While the Reformation was taking over Europe, Catholicism was taking over the Americas. To this day, if you were to ask someone in Latin America for their religion, they would almost certainly say Catholic (whether they practiced it or not). Even as Protestantism is on the rise, Catholics have made every effort to maintain their stronghold—if not in religion, at least in politics and culture.
Elaine grew up Catholic, just like everybody else in her family. She was baptized by the family priest, went through first communion and confirmation, and attended Mass frequently. She thought Protestants were a fraud, a cultic copy of original Christianity.
But the headmaster at her school regularly preached the gospel in morning devotions. And the testimonies of those “frauds” sounded significantly more real than her religious experience. She had a harder time squaring the priests’ teaching with the Bible she’d begun to read. Finally, she started visiting a gospel-centered church and gave her life to Christ. The whole time, she was nervous that her family would find out, making sure to hide her baptism from her grandmother.
In God’s kindness, Catholicism has lost much strength in the Dominican Republic, where Elaine lives. Evangelical churches are showing remarkable growth, with many members coming out of nominal and practicing Catholicism to the true gospel of God’s grace. Today, Elaine—and most of her family—attend the same church where she met Christ.
Ways to pray:
- Praise for God’s kindness in rescuing people from dead adherence to man-made rituals for salvation
- For the growth of gospel-preaching churches in the Caribbean and in the Dominican Republic
- For people coming out of Catholicism into the gospel—that they might be faithful witnesses to those around them, that their families might feel loved and understand their decision, and that many might come to Christ
“And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands, for my name’s sake, will receive a hundredfold and will inherit eternal life.” Matthew 19:29
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