Religion in Latin America

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Religion in Latin America is characterized by the historical predominance of Roman Catholicism, increasing Protestant influence, as well as by the presence of other world religions.

Christianity[edit]

The Basilica of the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida is the second largest in the world, after only of the Basilica of Saint Peter in Vatican City.[1]

The majority of Latin Americans are Christians (90%),[2] mostly Roman Catholics.[3][4] Membership in Protestant denominations is increasing, particularly in Brazil, Guatemala, El Salvador and Puerto Rico.[5] 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 (180,000-300,000)[6][7][8] and Muslims (400,000-500,000)[9][10][11] 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 Witnesses, Buddhist, Islamic, Hinduism, Bahá'í Faith, and Shinto denominations and religions also exercised in Latin America.[12]

Evolution of religion in Latin America[edit]

Religious affiliation in Latin America according to the CID-Gallup 2010:[13]

Country Christianity
(%)
Catholicism
(%)
Protestantism
(%)
Other Religions
(%)
Unaffiliated, atheists, agnostics
(%)
 Argentina 80,0 68,7 11,3 2,0 18,0
 Belize 71,2 40,1 31,1 12,7 16,1
 Bolivia 89,3 72,0 17,3 3,1 7,6
 Brazil 81,9 60,5 21,4 5,0 13,1
 Chile 64,2 50,5 14,0 2,1 33,4
 Colombia 90,3 78,3 12,0 1,7 8,0
 Costa Rica 81,5 62,8 18,7 4,1 14,4
 Cuba 50,7 46,3 4,4 2,0 47,3
 Ecuador 77,5 65,2 12,3 2,5 20,0
 El Salvador 66,4 40,2 26,2 2,0 31,6
 Guatemala 74,6 45,1 29,5 1,1 24,3
 Haiti 89,4 76,3 13,1 2,3 8,3
 Honduras 85,2 49,7 35,5 3,2 11,6
 Mexico 89,0 77,5 11,5 1,3 9,7
 Nicaragua 80,1 55,0 25,1 3,1 16,8
 Panama 87,6 71,7 15,9 4,4 8,0
 Paraguay 94,6 86,2 8,4 2,7 2,7
 Peru 92,2 81,8 10,4 1,8 6,0
 Puerto Rico 90,9 60,2 30,7 1,0 8,1
 Dominican Republic 78,5 58,5 20,0 7,4 14,1
 Uruguay 45,2 32,0 13,2 3,0 51,8
 Venezuela 76,7 61,5 15,2 3,0 20,3

Religious affiliation in Latin America according to the CID-Gallup 2000 :

Country Christianity
(%)
Catholicism
(%)
Protestantism
(%)
Other Religions
(%)
Unaffiliated, atheists, agnostics
(%)
 Argentina 89,0 78,9 10,1 2,5 8,5
 Belize 81,0 51,0 30,0 8,3 10,7
 Bolivia 91,2 77,1 14,1 2,8 6,0
 Brazil 84,7 70,0 14,7 6,1 9,2
 Chile 77,5 61,8 15,7 2,8 19,7
 Colombia 92,4 84,2 8,2 1,9 5,7
 Costa Rica 89,6 76,6 13,0 3,2 7,2
 Cuba 57,2 53,5 3,7 2,3 40,5
 Ecuador 83,2 72,1 11,1 3,2 13,6
 Guatemala 82,7 55,6 27,1 2,2 15,1
 Haiti 91,5 83,5 8,0 4,5 4,0
 Honduras 87,9 64,8 23,1 2,8 9,3
 Mexico 91,6 83,8 7,8 2,1 6,3
 Nicaragua 85,8 71,4 14,4 2,6 11,6
 Panama 90,9 80,2 10,7 4,1 5,0
 Paraguay 95,4 88,9 6,5 2,0 2,6
 Peru 94,5 87,5 7,0 2,5 3,0
 Puerto Rico 92,2 62,9 29,3 1,6 6,2
 Dominican Republic 82,8 68,1 14,7 8,0 9,2
 El Salvador 75,2 56,4 18,8 2,5 22,3
 Uruguay 58,6 48,4 10,2 2,5 38,9
 Venezuela 85,7 75,5 10,2 3,1 11,2

Religious affiliation in Latin America according to the CID-Gallup 1990 :

Country Christianity
(%)
Catholicism
(%)
Protestantism
(%)
Other Religions
(%)
Unaffiliated, atheists, agnostics
(%)
 Argentina 94,5 87,3 7,0 1,6 4,1
 Belize 80,7 56,7 24,0 13,6 5,7
 Bolivia 94,9 87,5 7,4 3,1 2,0
 Brazil 88,1 77,9 10,2 5,5 6,4
 Chile 89,5 75,6 13,9 1,6 8,9
 Colombia 96,7 91,1 5,6 1,1 2,2
 Costa Rica 93,1 84,0 9,1 2,5 4,4
 Cuba 45,4 42,6 2,8 4,0 50,6
 Ecuador 90,6 83,2 7,4 2,2 7,2
 Guatemala 87,0 65,2 21,8 2,0 11,0
 Haiti 93,2 89,5 3,7 5,8 1,0
 Honduras 94,8 80,6 14,2 1,9 3,4
 Mexico 96,8 91,5 5,3 1,1 2,1
 Nicaragua 93,6 83,4 10,2 1,3 5,1
 Panama 94,9 88,9 6,0 3,0 2,1
 Paraguay 98,0 95,8 2,2 1,6 0,4
 Peru 97,3 93,0 4,3 1,6 1,1
 Puerto Rico 94,1 68,3 25,8 1,8 4,1
 Dominican Republic 88,7 79,7 9,0 6,0 5,3
 El Salvador 83,2 66,5 16,7 2,1 14,7
 Uruguay 72,0 65,3 6,7 1,4 26,6
 Venezuela 93,0 86,7 6,3 2,6 4,4

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Facts of Basilica of Aparecida
  2. ^ Christians – Pew Research Center
  3. ^ "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. 
  4. ^ "Religion in Latin America, Widespread Change in a Historically Catholic Region". http://www.pewforum.org. Pew Research Center, November 13, 2014. Retrieved March 4, 2015.  External link in |website= (help)
  5. ^ Religion in Latin America Widespread Change in a Historically Catholic Region
  6. ^ LeElef, Ner. "World Jewish Population". Retrieved 2008-01-09. 
  7. ^ The Jewish People Policy Planning Institute; Annual Assessment, 2007
  8. ^ United Jewish Communities; Global Jewish Populations
  9. ^ Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs - Background Note: Argentina
  10. ^ International Religious Freedom Report 2008 - Argentina
  11. ^ Árabes y musulmanes en América Latina
  12. ^ LANIC religion page
  13. ^ The Latin American Socio-Religious Studies Program / Programa Latinoamericano de Estudios Sociorreligiosos (PROLADES) PROLADES Religion in America by country

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