Catholic Church losing ground in Latin America

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(RNS7-july27) Pope Francis in his popemobile on the way to Copacabana Beach for the re-enactment of the Way of the Cross. For use with RNS-POPE-BRAZIL, transmitted on July 27, 2013, RNS photo by Robson Coehlo.

(RNS7-july27) Pope Francis in his popemobile on the way to Copacabana Beach for the re-enactment of the Way of the Cross. For use with RNS-POPE-BRAZIL, transmitted on July 27, 2013, RNS photo by Robson Coehlo.

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MIAMI (RNS) People gave a wide variety of reasons for abandoning the Catholic Church. The most common answer was people saying they wanted a more personal connection with God.

  • Karla

    One of the reasons people leave is because bad mouthing religion backfired
    and people are now spiritual instead of being Biblical. It doesn’t matter how
    “spiritual” people are if they aren’t Biblical they are still lost/headed for hell.
    If you say that you love Jesus and then you don’t follow the Bible/religion no
    Truth is in you! The church needs to preach the Truth and against sin so
    people will get convicted of their sin then they see that they need to Repent!

    Ephesians 5:18 says don’t get drunk and 1 Corinthians 6:10 says that all
    drunkards go to hell yet many still get drunk like it’s no big deal. The wine
    that Jesus made was new wine/diluted/made for symbolic reasons not to
    get drunk and Bible says don’t get drunk with strong wine it’s debauchery
    so people who still get drunk with strong wine are also wrong/go to hell.
    Bible says Repent and believe the Gospel to be saved. We must Repent!

  • samuel Johnston

    You would be nowhere without FEAR! Fear of hell, fear of transgression, fear of the power of the devil. What you need is a couple drams of single malt Scotch.
    Courage my girl, or Dutch courage as they say.

  • Larry

    Having direct links between the Catholic Church to past oppressive governments and atrocious colonial history doesn’t help much either. [There is still the rumor floating around that the current pope made some

    Also it has become easier for people to admit their belief in indigenous or Afro-Carribean faiths in such places due to the general decline of autocratic power in the region which usually suppressed such belief.

  • Karla

    samuel Johnston-God/Jesus are real and you are loved by Christ. God bless.

  • samuel Johnston

    A decade ago I visited Peru. There were Churches everywhere, but also much indication of decline in Church influence. Our tour guide in Lima took us through their largest Cathedral and casually mentioned that the large old abandoned building next door was where the Jesuits “had been”. In Cusco, the Cathedral built by the Spanish over the Inca “center of the earth” was half destroyed by an earthquake and not restored, because the Inca temple ruins uncovered by the removal of the Church were considered such an important archeological site. In Mexico, the native Indians do traditional dances on the recently restored Aztec Plaza, next to yet another huge Cathedral. The Church is apparently unable to quell the rise of native feelings including native religions.
    The mood was nicely summed up a while back when the President of Peru was criticized by a Catholic bishop. ” I run country six days a week” was his impertinent response.

  • Chad

    There are likely many reasons for this trend but as a former Catholic I can attest to reason #1 – a more personal connection with God. The Catholic Church, and for that matter the Orthodox Church, has become too institutionalized. This is almost inevitable in such an old organization but they somehow need to turn that trend around. There are actually those in the both groups who are working toward change to rediscover the gospel, learn how to simply articulate it, and engage in a more decentralized discipleship. May God give them success for his glory.

  • flyingdetrius

    Karla, your god is as real as Thor, or Mithra, or Branwynn or Zeus. I could go on and on. The specifics of the christ myth were stolen from stories of other gods going back 2000 years BCE. Neither of us believe in the thousands of gods that have been promulgated, I just go you one better.

  • Joscha

    The somewhat popular memes being shared on the internets asserting that most of early Christianity is stolen from much more ancient pagan sources is pretty much hogwash. Criticize Christianity from the facts and the truth available in sound scholarship, not cool memes that people have on their tumblr.

  • Karla

    Joshca-Well said! The devil is very smart/real and has been lying
    since the Garden of Eden/using people to spread lies just like after
    Jesus rose from the dead to prove He was/is the Messiah/fulfilling
    Bible prophecy then Roman soldiers lied/said His body was stolen.
    Jesus is alive/well/the Messiah/part of the Trinity/only way to heaven!

  • samuel Johnston

    Hi Joscha,
    If you want sound scholarship, it doesn’t get much more expert than Alfred Loisy (1857-1940). He was very much an insider, as professor of the Sacred Scripture at the Institute Catholique (1889), and the College de France (1909). “The Birth of the Christian Religion” (1933) details the origins of Christianity, and how it varies from official doctrine. If you want to know how his work was received by the Church that educated him and appointed him to teach the Clergy, read “My Duel with the Vatican’ (1924). These works, as well as his “The Origins of the New Testament” are available in English. I studied them in college.

  • Karla

    flyingdetrius-Read Romans 1:18-32. God/Jesus are very,very real!
    Only one God went to the Cross because….there is only one God!
    If there were other ways/gods why would Jesus go to the Cross and
    do what He did? People who say all gods/roads are the same don’t
    make sense cause each belief system teaches something different.
    The devil wants to fool you/people with the lies he spreads/tells to
    people to get them to think there is no God or all gods are the same.

    A former atheist Lee Strobel wrote a book called the Case for Christ.
    You should also read Jesus among other gods by Ravi Zacharias.

  • samuel Johnston

    Hi Chad,
    I suggest two more reasons. Democracy and Modernism. When the Church demands obedience today, people feel they are entitled to an explanation more satisfying than “we are the representatives of God, so obey us or go to hell” (and by the way God loves you!)

  • Michael Glass

    I would suggest a more mundane reason for the change in religious belief in Latin America: US influence. It is from the US that most of the Protestant missionaries have come. If it from the US that many liberation movements have spread to Latin America.

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  • Ben in oakland

    Glad to meet a fellow lover of obscure mythology. Branwynn (or Bronwen? Really? Now that is obscure.

    Perhaps you know Koschei the deathless, Who Made Things as They Are?

  • Ben in oakland

    God in Commandment #1:

    Thou shalt have no OTHER GODS before me.

    We have the direct testimony of your god that there are other gods.

  • Larry

    “The somewhat popular memes being shared on the internets asserting that most of early Christianity is stolen from much more ancient pagan sources is pretty much hogwash. ”

    Only if one takes Christian apologia as sources. It certainly shares more similarities to Germanic, Middle Eastern and Latin pagan cultures than it does Jewish monotheism. Especially in modes of worship, holiday celebrations, customs practiced. Jesus Christ has more in common with John Barleycorn than Abraham and Moses.

    Its also telling that indigenous faiths in Africa and the Caribbean were able to develop a level of syncreatism with Christianity.

  • Karla

    Ben in Oakland-They are false gods that man made/through the
    deception of the devil in the Garden of Eden. God knew that we
    would all sin/rebel/create/make false gods/idols to suit ourselves is
    what that is in reference about. Only one God went to the Cross and
    died for all of our sins and that’s because there is only one God!
    There is only one God and that is the God of the Bible. God bless.

  • South America is full of intelligent, incredibly capable people who have caught the same information the rest of us are finding out; God is nonsense.
    Atheism is the future because young people have computers and cell phones, Facebook and total access to the world wide web.

    Anyone who asks Google about the existence of gods will discover

    It will turn anyone into an Atheist in about 10 minutes.

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