Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home

Evangelicals at the Inter-American Court of Human Rights

  • Rene Urueña (a1)

Extract

Christian Evangelicals are a growing political force in Latin America. Most recently, they have engaged the Inter-American Court of Human Rights to challenge basic LGBTI achievements, such as same-sex marriage and other demands for equal rights. Several commentators thus speak of an imminent showdown between human rights protections and Christian Evangelism in the region, which would mirror similar conflicts elsewhere in the world. This essay challenges this narrative and warns against a top-down “secular fundamentalism,” which may alienate a significant part of the region's population and create deep resentment against the Court. As it turns forty, the Court faces a “spiritual” crisis: conservative religious movements have become one of its key interlocutors, with demands and expectations that compete with (but could also complement) those of other regional social movements. Difficult as it may be, the Court needs to be bold in creating argumentative spaces that allow for the Evangelical experience to exist in the public sphere in Latin America, in a context of respect for human rights in general, and for LGBTI rights in particular.

  • View HTML
    • Send article to Kindle

      To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

      Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

      Evangelicals at the Inter-American Court of Human Rights
      Available formats
      ×

      Send article to Dropbox

      To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      Evangelicals at the Inter-American Court of Human Rights
      Available formats
      ×

      Send article to Google Drive

      To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      Evangelicals at the Inter-American Court of Human Rights
      Available formats
      ×

Copyright

This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

References

Hide All

2 A note on definitions: It is possible to distinguish between three different strands of Protestantism in Latin America. The first is “historical” Protestantism, which is based on missions from traditional denominations in the United States and Europe, such as Baptism. The second is “established” Protestantism: Evangelical and Pentecostal churches established by missionary groups mostly from the United States, such as the Church of the Nazarene. Finally, the third strand is “independent” Protestantism, featuring homegrown organizations that emerged from the splintering of an “established” church or the entrepreneurial drive of local spiritual leaders. This last group has hundreds of thousands of churches. The label Evangélicos therefore includes groups that are indeed Evangelical in their theology, along with most other “established” and “independent” churches in the region, while excluding all of “historical” Protestantism.

3 Pew Research Center, supra note 1, at 24.

4 Id.

5 Id. at 17. For Pew, “religious commitment” refers to those who pray daily, attend a weekly religious meeting, and consider religion to be very important in their life.

7 Jean Pierre Bastian, The Metamorphosis of Latin America Protestant Groups: A Sociohistorical Perspective, 28 Latin Am. Res. Rev. 33 (1993).

9 See Gabriela Patricia Robledo Hernández & Jorge Luis Cruz Burguete, Religión y Dinámica Familiar en Los Altos de Chiapas. La Constructión de Nuevas Identidades de Género, 23 Soc. Stud. 515 (2005).

10 See Urueña, supra note 6, at 184–92.

11 The more Evangélicos a country in Latin America has, the lower its score in LGBTI rights. See Javier Corrales, LGBT Rights and Representation in Latin America and the Caribbean: The influence of Structure, Movements, Institutions, and Culture (2015).

12 While abortion was also important, it will not be explored here.

14 Id. at 87.

15 Artavia Murillo and Others v. Costa Rica (“In Vitro Fertilization”), Preliminary Objections, Merits, Reparations and Costs, Judgment, Inter-Am. Ct. H.R. (ser. C) No. 257 (Nov. 28, 2012).

16 Sala Constitucional de la Corte Suprema de Costa Rica, Sentencia No. 2016-01692 de las 11:21 hrs. de 3 de febrero de 2016.

18 Manuel Avendaño Arce, Magistrado Luis Fernando Salazar: Es Momento de que la Sala IV se Haga a un Lado, La Nación (Jan. 3, 2016).

19 See Patricia Recio, Mario Redondo: la Resolución de la CIDH es una Atrocidad, La Nación (Jan. 3, 2016); Aaron Sequeira, PUSC se Mete de Lleno en Lucha Contra Decreto de Luis Guillermo Solís Sobre la FIV, La Nación (Sept. 22, 2015).

20 Elisabeth Malkin, In Costa Rica Election, Gay-Marriage Foe Takes First Round, N.Y. Times (Feb. 5, 2018).

21 Kirk Semple, Costa Rica Election Hands Presidency to Governing Party Stalwart, N.Y. Times (Apr. 1, 2018).

22 See Urueña, supra note 6, at 192-200.

23 Christopher McCrudden, Transnational Culture Wars, 13 Int'l J. Const. L. 434 (2015).

24 Alliance Defending Freedom, 2014 IRS Form 990, Nov. 7, 2014.

25 Id.

26 Alliance Defending Freedom, Atala v. Chile (Feb. 19, 2011).

28 Alliance Defending Freedom, Alberto Duque v. Colombia (Feb. 26, 2016).

29 Alliance Defending Freedom, Inter-American Court Must Respect National Sovereignty (May 3, 2017).

30 See Urueña, supra note 6, at 200-03.

31 See Malcolm D. Evans, Freedom of Religion and the European Convention on Human Rights: Approaches, Trends, and Tensions, in Law and Religion in Theoretical and Historical Context 291, 305, 312 (Peter Cane et al. eds., 2008).

32 See Pamela Slotte, The Religious and the Secular in European Human Rights Discourse, 10 Fin. Y.B. Int'l L. 54 (2010).

33 See generally John Rawls, A Theory of Justice 190–94 (1999).

35 Slotte, supra note 32.

36 Joseph Weiler has suggested that religious expression is spiritual expression, but it is also political expression, and both dimensions intertwine constantly. See Joseph H.H. Weiler, Editorial Lautsi: Crucifix in the Classroom Redux, 21 Eur. J. Int'l L. 1 (2010). For the intervention, see mkobplease, Crucifix in the Classroom – Joseph Weiler Before the European Court of Human Rights, Youtube (Oct. 9, 2011).

37 Bámaca Velásquez v. Guatemala, Inter-Am. Ct. H.R. (ser. C) No. 70 (Nov. 25, 2000).

38 Mayagna (Sumo) Awas Tingni Community v. Nicaragua, Inter-Am. Ct. H.R. (ser. C) No. 79 ¶141 (Aug. 31, 2001).

Evangelicals at the Inter-American Court of Human Rights

  • Rene Urueña (a1)

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed