Religion in Latin America

Despite the fact that the Europeans forcibly imposed Catholicism on the majority of the New World, Latin America is one of the most religiously diverse regions in the world.

Latin American religion ranges from atheism, folk religions to more well known religions followed and believed in.


In Latin America, religion has a deep founded history that can be traced back to the earliest civilisations where sacrifice did not mean getting up early on Sunday morning for church, but instead took on deathly consequences to praise, worship and gratify different gods. The Aztec religion was notorious for its practice of human sacrifice.

Traditional Religions

For many indigenous people in Latin America, religion such as Folk religion or traditional religion is still followed, believing in superstition, spirits, magical objects and ancestor worship. A visit to the La Paz witches market shopping in Bolivia shows how strong traditional religious beliefs still are in some areas of Latin America.


Due to the different worldwide influences in the population of Latin America, religious syncretism can be found, whereby many religions have been combined to form new ones. For example, Rastafarianism is a development of Christianity with a distinctive Caribbean take; Voodoo and Santería have roots in both Catholicism and traditional African religions.

Most of Latin America claim to be Roman Catholics, however the last decades have seen the number of Protestants increasing and some studies believe it will be the dominant religion in the region by 2050.

The diversity of religions and beliefs has led many countries in Latin America to allow freedom or little restriction of religion.