Politics and Religion (2019-02-01)

PRAISE OF THE CONVERT: BELIEVE AND BELONG FROM THE CATHOLICITY OF LATIN AMERICA

  • Felipe Gaytán Alcalá

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 12, no. 2

Abstract

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Latin America was considered for many years the main bastion of Catholicism in the world by the number of parishioners and the influence of the church in the social and political life of the región, but in recent times there has been a decrease in the catholicity index. This paper explores three variables that have modified the identity of Catholicism in Latin American countries. The first one refers to the conversion processes that have expanded the presence of Christian denominations, by analyzing the reasons that revolve around the sense of belonging that these communities offer and that prop up their expansion and growth. The second variable accounts for those Catholics who still belong to the Catholic Church but who in their practices and beliefs have incorporated other magical or esoteric scheme in the form of religious syncretisms, modifying their sense of being Catholics in the world. The third factor has a political reference and has to do with the concept of laicism, a concept that sets its objective, not only in the separation of the State from the Church, but for historical reasons in catholicity restraint in the public space which has led to the confinement of the Catholic to the private, leaving other religious groups to occupy that space.

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