ABSTRACT

The second assembly of the Latin American Council of Bishops (CELAM II) in Medellin had widespread implications for religion and politics in Latin America and in the late twentieth century. This meeting occurred in 1968 almost halfway between two popular revolutions, one in Cuba (1959) and the other in Nicaragua (1979). The role of Christianity in these revolutions could not have been more different. The Cuban Revolution adopted a Marxist ideology that viewed Christianity as a pawn of American foreign policy and suspected Christians as counterrevolutionaries. After Medellin, however, Christians actively supported and participated in the Nicaraguan Revolution. This article offers an overview of the role of Christianity in these two popular revolutions with similarities and differences, and concludes with the impact of CELAM II, liberation theology, and the Base Christian Community movement upon the Nicaraguan Revolution.

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