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Catholic Social ActivismProgressive Movements in the United States$
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Sharon Erickson Nepstad

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781479885480

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: January 2020

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479885480.001.0001

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Liberation Theology and the Central America Solidarity Movement

Liberation Theology and the Central America Solidarity Movement

Chapter:
(p.95) 4 Liberation Theology and the Central America Solidarity Movement
Source:
Catholic Social Activism
Author(s):

Sharon Erickson Nepstad

Publisher:
NYU Press
DOI:10.18574/nyu/9781479885480.003.0005

This chapter examines the conditions that fostered liberation theology in Latin America. The chapter provides a brief overview of liberation theology’s central themes and how it fueled revolutionary movements in Central America, particularly in Nicaragua, El Salvador, and Guatemala. It surveys the Catholic hierarchy’s responses, ranging from sympathy to condemnation, and highlights several US religious movements that expressed solidarity with Central American Catholics who were fighting for social justice. These organizations included Witness for Peace, which brought US Christians to the war zones of Nicaragua to deter combat attacks, and also Pledge of Resistance, which mobilized tens of thousands into action when US policy toward the region grew more bellicose. Finally, the chapter describes the School of the Americas Watch, which aimed to stop US training of Latin American militaries that were responsible for human rights atrocities.

Keywords:   liberation theology, Central America, solidarity, Witness for Peace, Pledge of Resistance, School of the Americas Watch

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