The impact of COVID-19 on religious regulation in Colombia, Cuba, Mexico, and Nicaragua


  • Dennis P. Petri
  • Teresa Flores



religious regulation, COVID-19, Colombia, Cuba, Mexico, Nicaragua


In Latin America and globally, drastic sanitary measures were taken to combat the coronavirus. In this study, we investigate the consequences of these sanitary measures for religious regulation. We compare the situation before and after the sanitary measures taken in four Latin American countries (Colombia, Cuba, Mex- ico, and Nicaragua). We conclude that the COVID-19 measures mainly restricted the collective dimension of freedom of worship, bringing religious regulation to similar levels as that in some authoritarian regimes. We also found evidence that some governments took advantage of the situation to increase their repression of religious groups.

Author Biographies

Dennis P. Petri

Dr Dennis P. Petri is international director of the International Institute for Religious Freedom; founder and scholar-at-large at the Observatory of Religious Freedom in Latin America; Professor and Head of the Chair of Humanities at the Universidad Latinoamericana de Ciencia y Tecnología and the Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences (UNESCO); and director of the Foundation Platform for Social Trans- formation.

Teresa Flores

Teresa Flores is a Peruvian lawyer, with experience in the research and study of religious freedom in the region, and currently director of the Observatory of Religious Freedom in Latin America.