Vatican observer explains why evangelicals continue to flourish in Latin America

Vatican observer explains why evangelicals continue to flourish in Latin America


In his weekly column for this Tuesday, June 29, Vatican observer Sandro Magister of the online weekly “L’Espresso,” analyzes the new evangelical-fundamentalist tendencies and warns of the growing impact they may have on the future of Latin America.

Magister bases his analysis not only on recent events but also on the book, “The Next Christendom. The Coming of Global Christianity,” published in 2002 by Professor Philip Jenkins, an Episcopalian religious historian and professor at Pennsylvania State University.  Magíster says the book is “widely read by the leaders of the Catholic Church, both inside the Vatican and beyond: it represents for the global politics of the Church what ‘The Clash of Civilizations’ by Samuel P. Huntington was for geopolitics.”

Magister says that Jenkins offers statistics that demonstrate the surprising growth of the so-called “independent churches,” Evangelical in nature, numbering 1/5 of all Christians in the world.  He points out that while the emergence of apostolic movements in the Philippines will make it the largest Catholic nation in the world, Brazil is on the opposite end of the spectrum, with more than half of Latin America’s 50 million Evangelicals, and where the Catholic Church, as opposed to the Church in the Philippines, has not followed the same path.

Magister says the idea “that it is the Protestant establishment in the United States that is fomenting and financing these sects, in the interest of political domination” is not without basis, and he points out that in his book, Jenkins reveals factors that would seem to support it.

But far more convincing, he says, is the lack of leadership on the part of the Church.

The complete analysis can be found at: