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Religious Politics in Latin America, Pentecostal vs. Catholic (ND Kellogg Inst Int'l Studies)

Religious Politics in Latin America, Pentecostal vs. Catholic (ND Kellogg Inst Int'l Studies)

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Overview

Brian H. Smith's book surveys recent religious and political developments in Latin American Christianity, especially in the rapidly growing Pentecostal churches and in Catholicism.  He finds that despite efforts by the Vatican to make the Latin American Church less involved in politics (in the wake of liberation theology) by the papal appointment of a whole new generation of conservative bishops since 1980, Catholicism is still very much a political force throughout the region.
 
Catholic bishops, in spite of their conservative religious ideology, have felt obligated to preach the social doctrine of the Church and have vigorously denounced new economic models for enriching a minority of the population at the cost of the majority who are poor. Bishops also have denounced corruption in governments that has grown to epidemic proportions in recent years, and have strongly opposed legislative proposals that are anti-Catholic. Regardless of these efforts by Catholic prelates to maintain government support for the Church's institutions and its traditional moral concerns in law, Protestantism—especially in Pentecostal denominations among low-income sectors—has grown at a significant rate in the past twenty years.

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