Religion and nonviolent movements: The Catholic Church’s influence on Chilean resistance

Peace & Change, EarlyView.


This study examines the relationship between religion and nonviolent resistance. I assess the influence of the Catholic Church in Chile on the nonviolent opposition to the Pinochet-led military regime by producing a systematic account of the Church’s contribution to twelve factors necessary for successful nonviolent movements. The Church’s role was the most crucial in that it provided organizational strength and resources, delegitimized the opponent’s strategy for consolidating control, and helped formulate objectives for the opposition. The role of the Catholic Church in opposing the Pinochet regime in Chile provides an instructive case study of the influential and determinative role religious institutions can play in the outcomes of nonviolent social movements.

This was originally published on Wiley: Peace & Change: Table of Contents.