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Latin America is home to more than 425 million Catholics – nearly 40% of the world’s total Catholic population – and the Roman Catholic Church now has a Latin American pope for the first time in its history. Historical data suggest that for most of the 20th century, from 1900 through the 1960s, at least 90% of Latin America’s population was Catholic.Yet identification with Catholicism has declined throughout the region, according to a major new Pew Research Center survey that examines religious affiliations, beliefs and practices in 18 Latin American countries and one U. Today, the Pew Research survey shows, 69% of adults across the region identify as Catholic.We conduct public opinion polling, demographic research, media content analysis and other empirical social sciences research, but we do not take positions on public policy issues or engage in policy debates.This event is part of an occasional series of roundtable luncheons in which we bring together scholars, policymakers, government officials, religious leaders, journalists and other experts for discussions on topics at the intersection of religion and public affairs in the United States and around the world. We have several journalists here, and, as we typically do with these events, we will post a transcript on our website and, of course, you are welcome to share anything you like about this event on social media so go ahead and tweet.
This is part of what we call the Global Religious Futures Project, a joint project of Pew and the Templeton Foundation.
In nearly every country surveyed, the Catholic Church has experienced net losses from religious switching, as many Latin Americans have joined evangelical Protestant churches or rejected organized religion altogether. 13, 2014, the Pew Research Center brought together members of the Latin America community, religious leaders, scholars, members of the media and other experts for a round-table discussion about the latest data on religion in Latin America.
Speakers: Jim Bell, Director of International Survey Research, Pew Research Center Neha Sahgal, Senior Researcher, Pew Research Center Andrew Chesnut, Professor of Religious Studies, Virginia Commonwealth University Moderator: Alan Cooperman, Director of Religion Research, Pew Research Center ALAN COOPERMAN: You know the Talmud says, “Ein kemach, ein Torah.” “If there is no food, there is no Torah study.” No learning goes on.
She received her doctorate in government and politics from the University of Maryland and she’s an author of studies on the religious beliefs and practices of Muslims worldwide and on Christian Muslim relations in sub-Saharan Africa.
As I mentioned, we’re very fortunate to have had, as an adviser on this survey and as a panelist today, Dr.
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Let me quickly introduce our researchers and then we’ll move on. James Bell is our Director of International Survey Research. State Department for more than a decade, most recently as Director of International Opinion Research there. She’s a senior researcher here specializing in international polling, particularly on topics related to religion and politics.