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Religious and Social Participation in War-Torn Areas of El Salvador

Ileana Gomez, Carmen Meyers, Manuel A. Vasquez and Philip Williams
Journal of Interamerican Studies and World Affairs
Vol. 41, No. 4, Special Issue: Religion in America: Churches, Globalization, and Democratization (Winter, 1999), pp. v+53-71
DOI: 10.2307/166191
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/166191
Page Count: 20
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Religious and Social Participation in War-Torn Areas of El Salvador
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Abstract

The Salvadoran civil war destroyed local community life throughout the province of Morazan. Despite the peace accords, poverty, unequal land distribution, and a "culture of violence" demand structural and institutional transformations well beyond the individual moral regeneration offered by churches. Religion, however, supplies coping tools, especially for youth, women, and repatriated refugees. By focusing on local issues, furthermore, churches are fostering social participation among hitherto disenfranchised groups, a critical element in building an inclusive, robust democracy.

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