- Religious Freedom
- Religious Regulation
- Religious Support
Colombia - Major World Religions2
Colombia - Largest Religious Groups2
Preferred Religion (2015)1: Catholic
Majority Religion (2015)2: Catholic (88%)
Religious Adherents, (2015)2
The country has an area of 439,735 square miles and a population of 41.2 million. The Government does not keep statistics on religious affiliation, and estimates from religious leaders varied. According to the Colombian Evangelical Council (CEDECOL), approximately 15 percent of the population is Protestant, while the Catholic Bishops' Conference estimates that 90 percent of the population is Catholic. A 2007 article in the daily newspaper, El Tiempo, claims that 80 percent of the population is Catholic, although not all are practicing; 13.5 percent belong to non-Catholic forms of Christianity, 2 percent are agnostic, and the remaining 4.5 percent belong to other religious groups, such as Islam and Judaism. The Seventh-day Adventist Church and the Methodist Church have 261,000 and 1,500 members respectively. The Anglican Church and the Presbyterian Church have approximately 50,000 members each. Other Protestant and Evangelical Churches have an estimated 5 million followers. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) claims approximately 150,000 members. Other religious groups with a significant number of adherents include Judaism, estimated at 5,000 members; Islam, with an estimated 10,000 followers; animism; and various syncretic belief practitioners.
Adherents of some religious groups are concentrated in specific geographical regions. For example, the vast majority of practitioners of syncretic beliefs that blend Catholicism with elements of African animism are Afro-Colombian residents of the western department of Choco. Jews are found in major cities, Muslims on the Caribbean coast, and adherents of indigenous animistic religions in remote, rural areas. A small Taoist commune exists in a mountainous region of Santander Department.
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, the co-principal investigator of the World Religion Database, and co-author of the World Christian Encyclopedia series.
2. The Religious Characteristics of States Dataset Project: Demographics reports annual estimates of religious demographics, both country by country and region by region. It estimates populations and percentages of adherents of 100 religious denominations including second level subdivisions 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, the co-principal investigator of the World Religion Database, and co-author of the World Christian Encyclopedia series.
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.