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Study: A Majority of Latinos Believes in Spirits, Demons

Fox News Latino
go to original
May 22, 2014

To read the full report click here (PDF)

While many Latinos in the United States are leaving the Catholic Church in favor of Evangelical religions or none at all, that doesn’t mean they’re losing their spirituality.

A recent Pew Research study entitled “The Shifting Religious Identity of Latinos in the United States” found that more than half of all U.S. Latinos (57 percent) believe people can be possessed by spirits, and 44 percent said magic, sorcery or witchcraft can influence people’s lives.

The study found that one in eight Hispanic Catholics in the U.S. have purportedly witnessed an exorcism and 37 percent of Latino Protestants say they have seen “the devil or evil spirits being driven out of a person.”

Around 39 percent of Hispanic Catholics believe in the so-called “evil eye” –  a malevolent look that could injure or bring misfortune to the person at whom it is directed for reasons of envy or dislike – and 15 percent say they have had witchcraft or black magic practiced on them or someone close to them.

While percentages vary between different Latino groups, much of this belief in spirits is thought to be rooted on Afro-Caribbean religions like Santeria and Popular Catholicism practiced in parts of Mexico, which mixes indigenous and Christian creeds.

The Pew study, however, notes that Latino Catholics are not the only Christians who believe in this otherworldly form of spirituality.

Read the rest at Fox News Latino

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