Encyclopedia of Latin American Religions

2019 Edition
| Editors: Henri Gooren

Christian Base Communities (CEB)

  • Kjell NordstokkeEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-27078-4_196


CEB, comunidad(e) eclesial de base, is a small grass root Catholic community that congregates and mobilizes lay people, mainly from lower social classes, to celebrate their faith and to engage socially and politically. It also refers to a movement that spread all over Latin America since the 1960s, and many CEBs became the ecclesial platform for the theology of liberation.


CEB is a group of lay people that regularly comes together, most often in the number of 20–50. They often meet several times a week, led by lay leaders elected by the group. Normally, they will follow the manual for the Sunday worship printed in the parochial center; they will read a Bible text and dedicate much time to reflection on its meaning in their everyday situation. Some CEBs will also distribute the Eucharist, if the bishop has authorized a layperson for that task. In that case, they will bring bread already consecrated by a priest. In their meetings, they also will discuss relevant...


Catholic Church Social movements Theology of liberation CELAM Vatican II 
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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Diakonhjemmet University CollegeOsloNorway