“The political expansion of evangelical churches in Latin America”, Carlos Malamud (Elcano, Spain)

The presence of evangelical churches in the political life of various Latin American countries has increased notably in recent years, clearly seen in the outcome of the many elections held in the region. Among the most prominent elections contested in 2018, particularly striking developments in this respect includethe victory of Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil, Fabricio Alvarado’s progress to the second round of voting in Costa Rica and the role played by the Social Encounter Party in Mexico, which has allied itself with Andrés Manuel López Obrador and helped his election as President .

The decline of politics, traditional parties –especially those on the left– and democratic institutions, together with the retreat of the Roman Catholic Church in the greater part of the region, have contributed to this development. Another factor is the emphasis placed on a values-based discourse and support for the family as central strands of the evangelical rhetoric. Thanks to this, and with considerable popular endorsement, they have succeeded in boosting conservative prospects in large parts of Latin America.

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