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The Reformation of Machismo: Evangelical Conversion and Gender in Colombia Hardcover – April, 1995
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"This book is nuanced in many ways. For example, all Latin American countries share a history of Roman Catholic domination and ties between the Church and government; many have experienced civil war or other forms of violence, and most have also undergone a significant rural-urban shift. Brusco describes in detail how these historic commonalities play out uniquely in Colombia. The section on persecution of Protestants during La violencia is particularly poignant. " - Pneuma --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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Evangelical influence in Colombia dates back to a visit by James Thomson of the British and Foreign Bible Society in 1824. However, the first evangelical missionaries to Colombia were H.B. Pratt and his wife, Presbyterians who arrived in Bogota on June 20, 1856. Unfortunately, the powerful Catholic clergy in Colombia was clearly disturbed by the presence of the missionaries and shortly thereafter the first small congreation in Colombia was subjected to stonings.
Evangelical lore has it that the archbishop of Bogota published a tract condemning the Protestans as "heretics and Masons," according to the author. Moreover, the Catholic Church resented the widespread distribution of Bibles and the archbishop decided to hold a public burning of Protestant Bibles in the Plaza de Bolivar. However, that was not able to stop the subsequent arrival of the Evangelical Missionary Union in 1908, the Evangelical Alliance in 1918, the Christian and Missionary Alliance in 1923 and the Cumberland Presbyterian Church in 1925.
Brusco explains how the pace of foreign missionary activity accelerated between 1930 and 1946 but that the growth was brought to a halt by the civil war called "La Violencia" that lasted from 1946-1966. The author also carefully explains the meaning of "evangelical" in Colombia and the underlying factors as to why the people reject Catholicism. Additionally, Brusco asserts that because of the powerful grip of the Catholic Church, "in many respects evanelical religion in Colombia was and is an opposition movement."
The text documents how the evanelical churches are less hierarchical than the Catholic and that there are few religious trappings or idolatry of saints. Another important feature is the strong role of women and the widespred practice of not smoking, drinking or cheating on marriages. This all adds up as a better quality of life for many Colombians who convert. In many ways the movement has eliminated many of the "inherited hatreds" of Colombia's traditional two-party system.
As the only Amazon reviewer who has dedicated an extended focus to books about Colombia I would have to say that this book expertly explains the dramatic growth of evangelical conversion in Colombia. It also objectively and comprehensively details the historical failure of the Catholic Church in Colombia.