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The Rise of Charismatic Catholicism in Latin America$
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Edward L. Cleary

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780813036083

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813036083.001.0001

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Guatemala: Evangelization and Mission

Guatemala: Evangelization and Mission

(p.241) 10 Guatemala: Evangelization and Mission
The Rise of Charismatic Catholicism in Latin America

Edward L. Cleary

University Press of Florida

The Guatemalan Catholic Church was the prototype of a fading religious institution in the mid-twentieth century. It had few Guatemalan priests, had lost relatively more members to Pentecostals than any other national church in Latin America, was losing its influence among the majority of the indigenous population, and was soon to be assailed by internal war. Only a large influx of foreign missionaries and vigorous recruiting to lay revitalization movements pushed it back from further collapse. According to this chapter, various challenges, especially the intense competition with evangelical Protestants, were posed to the Catholic Church in its role as reinforcing Catholic identity. From the point of view of the individual in Guatemalan society, the quest for identity was important and difficult in the turbulent times of civil war and changing cultural mores.

Keywords:   Guatemalan Catholic Church, Pentecostals, Latin America, foreign missionaries, civil war

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