Survey: U.S. Protestant Hispanics more religious than Catholics

(Video Still: Ministerio Internacional El Rey Jesus / Guillermo Maldonado)A preacher delivers a sermon at Ministerio Internacional El Rey Jesus in Miami, Florida in a video published on February 12, 2013.

While most Hispanics in the U.S. are Catholic, the smaller number of Protestant Hispanics are more likely to be religious.

Trends suggest a potential for an increase in the relative number of Protestant Hispanics in coming  years ahead, the results of a survey show.

Figures released by polling firm Gallup on Monday indicate that Hispanic Catholics identify as "very religious" 43 percent of the time, while Hispanic Protestants do so 60 percent of the time.

The analysis was based on more than 360,000 interviews conducted from January 2012 to January 2013, including 28,607 interviews with Hispanics.

The gap in religiousness between Protestant and Catholic Hispanics is also evident across all age groups, the report found.

The percentage of 18-29 year old Hispanic Protestants who are very religious is 52 percent, while the figure is 33 percent for Catholics. Among Hispanics who are at least 65 years old, those identifying as very religious among protestants is 71 percent and 59 percent among Catholics.

The figures also show less than half of 18-to 29-year old Hispanics are Catholic, which is significantly lower than the percentage Catholic among those aged 30 and older, according to the report.

Among Protestants there is no shortfall among young Hispanics compared with older age groups. It is nearly identical across all age groups.

The report states that patterns uncovered in the survey "suggest the potential for an increase in the relative or proportionate number of Protestant Hispanics in the years ahead."

"If this does happen, and given that Protestant Hispanics are considerably more religious than Catholic Hispanics, this could lead to a higher average level of Hispanic religiosity in future years."

Hispanics vs. Overall U.S. Population

The differences between Hispanic Protestantsa and Catholics are reflective of a pattern found in the U.S. population overall, according to the report.

Fifty-one percent of all Protestants, including those who identify themselves as Christian but not Catholic, are very religious, compared with 43 percent of all Catholics.

The survey found Hispanic Protestants are significantly more religious than all Protestants in the U.S.
Hispanic Catholics are no more religious than the general Catholic population.

Overall, 40 percent of Americans are very religious, based on answers stating religion is an important part of their daily life and that they take part in religious services every week or almost every week.

Another 31 percent of people surveyed say they are not religious, indicating religion is not an important part of their daily life and that they seldom or never attend religious services.

Twenty-nine percent of those surveyed say they are moderately religious, stating that religion is important in their lives but that they do not attend services regularly or that religion is not important but that they still attend services.

Copyright © 2013 Ecumenical News