The Roman Catholic Church in Bolivia is part of the worldwide Roman Catholic Church, under the spiritual leadership of the Pope in Rome. Catholicism was introduced in the 1530s, and the first diocese was established in 1552. Evangelization among the Indians bore much fruit from the mid-18th to early 19th century, resuming again in 1840. The country declared independence from Spain in 1825.
Today, Bolivia is a predominantly Catholic country. Although the Church was disestablished as the state religion in early 2009, relations between Church and state are guided by a concordat signed with the Holy See in 1951. There are about seven million Catholics out of a total population of nine million.