In the name of God and Christianity: mapping parties’ and candidates’ religious communication in Latin America

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Politics and religion are usually considered to be strongly interlinked in Latin America. Despite the fact that discourses about religion, Christianity, and God are assumed to play an important role in political competition, we are still confronted with a gap of systematic comparative large N analyses. This work attempts to map the religious discourses of 87 parties and presidential candidates in 15 Latin American countries based on quantitative content analyses of 14,379 posts on Facebook. We found that religious references serve to emphasise one’s own closeness to God and Christianity, to promote traditional morality, and to portray competitors as immoral and corrupt. Religious discourses mainly occur in Central America and Brazil, where evangelical groups are on the rise and where societies are particularly religious. The evangelical rise may therefore have a substantial impact on society and political campaigning. Religious discourses in society without relevant evangelical groups can be explained by strongly conservative parties and an extremely religious population.

Original languageEnglish
JournalReligion, State and Society
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)131-152
Number of pages22
Publication statusPublished - 06.2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

    Research areas

  • content analysis, gender, Latin America, political parties, Religion
  • Politics