Friday, December 14   Sign in or Register
Evangelical Focus
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Google +
  • Instagram
  • Soundcloud

Newsletter, sign up to receive all our News by email.

Do the media in your country usually portray evangelical Christians accurately?



Faith and politics

Different parties in the “evangelical bench” of the Uruguayan Parliament

Baptist Gerardo Amarilla is new president of the Uruguayan Parliament. There are 13 evangelicals engaged in national politics in Uruguay, the most secularised country of Latin America.

SOURCES Protestante Digital, Pew Research AUTHOR Evangelical Focus MONTEVIDEO 01 MARCH 2016 16:51 h GMT+1
Gerardo Amarilla, uruguay, parliament, evangelical The new president of the Uruguayan parliament, Gerardo Amarilla.

Gerardo Amarilla, deputy of the National Party of Uruguay, is the new president of the Uruguayan Parliament, substituting the former president, Alejandro Sánchez.

Amarilla is the first evangelical Christian legislator who has such a high position in the history of Uruguay.

The priorities in his agenda as president are environmental problems, family aids and fighting against poverty. Other priorities are bringing full transparency of the political activities and promoting social media, which “are mass media too”, Amarilla states.



The new president is not the only evangelical Christian in the Parliament, there is a so-called “evangelical bench” formed by different parties.

Álvaro Dastugue is a pastor and a deputy for the National party, representing Montevideo. The former major of Durazno, Benjamín Irrazábal, and the alternate deputy from the Colorado (Red) party representing Canelones, Luis Pintado, are also evangelicals.

Counting all the alternate deputies, councillors and civil servants working in public administrations throughout the country, there are 13 evangelicals officially engaged in politics.


The Uruguayan Parliament.



“At the beginning, they looked askance at me, but I did not see it as discrimination”, the president recalls.

Amarilla, who belongs to the political movement “Todos” (Everyone), believes that in Uruguay “talking about your religious beliefs is a taboo.”

“We have to honestly say what we believe, if we have a religious vision, it gives us a different vision of the world. Wheter it may be that we believe in God or in other things, our vision of the others will be different”, he affirms.



The new president was born in 1969, and first visited a Baptist church when he was 9. He grew up in this local Christian community in Montevideo, and began his politics career when he moved to the city of Rivera. At that time, there were not evangelicals in the Parliament.

Meanwhile, other politicians with a Baptist background became presidents of United States, like Democrats Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton.


Separation between church and state. / Pew Research



A 2014 survey reveals that Uruguay is the most secularised country of Latin America, with 38% of atheists, 41% Roman Catholics and 8% of Evangelicals.


Religious leaders in politics. / Pew Research

The Pew Research Center made a study in 2013 about Religion in Latin America, which showed that more Latin Americans said church and state should be “kept separate” than said the government “should promote religious values and beliefs.”

Opinions were closely divided on the role religious leaders should play in politics.

In five of the countries polled – Panama, Paraguay, Venezuela, Brazil and Argentina – the majority argued that religious leaders should have either “some influence” or a “large influence” in politics. But in nine other countries, the preponderance of public opinion leans in the opposite direction.




    If you want to comment, or


YOUR ARE AT: - - Different parties in the “evangelical bench” of the Uruguayan Parliament
Nominal Christianity, a mission field for the church Nominal Christianity, a mission field for the church

An interview with Lars Dahle, of the Steering Committee of the Lausanne Movement Global Consultation on Nominal Christianity held in Rome.

Ruth Valerio: A lifestyle that cares about creation Ruth Valerio: A lifestyle that cares about creation

Are Christians called to make a difference in environmental care? What has creation care to do with "loving our neighbours"? An interview with the Global Advocacy and Influencing Director of Tearfund.

Kathy Bryan: Online sex trafficking in the USA Kathy Bryan: Online sex trafficking in the USA

“Prostitution is nobody’s dream,  it’s a very traumatic lifestyle”, says Kathy Bryan, director of the Elevate Academy. She mentors former victims.

Bulgaria: Evangelicals ask government to protect religious minorities Bulgaria: Evangelicals ask government to protect religious minorities

Christians rallied in Sofia on November 18 to defend their rights. It is the second Sunday of peaceful demonstrations against a new religion draft law that could severely restrict religious freedom and rights of minority faith confessions.

Photos: #WalkForFreedom Photos: #WalkForFreedom

Abolitionists marched through 400 cities in 51 countries. Pictures from Valencia (Spain), October 20.

Photos: Reaching people with disabilities Photos: Reaching people with disabilities

Seminars, an arts exhibition, discussion and testimonies. The European Disability Network met in Tallinn.

Photos: Hope for Europe Photos: Hope for Europe

Unity in Diversity is the theme of the conference. Representatives of Evangelical Alliances and many other church leaders gathered in Tallinn (Estonia).

What are the benefits of the whole family being on mission? What are the benefits of the whole family being on mission?

“We’re not taking energy from my ministry when we care for our family in missional kind of ways”, says President of Josiah Venture Dave Patty.

“We need prayers for Bulgaria” “We need prayers for Bulgaria”

An interview with Pastor Vlady Raichinov, Vice President of the Bulgarian Evangelical Alliance.

The Manzanas case The Manzanas case

A short documentary about how retired pastors and widows of an evangelical denomination in Spain fight a legal battle for their pensions after the favourable ruling of the European Court of Human Rights.

‘Mediterráneo’ ‘Mediterráneo’

“Something will change if you have hunger and thirst for justice”, sings Spanish artist Eva Betoret in a song about the refugee crisis.

Follow us on Soundcloud
Follow us on YouTube

EVANGELICAL FOCUS belongs to Areópago Protestante, linked to the Spanish Evangelical Alliance (AEE). AEE is member of the European
Evangelical Alliance and World Evangelical Alliance.

Opinions expressed are those of their respective contributors and do not necessarily represent the views of Evangelical Focus.