El Salvador
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  Preferred Religion (2015)1: Catholic

  Majority Religion (2015)2: Catholic (40.4%)

Religious Adherents, (2015)2

El Salvador Central America World
Christian (all denominations combined) 82.7% 91.7% 29.9%
 
  • Catholic
  • 39.5% 70.9% 15%
     
  • Pentecostal
  • 23.1% 10.8% 2.8%
     
  • Protestant
  • 16.5% 7.1% 5.6%
     
  • Other and Unknown Christian
  • 3.5% 3% 2.3%
    Ethnoreligionist (incl. Animist, Shamanist) 0.6% 1% 2.5%
    Bahai 0.4% 0.1% 0.1%
    Other Religionist 0.1% 0.3% 0.2%
    Not Religious (incl. Atheist) 16.2% 6.5% 12%

    Religious Demography3

    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

    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.

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