Monday, November 17, 2008

Hola, Luther

The Economist, Nov 6, 2008, reported on a cultural milestone, Chile making October 31st a holiday.
It marks the date in 1517 when Martin Luther pinned his 95 theses to the door of a church in Wittenberg, Germany, starting the Protestant Reformation.

How Protestant is it?
In the latest census in 2002 in a once staunchly Catholic country, 15% of Chileans said they were “evangelicals” (a synonym in Latin America for Protestants).

This is not limited to Chile.
More than 15% of Brazilians and over 20% of Guatemalans are now evangelicals.

More specifically, most are Pentecostals.
the embrace of Protestantism by Latin America’s socially aspirational poor looks like an inexorable trend.

While the Catholic Church advocates a preferential option for the poor, many prefer the option of becoming not poor.

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