Posted June 13, 2006
Some Statistics and Facts about Evangelization and Ecumenism Among Hispanics
According to an important three-year study funded by the Pew Charitable Trusts, Hispanic Churches in American Public Life, the Hispanic community is the fastest growing in the United States.
Hispanics constitute the largest minority group, already the largest minority group, already the largest minority in 23 states.
The vast majority of Latinos self-identify as Christians: 93%.
Slightly above 70% are Catholics.
Of Latino non-Catholics, 77% are Protestant or other Christians, with the majority being evangelical or Pentecostal or other Christians, with the majority being evangelical or Pentecostal.
Some 88% of all Protestants are evangelical or "born-again," and 64% are members of Pentecostal or charismatic denominations or claim to be Pentecostal, charismatic or spirit-filled.
The losses in Latin America have been significant, some 8,000 to 10,000 Catholics joining Pentecostal church each day by some estimates.
In Latin America Pentecostals constitute about 75% of non-Roman Catholic Christians; scholars like Harvey Cox note that there are more Pentecostals at church on any given Sunday morning than there Catholics at Mass.
David Stoll projects that Protestants, mostly Pentecostals, will have surpassed 50% of the population by 2010 in countries such as Guatemala, Puerto Rico, El Salavador, Brazil and Honduras.
There have also been significant losses in the United States. The authors of the Hispanic Churches in American Public Life project confirm Andrew Greeley’s findings that one out of seven Hispanics left the Catholic Church in less than a quarter of a century and that as many as 600,000 may be leaving every year.
While the massive influx of Catholic Hispanic immigrants keeps the total number of Hispanic Catholics slightly above 70%, numbers among first-generation immigrants, largely still-Catholic Mexico, drops from 74% to 72% and 62% in the second and third generations respectively.
The percentage of Latino Protestants and other Christians increases form one in six among the first generation to almost one in three (29%) among the second and third generations.