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Argentina. CIA World Factbook map, 2005

The Argentine Republic is a Spanish-speaking republic on the Atlantic side of the Andes in the southern part of South America and is bordered by Chile to the west and south, Bolivia and Paraguay to the north, and Brazil and Uruguay to the northeast. With an area of 2,766,890 km2 (1,068,302 sq. mi.) and an estimated population in 2012 of 41,281,631, it is, next to Brazil, the second-largest country in South America.

Argentina was sparsely population by several indigenous peoples groups. The Spanish first arrived in Argentina in 1502. Independence was declared in 1816.

Argentina is a country of immigrants. Most Argentines are descended from colonial-era settlers as well as 19th and 20th century immigrants from Europe, with most coming from Italy and Spain. Argentina also has a significant Chinese population. 

In 2010, 92.1% of Argentines were Christian (the vast majority being Roman Catholic), 3.1% Agnostic, 1.9% Muslim, 1.3% Jewish, 0.9% atheist, and 0.9% Buddhist and others.

1955 Article

North American Mennonite missionaries (Mennonite Church (MC)) first entered the country in 1917 (see Iglesia Evangélica Menonita, Argentina), locating in the territory 50-150 miles (80-240 km) west of Buenos Aires, which became the heart of the Mennonite mission enterprise there. Work was established at Cosquin in the province of Cordoba in 1935, among the Indians in the far north Chaco territory in 1943, and in the capital city of Buenos Aires in 1949. The North American staff of the mission has averaged twenty to twenty-five people, with a church membership of 745 in 1953. The church organ was La Voz Menonita (1932-1961).

In 1948 about 150 Russian Mennonites forsook the transport en route from Germany to Paraguay while it was temporarily stalled in Buenos Aires, and settled largely in the city and its environs as day-laborers. Additions to the group from Paraguay after that time increased the total of Russian Mennonites in the country to over four hundred. Since the group lacked all church privileges, the Mennonite Central Committee, at the request of the various interested Mennonite mission boards of North America, established a religious and social center in the city in 1949, at first under the direction of Bishop Nelson Litwiller of the Argentine Mennonite Mission, but after 1950 under the direction of the minister Martin Durksen, formerly of Paraguay.

The Mennonite Bible School at Bragado, F.C.O., the Spanish training school of the Argentine Mennonite Mission, sought to serve not only the mission's own needs in Argentina, but also the Spanish training needs of the Paraguayan Mennonites.

2013 Update

In 2012 the following Anabaptist groups were active in Argentina:

Denomination Membership

in 2009


in 2009


in 2012


in 2012

Alianza Evangélica Menonita 42 1 38 1
Alkolonier Mennonitengemeinde, Colonia del Norte 350   480
Alkolonier Mennonitengemeinde, Colonia Pampa de los Guanacos 630   360
Altkolonier Mennonitengemeinde "Neuva Esperanza" 600 2 600
Iglesia Evangélica Menonita, Argentina 3,900 57 3,200 75
Total 5,522 60 4,678 76


Mennonite World Conference. "Mennonite and Brethren in Christ Churches Worldwide, 2009: Latin America & The Caribbean." 2010. Web. 28 October 2010. 2009/Latin America & the Caribbean Summary.doc 2009/Latin America & the Caribbean Summary.doc.

Mennonite World Conference. World Directory = Directorio mundial = Répertoire mondial 2012: Mennonite, Brethren in Christ and Related Churches = Iglesias Menonitas, de los Hermanos en Cristo y afines = Églises Mennonites, Frères en Christ et Apparentées. Kitchener, ON: Mennonite World Conference, 2012: 18.

Wikipedia. "Argentina." Web. 28 May 2013.

Author(s) Harold S. Bender
Kevin Enns-Rempel
Date Published May 2013

Cite This Article

MLA style

Bender, Harold S. and Kevin Enns-Rempel. "Argentina." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. May 2013. Web. 23 Feb 2020.

APA style

Bender, Harold S. and Kevin Enns-Rempel. (May 2013). Argentina. Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 23 February 2020, from


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 1, p. 153. All rights reserved.

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