Uruguay
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  Preferred Religion (2015)1: Catholic

  Majority Religion (2015)2: Catholic (43.8%)

Religious Adherents, (2015)2

Uruguay South America World
Christian (all denominations combined) 54.6% 89.1% 29.9%
 
  • Catholic
  • 43.8% 66.2% 15%
     
  • Pentecostal
  • 3.3% 10.5% 2.8%
     
  • Protestant
  • 2.6% 7% 5.6%
     
  • Orthodox
  • 1.1% 0.2% 3%
     
  • Other and Unknown Christian
  • 3.8% 5.1% 2.3%
    Christian Syncretic 0.1% 1.5% ---
    Jewish 0.5% --- 0.2%
    Bahai 0.2% 0.2% 0.1%
    Other Religionist 0.1% 0.2% 0.2%
    Not Religious (incl. Atheist) 41.7% 6.4% 12%
    Unknown 2.8% 0.3% 4.8%

    Religious Demography3

    The country has an area of 68,039 square miles and a population of 3.24 million (according to the 2004 census). The most recent statistics from the National Bureau of Statistics indicate that 45.1 percent identify themselves as Roman Catholics, 10.5 percent as Christian but not Catholic, 0.4 percent as Jewish, 0.7 percent as Afro-Umbandistas, and 27.8 percent believe in God but do not claim a religious affiliation. Mainstream Protestants primarily include Anglicans, Methodists, Lutherans, and Baptists. Other groups include evangelicals, Pentecostals, Mennonites, Eastern Orthodox, Christian Scientists, and Jehovah's Witnesses. A 2007 study by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association reports a total of 2,113 evangelical churches with 6.1 percent of the population regularly attending. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) claims 100,000 members.

    The Jewish community numbers between 12,500 and 20,000 members. The estimated 4,000 Baha'is are concentrated primarily in Montevideo. A 2006 report indicates that approximately 850 families practice Buddhism. The Unification Church is active and has major property holdings, including a daily newspaper. The Muslim population lives primarily near the border with Brazil. An Islamic cultural representative estimated 300 to 400 Muslims in the country but noted that the majority were minimally observant. On April 25, 2008, the Egyptian Islamic Center in Montevideo, which is supported by the Egyptian Embassy, was inaugurated as the first mosque in the country. Muslims also gather to pray at the Uruguay Islamic Center in Canelones. The mosque and the center serve primarily as social hubs for Muslim immigrants who wish to maintain ties to their culture and for native-born citizens who have converted to Islam.


    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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