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Review of Religious Research

, Volume 57, Issue 2, pp 191–218 | Cite as

The Growth and Development of Non-Catholic Churches in Chile

  • Henri GoorenEmail author
Article

Abstract

Different varieties of Protestantism and Pentecostalism have been very successful in Latin America, where Chile, Brazil, and most Central American countries are now 15–30 % Protestant. This article analyzes the growth and development of the ten major non-Catholic churches in Chile, one of the most Pentecostal countries of Latin America. It describes the history and growth of the following churches in the chronological order of their arrival or start: Anglicans, Methodists, Seventh-day Adventists, Baptists, Iglesia Metodista Pentecostal, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Iglesia Evangélica Pentecostal, Assemblies of God, Church of God, and Latter-day Saints (Mormons). I end with an analysis of average annual growth rates for each church and for the entire Protestant community. Chile was famous for strong Protestant growth in the past, but there are few recent data on church growth. My main question here is: which non-Catholic churches in Chile have been most successful in terms of membership growth and when did this growth occur? The conclusion analyzes why non-Catholic churches in Chile have been successful in the past and why they currently struggle to grow.

Keywords

Protestantism Pentecostalism Mormonism Witnesses Catholics Chile 

Notes

Acknowledgments

Thanks to Cristián Parker and Juan Sepúlveda for their comments on earlier versions of the text and on the original research design. The research was made possible by an individual Pentecostal-Charismatic Research Initiative (PCRI) Grant of the John Templeton Foundation, administered by the Center for Religion and Civic Culture at the University of Southern California. For more details on the PCRI, see their website: http://crcc.usc.edu/initiatives/pcri/.

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Copyright information

© Religious Research Association, Inc. 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Sociology, Anthropology, Social Work, and Criminal JusticeOakland UniversityRochesterUSA

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