Webinar Episode 6: Central and South America Perspectives

The episode takes a regional focus on religion and the pandemic in Latin America. 

Webinar Summary

Ana Maria Celis Brunet, speaking from Chile, opens the discussion with reflections on freedom of religion in Central and South America prior to the crisis. She goes on to highlight the crucial need for Latin American government leaders to build greater trust and cooperation with religious leaders in navigating the post-pandemic future. She is followed by Juan Navarro who centers his comments on the international human rights implications of COVID-19 in Latin America. He gives voices to specific examples of restrictions on religious freedom occurring in Argentina and points to actions that religious and governmental organizations can take to improve the situation. Next, Rodrigo Vitorino Souza Alves describes the circumstances of religion created by COVID-19 in Brazil. He outlines the ways in which Brazil has needed to take various approaches in lower levels of government and encourages accommodation of religious to seek for flexible options that enable worship while also respecting health directives. Panelists then engage with one another’s comments and questions from webinar participants. These questions touch on balancing public health laws and religious freedom, the proper role of religious services in the crisis, and dialogue among the state and religious actors within the state.


  • Prof. Ana Maria Celis, Profesor Asociado, Miembro del Claustro Académico, Departamento de Derecho Canónico, Directora Centro UC Derecho y Religión
  • Dr. Juan G. Navarro Floria, Profesor Titular Ordinario, Pontificia Universidad Católica Argentina
  • Prof. Rodrigo Vitorino Souza Alves, Líder Pesquisador, Centro Brasileiro de Estudos em Direito e Religião (CEDIRE), Professor, Faculdade de Direito da Universidade


  • Prof. David Moore, International Center for Law and Religion Studies at Brigham Young University Law School