Latin American Catholics shift to evangelical congregations

Evangelical shift

Growing numbers of Catholics in Latin America are abandoning the Church in favour of evangelical congregations or non-religious life, according to a new survey, reports The Tablet.

The survey by the Pew Research Centre, based in Washington DC,  of 30,000 residents of 18 countries and Puerto Rico showed 69 per cent of respondents confirming they were Catholic, even though 84 per cent of people said they had been raised in the Church.

The Catholic population has slipped sharply over the past century, when their numbers topped 90 per cent.

Evangelicals have attracted Mass-goers often by promoting what those converting would consider more attractive ways of worshipping the Lord, an emphasis on morality and solutions for their earthly afflictions – mostly poverty-related, said Andrew Chesnut, religious studies professor at Virginia Commonwealth University.

Some Central American countries and Uruguay now have almost as many Protestants or religiously unaffiliated people as Catholics in their populations. If the trend continues, "even Brazil, home to the largest Catholic population on earth, will no longer have a Catholic majority by 2030," said Dr Chesnut, author of a book on Evangelicals in Brazil.

FULL STORY Exodus of Latin American Catholics to Evangelical congregations (The Tablet)

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