Mexico is located in the southern part of North America and is bordered by the United States, Guatemala, Pacific Ocean, Belize, Caribbean Sea, and the Gulf of Mexico. Mexico is the third-largest country in North America and the world’s 13th largest country by land area with a total area of 2 million square kilometers. The country is the second most populous in Latin America and the world’s 11th most populous country with a population of 120 million people. According to the 2010 census carried out by the Instituto Nacional Del Estadisticay Geografia, there are over five major religious groups in the country. Also, a good number of Mexicans do not ascribe to any religion in the country. Religion in Mexico involves the following major faiths:
Roman Catholic Christianity
Roman Catholic is the most popular religion in Mexico with 82.7% of the population associated with it. Catholic Church in Mexico is a subset of the worldwide Catholic Church led by the Pope and has its headquarters at the Vatican. Mexican Roman Catholic history is divided into colonial and post-colonial. During the military conquest of Mexico, efforts were made to evangelize to the indigenous population of the Mexicans leading to the establishment of the Episcopal hierarchy. After independence in the 19th century, a legal framework was established to promote the affairs of the Catholic Church. The established framework declaring Catholic as the sole religion led to Mexican Revolution which was won by constitutionalists leading to the restriction of the church. However, the Catholic Church would later embark on the building of social amenities and formation of a political party, the National Action Party. A new framework was later established which lifted some of the restrictions that were placed on the church. Currently, Mexico is the second largest Catholic Country in the world with 18 Ecclesiastical Provinces and a total of 90 dioceses. The Catholic Church in Mexico has 15,700 diocesan priests and over 45000 people in the religious order.
Pentecostal, Evangelical, and Mainline Protestant Christianity
In Mexico, 6.6% of the population ascribe to other Christian denominations including Pentecostal, Evangelical, and other Mainline Protestant Christianity. Evangelical Christianity is the most popular denomination forming 4% of the population while Pentecostals form 1.6%. The Evangelicals in Mexico originated with the British and American missionaries in the 19th century. The Pentecostals in Mexico just like other Evangelicals adhere to the Bible as the divine inspiration. Pentecostals also believe in the salvation through Jesus Christ and baptism with the Holy Spirit.
The non-religious denominations in Mexico comprise of atheism, deism, agnosticism, secularism, and skepticism. 4.7% of the Mexican population are either atheist or agnostic. An atheist or agnostic person in Mexico is defined as anyone who does not practice the faith literally or those who do not ascribe to any religions or practices any religious activity. The legislature, in 2010, tried to amend the constitution to make the Mexican government formally secular or lay to accommodate atheists in the country.
The number of church attendants has reduced drastically in Mexico. Less than 3% of Catholics attend church daily despite 47% attending the mass weekly. The number of atheist in the country is growing by 5.7% annually while Catholics are growing by 1.7%. Jehovah’s Witness Christianity is also practiced by 1.4% of the Mexican population.