• Satya R. Pattnayak Villanova University (USA)



Religious competition, institutional capacity, political challenge, education, social welfare, Latin America


With increased competition from the Protestant denominations, the Catholic Church finds itself precariously placed in Latin America in recent years. In light of the steady decline in the number of Catholics and Catholic priests in the region, many have predicted the Church’s gradual irrelevance in politics. But as this study argues, that is not exactly the case. Although the growth in Protestant populations continues unabated in Latin America, the Catholic Church has increased its involvement in educational and social welfare activities. This seems to be a long-terms strategy, and is particularly true in countries where it faces the most intense competition from other religions.


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