El Salvador
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Religious Adherents, 2010 (World Christian Database)1

El Salvador Central America World
Baha'i 0.4% 0.1% 0.1%
Buddhist <0.1% <0.1% 7.2%
Chinese Universalist <0.1% <0.1% 6.3%
Christian 96.5% 95.9% 32.8%
Confucianist 0.0% 0.0% 0.1%
Ethnoreligionist 0.6% 1.0% 3.5%
Hindu 0.0% <0.1% 13.8%
Jain 0.0% 0.0% <0.1%
Jewish <0.1% <0.1% 0.2%
Muslim <0.1% <0.1% 22.5%
Shintoist 0.0% 0.0% <0.1%
Sikh 0.0% <0.1% 0.3%
Spiritist 0.0% 0.1% 0.2%
Taoist 0.0% 0.0% 0.1%
Zoroastrian 0.0% 0.0% <0.1%
Neoreligionists <0.1% <0.1% 0.9%
Atheist 0.1% 0.2% 2.0%
Agnostic 2.3% 2.4% 9.8%

Religious Demography2

The country has an area of 8,108 square miles. According to the 2007 census, the population is 5.7 million. The country is predominantly Roman Catholic, with a sizeable Protestant minority. There are also small communities of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons), Jehovah's Witnesses, Hare Krishna, Muslims, and Jews, among others. A very small segment of the population observes indigenous religious practices. Some Catholic rituals incorporate indigenous elements.

According to a March 2008 survey by the Public Opinion Center of the Technological University of El Salvador (UTEC), 52.5 percent of the population identifies itself as Roman Catholic. There are several different Catholic groups, including a charismatic renewal group that reportedly constitutes more than 6 percent of Catholics. Members of Protestant churches comprise 27.6 percent of the population. Among Protestants, informal church estimates suggest that 35 percent are Baptists or members of Assembly of God. Other religious groups constitute less than 1.4 percent of the population; 11.1 percent of the population indicates that it is not affiliated with any religious group.

Sources

Note: The World Christian Database (WCD) estimates, used in the Religious Adherents section above, count each person as belonging to a maximum of one religious group. For more information, see the WCD methodology document. The U.S. State Department's International Religious Freedom report estimates, used in the Religious Demography section, use less restrictive criteria in which a person who identifies with more than one religion is classified as a follower of each. In certain cases (such as Japan and other nations with strong folk religion traditions), this can cause counts to vary widely between estimates. Users are advised to consult the relevant source documents before determining which counts to cite.

1.  The World Christian Database (WCD) is based on the 2600-page award-winning World Christian Encyclopedia and World Christian Trends, first published in 1982 and revised in 2001. This extensive work on World religion is now completely updated and integrated into the WCD online database. Designed for both the casual user and research scholar, information is readily available on religious activities, growth rates, religious literature, worker activity, and demographic statistics. Additional secular data is incorporated on population, health, education, and communications. A dataset with these and the other international measures highlighted on the country pages can be downloaded from this website. Used with permission.

2.  The U.S. State Department's International Religious Freedom Report is submitted to Congress annually by the Department of State in compliance with Section 102(b) of the International Religious Freedom Act (IRFA) of 1998. This report supplements the most recent Human Rights Reports by providing additional detailed information with respect to matters involving international religious freedom. It includes individual country chapters on the status of religious freedom worldwide. A dataset with these and the other international measures highlighted on the country pages can be downloaded from this website. These State Department reports are open source.