About country profiles

The country profiles are intended to provide some background and context for the descriptions of the churches. These profiles should be read in conjunction with those of the churches in the country.

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Surface area:2800000 km2
Capital:Buenos Aires
GNI per capita:3810 US$
Classification:Developing economy



Christian: 93.00%

Muslim: 2.00%

Jewish: 3.00%


Catholics: 35000000

Protestants: 2897760

Orthodox: 117200

Independent: 2906280

(double affiliation)
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Argentina is a federal state which became independent from Spain in 1816. The population is of European origin. The Indians who lived in the area were almost entirely wiped out by the Spanish conquistadors. After the dark period of military dictatorship from 1976 to 1983, the country has again a democratic system. Human rights violations during the dictatorship era gave birth to a strong human rights movement which was still active through 2005 to overcome impunity. An economic reform and structural adjustment programme, started at the end of the '80s, has brought back high growth but sharply accentuated the gap between rich and poor and has not solved the debt problem. It led to a severe financial, economic and social crisis in 2002, when the poverty rate jumped to 57 percent (it was 8 percent in 1980). Historically Argentina is a Catholic country. Small Protestant churches developed in the 19th century because of German and Scandina- vian immigration and mission work from North America. Migrants from Eastern Europe and the Middle East brought Orthodoxy to Argentina. In the 20th century Pentecostalism began to flourish, and a Charismatic movement emerged in the Catholic Church. Evangelicals, Pentecostals and Charismatics numbered 7.4 percent of the Christian population in 2000. The churches work together in several national bodies: the Federation of Evangelical Churches, the Argentine Alliance of Evangelical Churches which is affiliated with the WEA, the Evangelical Pentecostal Federation and the Ecumenical Commission of Christian Churches (which includes the Catholics and Orthodox).


Last updated: 01/01/06