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An Overview of Mexicans and Their Faiths

Gabriel Zaid - Reforma
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August 8, 2014
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The religious overview of Mexico, published by the National Institute of Statistics and Geography (INEGI) using data from the 2010 census, has recorded 93 million Catholics, 11 million Protestants (comprising various denominations), 0.2 million followers of other religions, 5 million people with no religion and 3 million unspecified in a total of 112 million Mexicans. In comparison with the 1960 census, when the total was 35 million, the population half a century later is 3.2 times higher, with 2.8 times more Catholics, 19 times more Protestants and 27 times more people with no religion. Of the 109 million Mexicans providing this data, 85% were Catholic, 10% Protestant and 5% without religion, in round numbers.

In September 2013, Ipsos [a global marketing company based in Paris] carried out a national survey on culture and religious practices for the Mexican Institute of Christian Social Doctrine (the survey, named Creer en México or ‘Believing in Mexico’ can be found at www.encuestacreerenmexico.mx with two other surveys from 2006 and 2009). They carried out 4313 interviews throughout the country with men and women over 18 years old. The report makes it possible to compare the answers given by Catholics with those of the rest of the population.

In some areas, there are no significant differences. Catholics and non-Catholics alike believe that in Mexico, family is more important than the country, and concern themselves with their own good rather than that of the country. Naturally, the others are the selfish ones. When people were asked whether they personally did things that benefited themselves, even though they were harmful to the country, few admitted it.

They are also similar in terms of their trust in the Navy and the Army, and their distrust in the police, trade unions (such as the teachers’ unions and Pemex workers, [the state-owned oil company]), Telmex [the land-line phone company] and legislators. However, trust in the Catholic Church is polarized: high amongst Catholics (lower only than their trust in the armed forces) and minimal amongst non-Catholics.

Within the group of interviewees, nuns were held in highest esteem, with priests and bishops in second place: far higher opinions than those for Catholics in general. People are also satisfied with Pope Francis. As for the question of what he should prioritize, the number one response was to determine the causes of sexual abuse.

Read the rest at Mexico Voices

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