Reclaiming the Keys to the Kingdom: Evangelicals, Legal Activisms, and Human Rights in Latin America

Christian Evangelicals are a growing political and social force in Latin America. Most recently, conservative Evangelical movements used strategic litigation and lobbying before international human rights institutions to undermine 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 paper questions this narrative, by exploring the origins and evolution of Evangelicals in Latin America, and their approach to key human rights issue of their time in three different moments and places: Chile in the 1970’s, Colombia in the 1990’s, and Costa Rica in the 2000’s.