Friday, June 21, 2024

Religion in Latin America: A Brief Overview

*Latin America is one of the most religious places on Earth.

Spend only a few days here to discover that religious traditions and beliefs play an important role in people’s daily lives.

The continent is a melting pot of people from all over the globe. But, around 90 percent of the continent’s peoples identify as Christian.

And yet, that doesn’t mean that religion in Latin America isn’t complicated. There are many religions and traditions in Latin America.

If you want to learn more, check out our brief overview below!

  1. Most of Latin America is Catholic

50 years ago, Catholics made up over 90 percent of the population. Now, just over two-thirds (69%) of Latin Americans say they are Catholic.

The percentage of Catholics across the population has declined over the past decades. Nonetheless, the group remains the majority in every country.

  1. Non-Religion is on the Rise

While religion continues to be central to the lives of most Latin Americans. There are growing signs that people are rejecting the faith they were raised with.

Around 84 percent of Latin Americans say that they were raised Catholic. This is up to 15 percentage points under the number of people who identify themselves as Catholic today.

  1. Protestant Church on the Up

The Catholic church has traditionally been the biggest voice in Latin America. But, the protestants of many different creeds have grown in recent years.

Almost one in five (19%) of Latin Americans consider themselves to be Protestants. Many of which were raised either Catholic or without a religion.

The most common denomination of Protestants in Latin America is the Pentecostal. People are have been reportedly driven to the faith by the desire for “a more personal experience with God.”

latin american catholic church - Depositphotos_195414306_s-2019

  1. Not Every Country is the Same

Many people think of Latin America as a single place. Yet, there are many important differences with regard to religion and beyond.

For example, in Cuba and Uruguay, the number of non-religious people is almost half of the population (approximately 45 percent).

Whereas, countries, such as Costa Rica, Paraguay, and Colombia have over 90 percent of people who identify as Christians. You may want to consider with regard to your decision about retiring in Costa Rica.

  1. Indigenous and Other Religions

There are also many indigenous religions and traditions which influence Latin American countries. This is especially common in Mexico, Peru, and Bolivia.

Furthermore, other world religions have a strong presence in some Latin American nations. For example, Argentina has a population of around 180,000-300,000 Jews and over 800,000 Muslims.

There are also communities of Hindus, Buddhists, Shinto, Bahá’í Faith and Mormonism in Latin America.

Religion in Latin America

Religion in Latin America is a fascinating subject! While most of the continent is Christian, there is a difference between Christian and Catholic communities.

There are also growing trends away from Catholicism. People are switching to non-religion, Protestantism and other types of spirituality.

Did you find this blog post interesting and helpful? Please spread the word by sharing the link on your social media!


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