Religion in Mexico

Religion in Mexico

Unlike some other Latin American countries, Mexico has no official religion, and the Constitution of 1917 and the anti-clerical laws imposed limitations on the church and sometimes codified state intrusion into church matters. The government does not provide any financial contributions to the church, and the church does not participate in public education. However, Christmas is a national holiday and every year during Easter all schools in Mexico, public and private, send their students on vacation.

In 1992, Mexico lifted almost all restrictions on the religions, including granting all religious groups legal status, conceding them limited property rights, and lifting restrictions on the number of priests in the country. [cite web|title=Mexico|work=International Religious Report|date=2003|publisher=U.S. Department of State|url=|accessdate=2007-10-04] Until recently, priests did not have the right to vote, and even now they cannot be elected to public office.


The last census reported, by self-ascription, that over 95% of the population is Christian.


Roman Catholics are 76.5%cite web|title=Religión|work=Censo Nacional de Población y Vivienda 2000|date=2000|publisher=INEGI|url=|format=PDF|accessdate=2007-10-04] of the total population, 47% percent of whom attend church services weekly. [cite web|title=Church attendance|work=Study of worldwide rates of religiosity|date=1997|publisher=University of Michigan|url=|accessdate=2007-01-03] In absolute terms, Mexico has the world's second largest number of Catholics after Brazil. [cite web |url= |title=The Largest Catholic Communities |accessdate=2007-11-10 |]

While most indigenous Mexicans are Catholic, some combine or syncretize Catholic practices with native traditions. In the Yucatán Peninsula, some few Mayan peoples still practice the traditional beliefs of their people, without being syncretized with Christianity, but these are not numerous. Almost three million people in the 2000 National Census reported having no religion.


About 6% of the population (more than 4.4 million people) is Protestant, of whom Pentecostals and Charismatics (called Neo-Pentecostals in the census), are the largest group (1.37 million people).


Although representing a small minority of Mexico, the Eastern Orthodox Church is present in the country. Although many Orthodox churches are composed of primarily immigrant communities, the Orthodox Church in America-Exarchate of Mexico has between 10,000-20,000 ethnic Mexican members mosty of convert backgrounds.

Others Christians

There are also a sizeable number of Seventh-day Adventists (0.6 million people) [ [ Religious Liberty Thriving, Government Official Tells Adventist Leaders] ] . The 2000 national census counted more than one million Jehovah's Witnesses.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, with its growing presence in the major border cities of northeastern Mexico, claims one million registered members nation-wide as of 2006, about 250,000 of whom are active,cite web|title=Mexico, Country profile|publisher=The Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-Days Saints Newsroom|url=|accessdate=2007-10-04] cite book|last=Ludlow|first=Daniel H.|title=Encyclopedia of Mormonism|year=1994|pages=4:1527] though this is disputed.Harvard reference|date=2001-07-10|journal=Arizona Republic]

According to the Jehovah Witness report of 2007 there are 639 320 active members (members who actively preach), but almost 2 million people attend the Jehovah witnesses annual Memorial of Christ's death (also known as the Lord's Evening Meal.)


The presence of Jews in Mexico dates back to 1521, when Hernando Cortés conquered the Aztecs, accompanied by several Conversos. According to the last national census by the INEGI, there are now more than 45,000 Mexican Jews.


Islam is mainly practiced by members of the Arab, Turkish, and other expatriate communities, though there is a very small number of the indigenous population in Chiapas that practices Islam.


External links

* [ Religion in Mexico]

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