Magazine article Anglican Journal

Pluralism a Major Shift in South

Magazine article Anglican Journal

Pluralism a Major Shift in South

Article excerpt

Geneva

(ENI)--Latin America was once considered a Roman Catholic continent but is now characterized by a religious pluralism that can lead to hostile competitiveness, the main governing body of the World Council of Churches has heard.

"An astounding shift is taking place," Rev. Walter Altmann, moderator of the WCC central committee, said in his report presented to the governing body at its August meeting. "There are no signs to indicate that the consistent trend towards religious pluralism may be reversed over the coming years."

Mr. Altmann, president of the Evangelical Church of the Lutheran Confession in Brazil, noted that in his country the percentage of Roman Catholics decreased between 1999 and 2001 to 73.5 per cent from 83 per cent of the population. Pentecostal and neo-Pentecostal movements had correspondingly seen extraordinary growth, said Mr. Altmann, elected moderator of the WCC governing body following its assembly in the southern Brazilian city of Porto Alegre in February.

"At the same time, we observe another process developing more silently but with profound implications. That is the rediscovery of the religious expressions of indigenous communities and especially those with origins in the spirituality of Afro-descendants," said Mr. …

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