Guatemala
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  Preferred Religion (2015)1: Catholic

  Majority Religion (2015)2: Catholic (42.6%)

Religious Adherents, (2015)2

Guatemala Central America World
Christian (all denominations combined) 87.4% 91.7% 29.9%
 
  • Catholic
  • 42.6% 70.9% 15%
     
  • Protestant
  • 25.8% 7.1% 5.6%
     
  • Pentecostal
  • 16.1% 10.8% 2.8%
     
  • Other and Unknown Christian
  • 2.9% 3% 2.3%
    Ethnoreligionist (incl. Animist, Shamanist) 0.9% 1% 2.5%
    Christian Syncretic 0.2% 0.1% ---
    Bahai 0.1% 0.1% 0.1%
    Other Religionist 0.1% 0.3% 0.2%
    Not Religious (incl. Atheist) 11.3% 6.5% 12%

    Religious Demography3

    The country has an area of 42,043 square miles and a population of 13.7 million. According to official census data, the indigenous population is 43 percent, although unofficial estimates are higher.

    The religious demography has changed significantly over the last few decades, influenced by political and societal pressures. Historically, the country was overwhelmingly Roman Catholic; however, in part due to active proselytizing efforts, evangelical groups have flourished.

    There is no official census of religious affiliation. The Episcopal Conference of Guatemala, the official ruling body of the Catholic Church, estimates that 65 percent of the population is Catholic (2008). Alianza Evangelica, the official umbrella organization for Protestants, estimates that 35 to 40 percent is Protestant. A 2006 survey conducted by LatinobarĂ³metro indicates that Catholics comprise 56.9 percent of the population and evangelicals 30.7 percent. The largest Protestant group is the Full Gospel Church, followed by the Assembly of God, the Central American Church, and the Prince of Peace Church, as well as many independent evangelical groups. Baptists, Presbyterians, Lutherans, Episcopalians, and Seventh-day Adventists are present, as are the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons), and Jehovah's Witnesses. Jews (approximately 2,000) and Muslims reside primarily in Guatemala City.

    Catholics and Protestants are distributed throughout the country, and their adherents are found among all major ethnic groups and political parties. According to leaders of Mayan spiritual organizations and Catholic and Protestant missionaries, many indigenous Catholics and some Protestants also practice some form of indigenous spiritual ritual.


    Sources

    1.  The Religious Characteristics of States Dataset Project: Government Religious Preference (GRP) measures government-level favoritism toward, and disfavor against, 30 religious denominations. A series of ordered categorical variables index the state's institutional favoritism in 28 different ways. The variables are combined to form five composite indices for five broad components of state-religion: official status, religious education, financial support, regulatory burdens, and freedom of practice. The five components' composites in turn are further combined into a single composite score, the GRP score. The RCS Data Project would like to acknowledge, recognize, and express our deepest gratitude for the significant contributions of Todd M. Johnson the principal investigator of the World Christian Database and the co-principal investigator of the World Religion Database.

    2.  The Religious Characteristics of States Dataset Project: Demographics reports the estimates of religious demographics, both country by country and region by region. The RCS was created to fulfill the unmet need for a dataset on the religious dimensions of countries of the world, with the state-year as the unit of observation. It estimates populations and percentages of adherents of 100 religious denominations including second level subdivision within Christianity and Islam. The RCS Data Project would like to acknowledge, recognize, and express our deepest gratitude for the significant contributions of Todd M. Johnson the principal investigator of the World Christian Database and the co-principal investigator of the World Religion Database.

    3.  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.

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