A Pew study on Catholics in Latin America

Most interesting.  Here’s a report by Ines San Martin at Crux:

Latin Americans born into Roman Catholic families have increasingly left the faith for Protestant churches, while many others have dropped organized religion altogether in a major shift in the region’s religious identity, according to a survey released Thursday.

-snip-

The survey by the Pew Research Center, Religion in Latin America, was conducted between October 2013 and February 2014. It reveals that Catholicism is the only Christian denomination that has lost ground in Latin America in recent years. Catholics still represent more than two-thirds of the adult population in nine of the 18 Latin American countries and one US territory (Puerto Rico) surveyed.

-snip-

On moral issues, such as abortion, sex outside of marriage, divorce, and same-sex marriage, Catholics in Latin America tend to be less conservative than Protestants. This could be considered another reason for the conversion, since 60 percent of adults who left the Catholic Church did so looking for a denomination that places greater emphasis on morality.

-snip-

When asked the most important way for Christians to help the poor, Catholics in nearly every Latin American country point most often to charity work. By way of contrast, a majority of Protestants believe that “bringing the poor and needy to Christ” is the best way to help.

Paradoxically, the number of Latin American Protestants who engage in charitable work is reportedly higher than that of Catholics.

 

 

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3 Responses to A Pew study on Catholics in Latin America

  1. Kathleen says:

    From the Pew Centre website itself:

    “The survey asked former Catholics who have converted to Protestantism about the reasons they did so. Of the eight possible explanations offered on the survey, the most frequently cited was that they were seeking a more personal connection with God.”

    This quote is from the 5th paragraph on the first page here:
    http://www.pewforum.org/2014/11/13/religion-in-latin-america/

  2. Rev22:17 says:

    Deborah,

    From your quotation: Latin Americans born into Roman Catholic families have increasingly left the faith for Protestant churches, while many others have dropped organized religion altogether in a major shift in the region’s religious identity, according to a survey released Thursday.

    Yes, of course. Latin America has long been a place where the Catholic Church was a part of the culture, with a longstanding historical legacy of familial and social pressure to conform externally whether one actually believed or not. In such cultures, there’s often an undercurrent of non-belief that pastors fail to recognize and thus do not address. When evangelical pastors talk to people one on one and present the authentic gospel, it’s not surprising that people who come to faith through their ministries leave the Catholic Church to join those pastors’ congregations.

    In the first comment on this post, Kathleen pointed out: From the Pew Centre website itself:

    “The survey asked former Catholics who have converted to Protestantism about the reasons they did so. Of the eight possible explanations offered on the survey, the most frequently cited was that they were seeking a more personal connection with God.”

    In fact, this confirms my analysis above.

    This is a situation in which Catholic bishops and pastors need to do some deep soul-searching as to why their present pastoral programming is failing to instill authentic Christian faith, manifest in a personal relationship with our Lord, in the people who are ostensibly members of the Catholic Church, then adopt pastoral programming and methods that will succeed in this mission.

    Norm.

  3. John Walter S. says:

    On a personal level, I believe that terrible education of the clergy and religious who run educational institutions and other institutes make them unable to counteract any arguments put forth by protestants. Usually, a Protestant bibliolatry is counteracted by examples in Church history, destroying arguments ex sola scriptura/fides; but since priests, nuns, and monks in Latin America can’t be bothered from their socialism, you have terrible catechism, and an entire people have to turn to an anti-intellectual movement like Evangelicalism/Pentecostalism, which lack the sacraments that necessitates an intellectual approach.

    “You have to go to confession.” “Why? “I don’t know, just do it.”
    That’s why no one believes in the Catholic Church. Catholic authority figures look like ignorant tyrants who deserve to be disobeyed.

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