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From Client To Rival

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Chapter Summary

Two distinct stories emerge from the survey of Evangelical-Sandinista relations. The first concerns a pro-revolutionary Protestant minority closely associated with the Sandinista government, which in effect replicated the old state-client model typifying early Liberal-Protestant relations. The second story emerging is not only one of a majority Protestant Evangelical bloc that rejected sandinismo, but more significantly, that it also drew on the very same socio-economic constituency the Frente claimed to champion. Thus, within the barrios revolution and revivalism battled to woo the poor, each offering a completely different vision and solution to their problems. The twentieth century began in Nicaragua with Protestants being introduced as a rival societal actor to Catholicism, marking the rise of patron-client relationship. It continued with CEPAD’s support for the revolution. Meanwhile, majority Protestantism moved firmly away from the client model to one of state rival. When the Sandinistas came to power, Evangelicalism represented a small constituency.

Keywords: Catholicism; client model; early Liberal-Protestant relations; Evangelical-Sandinista relations; Nicaragua; pro-revolutionary Protestant minority; sandinismo; state rival



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