Pew just released an interesting report on religion in Latin America: Religion in Latin America | Pew Research Center’s Religion & Public Life Project. Given our recent discussion on the decline of religion in western societies, I found this report interesting. Religion and belief in God remains very strong in Latin America, except in one country, Uruguay.
Given my preference for the theory that religion is strong where life is insecure, uncertain, and hard, and that religion is weak where life is secure and comfortable, I wondered if Uruguay might be an exception to that rule. So I check Uruguay’s wikipedia entry:
Uruguay is ranked first in Latin America in democracy, peace, lack of corruption, quality of living, e-Government,and equally first in South America when it comes to press freedom, size of the middle class, prosperity and security.On a per capita basis, Uruguay contributes more troops to United Nations peacekeeping missions than any other country. It ranks second in the region on economic freedom, income equality, per capita income and inflows of FDI.Uruguay is the third best country on the continent in terms of HDI, GDP growth, innovation and infrastructure. It’s regarded as a high income country (top group) by the UN, the only one in Latin America alongside Chile. Uruguay is also the 3rd best ranked in the world in e-Participation. Uruguay is an important global exporter of combed wool, rice,soybeans, frozen beef, malt and milk.
I’d have to say that my favorite theory remains comfortably intact. I had no idea that Uruguay was such an advanced country. Yeah, I know, clueless American.