Militant Secularism and Religious Repression in Latin America, by Eric Patterson

Founder’s Quote
October 19, 2019
Is the State Church Coming? by Jane Clark Scharl
October 19, 2019

*Image: At the 2014 “March of the Whores” in Ecuador. The sign reads: “I am trans: from man to woman and from woman to whore”. Holding the sign is Diane Rodríguez (born Luis Benedicto), the first transgender person elected to Ecuador’s senate.

By Eric Patterson, The Catholic Thing, October 19, 2019

Eric Patterson

When one thinks of places where public expressions of faith are constrained, the Western Hemisphere does not typically come to mind.  The United States has a religiously feisty population.  Latin America is adorned with the art and architecture of Catholicism.  But, on closer examination, anti-religion trends – and even outright persecution – can be seen in many Latin American cities.

There are at least two main types of religious persecution.  The first is perpetrated by those in power claiming a religious justification for harming others (e.g. Iran).  The second, as in the case of China, is the targeting of individuals or communities for persecution because of their religion.  ISIS, or Islamic State exemplifies the worst of the worst: a cabal that used explicit religious justifications to undergird its authority to enact violence, while targeting persecuted classes based on their religious identity.

Thankfully, most of Latin America is not wracked by conflict and religious persecution in the same way that we see in other parts of the world.  Nonetheless, looking at the religious landscape of Latin America today, there are examples of outright persecution.  This repression is usually at the hands of the old secularists: authoritarians steeped in the anti-faith, secular, materialist dogma of the twentieth century’s hard Left. ….