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Religion in Mexico

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Religion in Mexico (2014) [1]

  Catholicism (80%)
  Protestantism (9%)
  Unaffiliated (7%)
  Other (4%)

The Mexican Constitution of 1917 imposed limitations on the Roman Catholic Church in Mexico and sometimes codified state intrusion into religious matters. The government does not provide financial contributions to the religious institutions, nor does the Roman Catholic Church participate in public education. However, Christmas is a national holiday and every year during Easter and Christmas all schools in Mexico, public and private, send their students on vacation.

In a major reversal of the Mexican state's restrictions on religion, the constitution was amended in 1992 lifting almost all restrictions on the religions, including granting all religious groups legal status, conceding them limited property, and lifting restrictions on the number of priests in the country.[2] Until recently, priests did not have the right to vote, and even now they cannot be elected to public office.

Catholicism is the dominant religion in Mexico, with about 82.7% of the population as of 2010. In recent decades the number of Catholics has been declining, due to the growth of other Christian denominations (especially various Protestant churches and Mormonism), which now constitute 9.7% of the population, and non-Christian religions. Despite this, conversion to non-Catholic denominations has been considerably slower than in Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador. An estimated 2 to 5 million Mexicans (~2% to ~4.5%) adhere to the veneration of Santa Muerte, and most of them see themselves as members of the Catholic Church, even though the Vatican condemns this practice.[3] Movements of return and revival of the indigenous Mesoamerican religions (Mexicayotl, Toltecayotl) have also appeared in recent decades.[4][5] Buddhism and Islam have both made limited inroads, through immigration and conversion.

Abrahamic religions

Christianity

Roman Catholicism

Catholic church of Regina Coeli in Mexico City.

Roman Catholics are 82.7%[6] of the total population,[7] down from 96% in 1970.[8] The number of Mexican Catholics has fallen by 5% in the first decade of the 21st century and in the south-east Catholics make up less than two-thirds of the population.[8] In absolute terms, Mexico has the world's second largest number of Catholics, surpassed only by Brazil.[9]

Mexicans are at least nominally Catholic, some combine or syncretize Catholic practices with native traditions. In the Yucatán Peninsula, some Mayan people still practice the traditional beliefs of their ancestors, without being syncretized with Christianity; the same happens with the Wixarika people of Jalisco and Nayarit.

There are major festivities in Mexico celebrating the Christian holidays of Epiphany (January 6) (Día de los Reyes Magos), All Saints' day (November 1), All Souls' day or Day of the Dead (November 2)(Día de los fieles difuntos), and the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe (December 12). These are not public holidays in Mexico. Christmas is celebrated as a religious and public holiday.

Protestantism

About 11% of the population (6,160,000 people over the age of 5, according to the 2000 census, including Jehovah's Witnesses, Seventh Day Adventists, and Mormons) are Protestant,[6] of whom Pentecostals and Charismatics (called Neo-Pentecostals in the census), are the largest group. The Anglican Communion is represented by the Anglican Church of Mexico.

Protestantism is strongest where the Catholic Church and the Mexican state have little presence,[8] and accounts for over 10% of the population in the four states that border heavily-Protestant Guatemala: Campeche, Chiapas, Quintana Roo, and Tabasco. It is also sizable in the Mexican states that border the U.S. State of Texas.

Protestantism is also on the rise as it offers a less legalistic and hierarchical version of Christianity.[10]

Orthodoxy

Service at the Catedral Ortodoxa de San Jorge in Colonia Roma, Mexico City. Part of the Greek Orthodox Church of Antioch, it is under the auspices of Archbishop Antonio Chedraoui (es).

There are some Mexicans practicing Eastern Orthodoxy in Mexico, mainly foreign-born people.[citation needed]

Seventh-day Adventist

There are also a number of Seventh-day Adventists (488,946 people).[6]

Jehovah's Witnesses

The 2000 national census counted more than one million Jehovah's Witnesses.[6] According to the Jehovah's Witnesses official figures for 2014 there were over 800,000 members involved in preaching.[11]

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

The first LDS missionaries in Mexico arrived in 1875 (although the original Mormons came to Mexico in the 1840s in Utah, when it was still a Mexican territory). In 1885, 400 Mormon colonists moved to Mexico. The LDS Church claims over a million members in Mexico. June 29, 1993, the Mexican government formally registered the LDS Church. This allowed the church to own property in Mexico. As of year-end 2006, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) reported 1,368,475 members, 231 stakes, 1,998 congregations, and 12 temples in Mexico.[12] However, according to the 2000 census only 0.25% of the population identified as members, amounting to approximately 267,500.[13]

La Luz del Mundo

La Luz del Mundo is a Charismatic Christian denomination with international headquarters in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico. Its flagship church in Guadalajara is said to be the largest non-Catholic house of worship in Latin America[citation needed].

Judaism

Main article: Judaism in Mexico

The presence of Jews in Mexico dates back to 1521, when Hernán Cortés conquered the Aztecs, accompanied by several Conversos. According to the last national census by the INEGI, there are now more than 67,000 Mexican Jews, the near totality of which (around 95%) live in the Greater Mexico City area.[6]

Bahá'í Faith

The Bahá'í Faith in Mexico begins with visits of Bahá'ís before 1916.[14] In 1919 letters from the head of the religion, `Abdu'l-Bahá, were published mentioning Mexico as one of the places Bahá'ís should take the religion to.[15] Following further pioneers moving there and making contacts the first Mexican to join the religion was in 1937, followed quickly by the first Bahá'í Local Spiritual Assembly of all Latin America being elected in 1938.[14][16] With continued growth the National Spiritual Assembly was first elected in 1961.[16][17] The Association of Religion Data Archives (relying on World Christian Encyclopedia) estimated almost 38,000 Bahá'ís in 2005.[18]

Islam

Main article: Islam in Mexico

In 2010 there were 3,700 Muslims in Mexico. Islam is mainly practiced by members of the Arab, Turkish, and other expatriate communities, though there is a very small number of the indigenous population in Chiapas that practices Islam.

Buddhism

Main article: Buddhism in Mexico
Tibetan Buddhist ritual in Valle de Bravo. This stupa is maintained by the Casa Tibet México.

Approximately 108,701 Buddhists are counted in Mexico.[citation needed] Also one of six Tibet Houses in the world – Casa Tibet México – is located in Mexico City. It is used by the Dalai Lama and other leaders of Tibetan Buddhism to preserve and share Tibetan culture and spirituality. Alejandro Jodorowsky has stated that he discovered Zen Buddhism in the 1960s while in Mexico.[19][20] There are also two institutions from Theravada Buddhism tradition, the Theravada Buddhist Monastery [3] and the Vipassana House of Meditation.[4] There are at least 30 Buddhist groups in Mexico.[5]

Nonreligious

Main article: Irreligion in Mexico

Although the demographics of atheism and irreligion in Mexico is hard to measure because many atheists are officially counted as Catholic, almost three million people in the 2000 National Census reported having no religion.[6] Recent surveys have shown that only around 3% of Catholics attend church daily and 44% attend church at least once a week,[21] and, according to INEGI, the number of atheists grows annually by 5.2%, while the number of Catholics grows by 1.7%.[22][23]

Census Information

Religion according to the Census (2010)[24]
Religion Numbers Percent
Catholic 92,924,489 82.72
Anabaptist/Mennonites[table 1] 10,753 0.01
Baptist[table 1] 252,874 0.23
Church of the Nazarene[table 1] 40,225 0.04
Methodist[table 1] 25,370 0.02
Presbyterian[table 1] 437,690 0.39
Other historic Protestant[table 1] 53.832 0.05
Pentecostal[table 2] 1,782,021 1.59
Other Christian Evangelical[table 2] 5,783,442 5.15
Seventh_day Adventist[table 3] 661,878 0.59
Mormons[table 3] 314,932 0.28
Jehovah's Witnesses[table 3] 1,561,086 1.39
Eastern religions 18,185 0.02
Judaism 67,476 0.06
Islam 3,760 < 0.01
Native religions 27,839 0.02
Spiritualism 35,995 0.03
Other religions 19,636 0.02
No religion 5,262,546 4.68
Not specified 3,052,509 2.72
Notes
  1. ^ a b c d e f The 2010 census groups Anabaptists, Baptists, Church of the Nazarene, Methodist, Presbyterian as historic Protestant (Protestante histórica o reformada) with a total number of 820,744 (0.73%).
  2. ^ a b The 2010 census groups Pentecostal with Other Christian Evangelical (Pentecostal/Cristiana/Evangélica) for a total number of 7,565,463 (6.73%).
  3. ^ a b c The 2010 census groups Seventh day Adventists, Mormons, and Jehovah's Witnesses together (Bíblica diferente de Evangélica) with a total of 2,537,896 (2.26%).


Population in terms of religion by state (2000)
State Roman Catholic Protestant and Evangelical Other Christian Jewish Other None Not specified
Aguascalientes 95.6% 1.9% 0.7% <0.1% 0.1% 0.8% 0.7%
Baja California 81.4% 7.9% 2.7% <0.1% 0.2% 6.2% 1.6%
Baja California Sur 89.0% 4.0% 1.9% <0.1% 0.2% 3.6% 0.1%
Campeche 71.3% 13.2% 4.7% <0.1% 1.7% 9.9% 0.8%
Chiapas 63.8% 13.9% 9.0% <0.1% <0.1% 13.1% 1.2%
Chihuahua 84.6% 7.1% 2.0% <0.1% 0.1% 5.1% 1.1%
Coahuila 86.4% 6.8% 1.8% <0.1% 0.1% 3.8% 1.1%
Colima 93.0% 2.9% 1.4% <0.1% 0.1% 1.8% 0.8%
Durango 90.4% 3.9% 1.8% <0.1% <0.1% 2.9% 0.9%
Federal District 90.5% 3.6% 1.3% 0.2% 0.8% 2.9% 0.7%
Guanajuato 96.4% 1.3% 0.7% <0.1% 0.1% 0.7% 0.7%
Guerrero 89.2% 4.4% 2.0% <0.1% 0.4% 3.1% 0.9%
Hidalgo 90.1% 5.2% 1.3% <0.1% 0.4% 1.6% 0.7%
Jalisco 95.4% 2.0% 0.9% <0.1% <0.1% 0.9% 0.7%
Mexico 91.2% 3.8% 1.6% 0.1% 0.7% 1.8% 0.8%
Michoacán 94.8% 1.9% 1.1% <0.1% 0.2% 1.3% 0.8%
Morelos 83.6% 7.3% 3.1% 0.1% 0.5% 4.3% 1.0%
Nayarit 91.8% 3.0% 1.3% <0.1% 0.2% 2.9% 0.7%
Nuevo León 87.9% 6.2% 2.0% <0.1% 0.1% 2.8% 0.9%
Oaxaca 84.8% 7.8% 2.3% <0.1% 0.2% 4.0% 0.9%
Puebla 91.6% 4.3% 1.4% <0.1% 0.4% 1.4% 0.8%
Querétaro 95.3% 1.9% 0.9% <0.1% 0.2% 0.9% 0.8%
Quintana Roo 73.2% 11.2% 4.6% <0.1% 0.2% 9.6% 1.1%
San Luis Potosí 92.0% 4.6% 1.0% <0.1% 0.2% 1.5% 0.7%
Sinaloa 86.8% 2.9% 2.0% <0.1% <0.1% 7.1% 1.0%
Sonora 87.9% 4.8% 1.8% <0.1% <0.1% 4.4% 1.1%
Tabasco 70.4% 13.6% 5.0% <0.1% <0.1% 10.0% 0.8%
Tamaulipas 82.9% 8.7% 2.4% <0.1% 0.2% 4.9% 1.0%
Tlaxcala 93.4% 2.9% 1.4% <0.1% 0.4% 1.0% 0.9%
Veracruz 82.9% 6.9% 3.3% <0.1% 0.2% 5.9% 0.8%
Yucatán 84.3% 8.4% 3.0% <0.1% 0.1% 3.5% 0.8%
Zacatecas 95.1% 1.9% 1.0% <0.1% <0.1% 1.1% 0.8%
Mexico total 87.99% 5.20% 2.07% 0.05% 0.31% 3.52% 0.86%

Notes

  1. ^ http://www.pewforum.org/2014/11/13/religion-in-latin-america/#
  2. ^ "Mexico". International Religious Report. U.S. Department of State. 2003. Retrieved 2007-10-04. 
  3. ^ NBC 12 Investigates: The occult of Santa Muerte
  4. ^ Yolotl González Torres. The Revival of Mexican Religions: The Impact of Nativism. Numen. Vol. 43, No. 1 (Jan., 1996), pp. 1-31
  5. ^ Zotero Citlalcoatl. AMOXTLI YAOXOCHIMEH.
  6. ^ a b c d e f "Religion" (PDF). Censo Nacional de Población y Vivienda 2000. INEGI. 2000. Retrieved 2007-10-04. 
  7. ^ "Church attendance". World Values Survey. 1997. 
  8. ^ a b c “Religion in Mexico: Where angels fear to tread: Evangelicals are swooping on long-ignored regions”, The Economist, dated 24 March 2012.
  9. ^ "The Largest Catholic Communities". Adherents.com. Retrieved 2007-11-10. 
  10. ^ "Religion in Mexico: Staying alive, Mexicans are increasingly turning away from the Catholic church". The Economist (Mexico City). 25 July 2002. Retrieved 7 November 2012. 
  11. ^ 2015 Yearbook of Jehovah's Witnesses. Watch Tower Society. p. 182. 
  12. ^ LDS Newsroom (Statistical Information)[1], see also The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints membership statistics#North America
  13. ^ "Mexico". International Religious Report. U.S. Department of State. 2003. Retrieved 2014-01-22. 
  14. ^ a b Lamb, Artemus (November 1995). The Beginnings of the Bahá'í Faith in Latin America:Some Remembrances, English Revised and Amplified Edition. West Linn, OR: M L VanOrman Enterprises. 
  15. ^ Abbas, `Abdu'l-Bahá (April 1919). Tablets, Instructions and Words of Explanation. Mirza Ahmad Sohrab, trans. and comments. 
  16. ^ a b "Comunidad Bahá’í de México". National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of Mexico. 2012. Retrieved 2012-02-25. 
  17. ^ Hassall, Graham; Universal House of Justice. "National Spiritual Assemblies statistics 1923-1999". Assorted Resource Tools. Bahá'í Library Online. Retrieved 2009-05-10. 
  18. ^ "Most Baha'i Nations (2005)". QuickLists > Compare Nations > Religions >. The Association of Religion Data Archives. 2005. Retrieved 2009-07-04. 
  19. ^ Jodorowsky, Alejandro. The Spiritual Journey of Alejandro Jodorowsky The Creator of El Topo, Rochester, Vermont: (Park Street Press, 2005)
  20. ^ Thlate 1960s.City Paper - Jodorowsky
  21. ^ [2]
  22. ^ Aciprensa
  23. ^ Catholic News Agency
  24. ^ Panorama de las religiones en México 2010 (PDF). Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Geografía. p. 3. Retrieved 28 December 2014. 

Further reading

External links