ABWE’s first missionaries in Uruguay have nicknamed the collapsed and graffitied structure on the hill “the Skeleton Church.” Overlooking the town of Piriápolis, it serves as a profound visual reminder of a nation in which more than 100 years have passed since religion was removed from the country’s constitution.
With older generations distancing themselves from religion, younger Uruguayans are raised without acknowledging the existence of the creator God—save, perhaps, when the Bible is mentioned during Greek mythology class in school. As a result, Uruguay has the highest percentage of atheists and nonreligious citizens in Latin America. This fact, coupled with Uruguay’s distinction of having the highest suicide rate in Latin America, paints a dark picture of their future.
Sharing the gospel in this context is challenging, and many conversations end abruptly when the person realizes they are talking to a believer. Other people show signs of curiosity, yet end up accepting any and every belief they hear, resulting in a syncretistic worldview mess.
But where there is a witness, there is hope. Our missionary team is developing counseling ministries, youth outreach, and impactful relationships to demonstrate hope through a persevering presence. It will take time and commitment, but we believe the future is bright as we prove the love of Christ in the face of skepticism.