our daily bread: nothing less than certainties. We are just in a stage of history marked by uncertainty. The great explanatory models of reality no longer exist or are no longer credible in a world where everything solid vanishes in the air. And one of the fields in which volatility manifests most is precisely in the sexual terrain and its wide surroundings. 


We will leave with a question: How will the political systems that are secular by antonomasia, survive before the irreversible political cover of the evangelicals?

Source: ELIO EDGARDO MILLÁN VALDEZ, sel

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