Thursday, March 26, 2015

Plethora of US Latinos Now Leaving Cath. Church; Latino Evangelicals Fastest-Growing US Rel. Sect

One of the most dramatic current trends in American religion is the rapid growth of Latino evangelicals, many of whom are leaving the Roman Catholic Church that has long dominated religious life in their Latin American homelands, the California Catholic website reports today (March 26, 2015).

Although the majority of American Latinos still identify as Catholic, the percentage has dropped from 67 percent in 2006 to 59 percent in 2013, according to a Pew Research study released last year.

At the same time, the number of Latinos who identify as Evangelical rose by more than a quarter -- up from 14 percent in 2006 to 18 percent in 2013, making Latino evangelicals the fastest-growing religious group in the United States.

American Latinos -- who now call themselves "Evangelicos" -- say there are several reasons that they are happier at their new churches: Being able to participate in more joyful spiritual practices; gatherings and festivities that connect to the cultural traditions of their home countries; hearing messages of hope that help them rise above hardships; and finding ways to become leaders as immigrants in a new land.

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