Religion in Latin America

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Religion in Latin America is characterized by the historical predominance of Catholic Christianity, increasing Protestant influence, as well as by the presence of other world religions. According to survey data from 2014, 69% of the Latin American population is Catholic and 17% is Protestant, rising to 26% in Brazil and over 44% in much of Central America.

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

According to the detailed Pew multi-country survey in 2014, 69% of the Latin American population is Catholic and 19% is Protestant, rising to 26% in Brazil and over 40% in much of Central America. More than half of these are converts.[6][7]

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)[8][9][10] and Muslims (400,000-500,000)[11][12][13] 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.[14]

Evolution of religion in Latin America[edit]

Religious affiliation in Latin America according to the CID-Gallup 2010:[15]

Country Christianity
(%)
Catholicism
(%)
Protestantism
(%)
Other Religions
(%)
Unaffiliated, atheists, agnostics
(%)
 Argentina 85,8 74,8 11,0 2,2 12,0
 Belize 74,0 40,5 33,5 10,4 15,6
 Bolivia 94,4 76,0 18,4 2,5 3,1
 Brazil 88,7 64,6 24,1 4,3 8,0
 Chile 76,1 60,2 15,9 2,4 21,5
 Colombia 93,2 78,2 15,0 1,8 5,0
 Costa Rica 87,0 69,7 17,3 3,9 9,1
 Cuba 51,3 46,9 4,4 3,0 45,7
 Ecuador 93,1 80,7 12,4 2,2 4,7
 El Salvador 82,4 43,8 29,4 2,0 24,8
 Guatemala 87,0 47,1 39,9 1,1 11,9
 Haiti 89,7 77,6 11,1 6,3 4,0
 Honduras 88,5 49,7 38,8 3,2 8,3
 Mexico 92,9 82,9 10,0 2,5 4,6
 Nicaragua 82,2 55,0 27,2 3,1 14,7
 Panama 92,2 74,7 17,5 3,1 4,7
 Paraguay 96,4 88,2 8,2 2,1 1,5
 Peru 93,7 80,7 13,0 2,8 3,5
 Puerto Rico 91,2 60,5 30,7 1,2 7,6
 Dominican Republic 85,5 65,5 20,0 4,0 10,5
 Uruguay 51,5 40,4 11,0 3,1 45,5
 Venezuela 88,3 72,1 16,2 3,2 8,5

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

Country Christianity
(%)
Catholicism
(%)
Protestantism
(%)
Other Religions
(%)
Unaffiliated, atheists, agnostics
(%)
 Argentina 90,0 82,0 8,0 2,5 7,5
 Belize 81,7 51,0 30,7 8,6 9,7
 Bolivia 94,5 79,1 15,4 2,7 2,8
 Brazil 88,9 73,9 15,0 4,5 6,6
 Chile 85,8 69,9 15,9 2,9 11,3
 Colombia 94,5 84,5 9,0 1,9 3,6
 Costa Rica 91,7 78,7 13,0 3,3 5,0
 Cuba 49,2 45,5 3,7 2,3 48,5
 Ecuador 94,8 85,1 9,7 1,7 3,5
 Guatemala 81,8 56,0 25,8 2,5 15,7
 Haiti 91,2 83,5 7,7 5,5 3,3
 Honduras 92,1 69,1 23,0 2,8 5,1
 Mexico 94,2 88,0 6,2 2,3 3,5
 Nicaragua 86,9 71,3 15,6 2,6 10,5
 Panama 93,0 82,2 10,8 3,8 3,2
 Paraguay 97,5 90,6 6,9 1,5 1,0
 Peru 95,2 86,9 8,3 2,7 2,1
 Puerto Rico 93,3 64,0 29,3 1,6 5,0
 Dominican Republic 83,2 68,8 14,4 7,8 9,0
 El Salvador 83,3 60,4 20,9 2,6 16,1
 Uruguay 59,9 50,0 9,9 2,5 37,6
 Venezuela 91,8 81,4 10,4 3,2 5,0

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

Country Christianity
(%)
Catholicism
(%)
Protestantism
(%)
Other Religions
(%)
Unaffiliated, atheists, agnostics
(%)
 Argentina 93,8 87,3 6,5 1,9 4,3
 Belize 81,7 57,7 24,0 12,6 5,7
 Bolivia 95,0 86,4 8,6 3,2 1,8
 Brazil 89,2 79,0 10,2 5,5 5,3
 Chile 90,7 76,8 13,9 2,1 7,2
 Colombia 96,8 91,1 5,7 1,2 2,0
 Costa Rica 94,0 85,0 9,0 2,5 3,5
 Cuba 45,3 42,7 2,6 4,2 50,5
 Ecuador 95,2 89,1 6,1 2,3 2,5
 Guatemala 87,0 65,2 21,8 2,0 11,0
 Haiti 93,0 89,2 3,8 5,9 1,1
 Honduras 94,6 80,8 13,8 2,0 3,4
 Mexico 96,8 91,6 5,2 1,1 2,1
 Nicaragua 92,6 81,4 11,2 1,3 6,1
 Panama 95,0 89,0 6,0 3,0 2,0
 Paraguay 98,8 94,0 4,8 0,6 0,6
 Peru 96,6 90,5 6,1 2,3 1,1
 Puerto Rico 94,1 68,4 25,7 1,9 4,0
 Dominican Republic 88,9 79,9 9,0 5,5 5,6
 El Salvador 86,2 69,5 16,7 2,1 11,7
 Uruguay 72,0 65,3 6,7 1,4 26,6
 Venezuela 94,2 87,5 6,7 2,3 3,5

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. ^ Alec Ryrie, "The World's Local Religion" History Today (2017) online
  7. ^ "Religion in Latin America: Widespread Change in a Historically Catholic Region" Pew Research Center: Religion & Public Life Nov 13, 2014
  8. ^ LeElef, Ner. "World Jewish Population". Retrieved 2008-01-09.
  9. ^ The Jewish People Policy Planning Institute; Annual Assessment, 2007
  10. ^ United Jewish Communities; Global Jewish Populations Archived 2008-05-31 at the Wayback Machine.
  11. ^ Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs - Background Note: Argentina
  12. ^ International Religious Freedom Report 2008 - Argentina
  13. ^ Árabes y musulmanes en América Latina
  14. ^ LANIC religion page
  15. ^ The Latin American Socio-Religious Studies Program / Programa Latinoamericano de Estudios Sociorreligiosos (PROLADES) PROLADES Religion in America by country

Further reading[edit]

  • Thy Will Be Done: The Conquest of the Amazon : Nelson Rockefeller and Evangelism in the Age of Oil by Gerard Colby, Publisher: Harpercollins
  • 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