Bolivia's recent history has been scarred by political and economic instability with frequent coups and high inflation; widespread poverty especially among indigenous peoples and despite rich mineral and gas resources; and the production and trafficking of narcotic drugs.
Outside the cities, many people live at subsistence agriculture level. Services such as health and education are under-developed or even non-existent, especially in the more isolated indigenous communities where life can be very basic and hard.
Christians in Bolivia
Religious traditions in Bolivia can be traced back to Spanish rule and indigenous civilizations before that. For many Bolivians, the Roman Catholic Church remains a dominant presence in their lives, but many mix animist or pagan faith rituals with Roman Catholic teaching.
As in much of Latin America, the Roman Catholic Church has at times played a significant and positive role in liberation and the development of the rights of the individual.
In the last decades, evangelistic efforts in Bolivia have met with significant responsiveness and growth in numbers of believers. For years, much of this work occurred among lowland indigenous peoples.
Many Aymara (descendents from pre-Inca civilizations) people have come to know Christ. Recent efforts to reach out to traditionally resistant Quechua communities, notably in highland Bolivia, have also borne fruit in recent years. Increasing numbers of trained Quechua Christian leaders have become equipped to address both the spiritual and pressing practical needs of their communities.