Religion in Costa Rica

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Religion in Costa Rica (2007)[1][2]

  Catholicism (71.5%)
  Protestantism (13.8%)
  Irreligion (11.3%)
  Buddhism (2.5%)
  Other religions (0.9%)
Basilica Los Angeles, Cartago, Costa Rica
Mormon Temple, San José, Costa Rica

The most recent nationwide survey of religion in Costa Rica, conducted in 2007 by the University of Costa Rica, found that 70.5% of the population identify themselves as Roman Catholics (with 44.9% practicing, 25.6 percent nonpracticing), 13.8% are Evangelical Protestants, 11.3% report that they do not have a religion, and 4.3% declare that they belong to another religion.[1]

A study by (Latinobarómetro) religions reflects a change for 2010, the population remains predominantly Catholic but now with 61%, 21% identify themselves as Protestant, 15% report that they do not have a religion , and 3% are other religions.[3]

Apart from the dominant Catholic religion, there are several other religious groups in the country.[1] Methodist, Lutheran, Episcopal, Baptist, and other Protestant groups have significant membership.[1] The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) claim more than 35,000 members and has a temple in San Jose that served as a regional worship center for Costa Rica, Panama, Nicaragua, and Honduras.[1][4] Although they represent less than 1 percent of the population, Jehovah's Witnesses have a strong presence on the Caribbean coast.[1] Seventh-day Adventists operate a university that attracts students from throughout the Caribbean Basin.[1] The Unification Church maintains its continental headquarters for Latin America in San Jose.[1] Non-Christian religious groups, including followers of Buddhism, Judaism, Islam, Taoism, Hare Krishna, Paganism, Wicca, Scientology, Tenrikyo, and the Bahá'í Faith, claim membership throughout the country, with the majority of worshipers residing in the Central Valley (the area of the capital).[1] While there is no general correlation between religion and ethnicity, indigenous peoples are more likely to practice animism than other religions.[1]

Article 75 of the Costa Rican Constitution states that the "Catholic, Apostolic, and Roman Religion is the official religion of the Republic".[5] That same article provides for freedom of religion, and the Government generally respects this right in practice.[1] The US government found no reports of societal abuses or discrimination based on religious belief or practice in 2007.[1]

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