Robert Brenneman

in Homies and Hermanos

Published in print November 2011 | ISBN: 9780199753840
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199918836 | DOI:

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Does evangelical religion provide a hopeful solution to Central America’s struggle with gang violence? Or, is it merely a distraction from the real work of structural reform and economic justice. After reviewing the findings of prior chapters, the author argues that while religious conversions do offer useful resources for individual gang members seeking to leave the gang and rebuild an identity and a stable lifestyle, evangelical religion will not solve Central America’s problem with gang violence. In fact, some of the ex-gang members interviewed grew up in evangelical households prior to joining the gang. Instead, a multipronged approach is necessary that involves removing or reducing the social sources of shame such as poverty and family-disrupting migration, as well as reducing opportunities for money making through the drug trade by ending the self-defeating war on drugs.

Keywords: Evangelicals; war on drugs; shame; Guatemala; Honduras; El Salvador; gangs; gang violence

Chapter.  4310 words. 

Subjects: Religious Studies

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