Religion in Latin America

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Religion in Latin America is characterized by the predominance of Catholic Christianity, as well as by the presence of other world religions.


The majority of Latin Americans are Christians (90%),[1] mostly Roman Catholics.[2][3] Membership in Protestant denominations is increasing, particularly in Brazil, Guatemala, El Salvador and Puerto Rico.[citation needed] Brazil has an active quasi-socialist Roman Catholic movement known as Liberation Theology.[citation needed] Anglicanism also has a long and growing presence in Latin America

Indigenous creeds[edit]

Indigenous creeds and rituals are still practiced in countries with large percentages of Amerindians, such as Bolivia, Guatemala, Mexico, and Peru. Various Afro-Latin American traditions such as Santería, Candomblé, Umbanda, Macumba, and tribal-voodoo religions are also practiced, mainly in Cuba, Brazil, and Haiti.

Other world religions[edit]

Argentina hosts the largest communities of both Jews[4][5][6] and Muslims[7][8][9] in Latin America. Brazil is the country with more practitioners in the world of Allan Kardec's Spiritism. Practitioners of the Judaism, Mormonism, Jehovah's Witness, Buddhist, Islamic, Hinduism, Bahá'í Faith, and Shinto denominations and religions also exercised in Latin America.[10]


  1. ^ Christians – Pew Research Center
  2. ^ "Las religiones en tiempos del Papa Francisco" (PDF) (in Spanish). Latinobarómetro. April 2014. p. 7. Archived from the original (PDF) on 4 April 2015. Retrieved 4 April 2015. 
  3. ^ "Religion in Latin America, Widespread Change in a Historically Catholic Region". Pew Research Center, November 13, 2014. Retrieved March 4, 2015. 
  4. ^ LeElef, Ner. "World Jewish Population". Retrieved 2008-01-09. 
  5. ^ The Jewish People Policy Planning Institute; Annual Assessment, 2007
  6. ^ United Jewish Communities; Global Jewish Populations
  7. ^ Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs - Background Note: Argentina
  8. ^ International Religious Freedom Report 2008 - Argentina
  9. ^ Árabes y musulmanes en América Latina
  10. ^ LANIC religion page

Further reading[edit]

  • D'Antonio, William V., and Frederick B. Pike, jt. eds. Religion, Revolution, and Reform: New Forces for Change in Latin America. New York: F.A. Praeger, 1964. x, 275 p.