Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Many U.S. Latinos shift from Catholicism to Pentecostalism, other choices, survey finds

May 7, 2014

Hispanic religion is in a period of great flux in the United States, a new survey finds, with the share of Latinos who identify as Catholic dropping sharply — by 12 percentage points — in just the past four years as many switch to Pentecostalism or join the growing ranks of the religiously un­affiliated.

Experts say the future of U.S. Catholicism depends on the church’s ability to discern and meet the shifting needs of U.S. Latinos.

The survey released Wednesday by the Pew Research Center provides detail about two major long-term trends that on the surface appear counterintuitive. On the one hand, millions of Latinos are leaving Catholicism; on the other, Latinos are becoming a larger share of U.S. Catholics. But the growth in proportion is due to the growth in the nation’s Hispanic population, which now includes around 35.4 million adults.

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