Chile Appeal 2023
Faith under Fire
More than 60 churches have suffered arson attacks over the last seven years, especially in the Araucanía and Biobío regions. The reasons for the violence are complex, and over time, the people have become disillusioned with politicians and public institutions, including the Church.
4 things you need to know about the Christians in Chile:
Official figures claim that two-thirds of the country’s approximately 19 million population are Catholics. However, according to recent surveys, this figure could be much lower at just 45%.
Catholicism was introduced in Chile by the Spanish in the 16th century. The majority of Chileans identify themselves as Catholics, making it the largest Christian denomination in the country. The Catholic Church is one of the main providers of education, healthcare and other charitable works.
Chile is known for its religious freedom and tolerance. While Catholicism remains dominant, other Christian denominations, as well as non-Christian religions, have the freedom to practice and express their faith.
Chile has been visited by several popes over the years, which highlights the importance of Catholicism in the country. Notable papal visits include Pope John Paul II in 1987, Pope Benedict XVI in 2007, and Pope Francis in 2018.
“The flames consumed the building in a matter of minutes, leaving the community… without a place of worship for their activities.”
– ACN’s Magdalena Lira
The church in Chile is going through challenging times, as more than 60 churches have suffered arson attacks in the last seven years.
For this reason, ACN is working with priests, Sisters and laity in the country to offer pastoral support and essential youth training to help them in this crisis.
Thank you message from Bishop González Errázuriz
of San Bernardo in Chile.