Global Christianity Church and state conflicts
Global Christianity

Tensions between certain Latin American governments and those Christians seeking liberation.

At a 1968 conference of bishops held in Medellin, Columbia, Catholic bishops decried poverty and oppression in Latin America and called upon the churches to support the quest for liberation. The bishops encouraged the formation of base communities where people could reflect on the Gospel in their own context and act accordingly. At another conference in Mexico in 1978, against the wishes of Rome, the bishops reaffirmed a commitment to liberation. In El Salvador, Archbishop Oscar Romero was assassinated for speaking against the military. In Brazil and Nicaragua, bishops called for a just, new order. In Guatemala, hundreds of lay catechists were murdered because they were considered enemies of the state. Such persecution corroborated the rise of liberation theology.

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