According to a 2014 Pew survey, 20 percent of Catholics identify as charismatic, the second lowest proportion in Latin America. Only two percent of Catholics report high levels of experience with the gifts of the Holy Spirit — divine healing, exorcism, speaking in tongues, receiving revelation or giving or interpreting prophecy1 — so it is difficult to ascertain from that data of how deeply ingrained charismatic practice is in Argentinian Catholic life. It is worth noting that whatever that affiliation means, it is claimed by more than five million Argentinians. While the proportion of charismatics is low compared to the rest of Latin America (only neighbors Chile and Uruguay rank lower), it is still a significant movement.
In his study of charismatic Catholicism in Latin America, Edward Cleary claims that charismatic Catholicism is “the largest and most active Catholic movement in the country.”2 Yet Cleary also admits that movement remains largely unstudied from the perspective of what it means to its own participants.
- 1. “Religion in Latin America: widespread change in a historically Catholic region,” Pew Research Center, Nov. 13, 2014, 64-66. http://www.pewforum.org/files/2014/11/Religion-in-Latin-America-11-12-PM-full-PDF.pdf.
- 2. Edward Cleary, The Rise of Charismatic Catholicism in Latin America, (Gainesville, University Press of Florida, 2011) 177.
Updated: May 4, 2016 - 9:44am