Uruguay — a land of rolling hills and lush pastureland, where cattle and sheep outnumber people and old fashioned gauchos roam the countryside. An avocado-shaped country sandwiched between South American giants, Argentina and Brazil, Uruguay is home to close to 3.4 million souls.
During the 16th and 17th centuries, the country that is now called Uruguay was a battle ground between its Spanish and Portuguese neighbours. The conquistadors, desirous of Uruguay’s fertile interior and strategic naval location, constantly fought over the land. Like many other nations in Latin America, it was during this colonial struggle that masses of Roman Catholic Jesuits came in to proselytize the settlers. The Italian and Spanish immigrants of Uruguay strongly revolted against the rule of both their neighbours and the Catholics. In 1828, under the direction of General José Artigas, Uruguay obtained its independence as a nation. Under its new government, Uruguay established the legal separation of church and state in the year 1861.
Modern Uruguay is now proudly the most secular nation in the western hemisphere. A whole 44% of the population claim no religion at all and while 46% would claim Roman Catholicism as their religion, most are non-practicing. Pentecostalism, various cults and idol worship are quickly filling the spiritual void.
With the lack of Biblical teaching and little hope for the future, Uruguay has become known as having the most liberal abortion and same sex marriage laws in Latin America. It also became the first country in the world to fully legalize marijuana. With the lack of hope, Uruguay has the highest suicide rate per capita on the continent.
Regularly called an “atheist island,” Uruguay desperately needs the saving gospel of Jesus Christ. Please consider partnering with us to reach Uruguayans with the gospel.
Photos of Uruguay
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