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Being the People of God in Times of Pandemic: Solidarity in the Streets of Santiago De Chile


Abstract for Online Program Book (maximum 1200 characters including spaces)

Since the Coronavirus pandemic began, religious communities have dramatically shifted the way they function. Instead of paralyzing their activities, they have found creative forms to engage in worship, education, and social outreach. The pandemic has forced the Churches to deal with life and death issues, and participate in solidarity efforts within the larger communities in which they are inserted. This paper will explore how catholic communities in Santiago's metropolitan area have adapted their practices to reach out to the broader community and continue their job as religious actors through efforts of solidarity that take care of the bodies of their neighbors. I will explore this topic, considering three central questions. (1) What made religious actors leave their homes' security to engage in actions of solidarity? (2) How were the networks of solidarity organized, and what was the Church's role within them? (3) How a renewed face of the Church and its mission is being born amid the double crisis of the estallido social and the pandemic? The concluding remarks will deal with how the experiences described in this paper signal paths forward for a Church in crisis.