Friday 14 October 2022

Declining Religion in USA - Latinos Are Leaving the Catholic Church

Pie chart of religious beliefs of Hispanic Americans
New poll finds 4 in 10 non-Catholic Latinos were once Catholic and left

Tucked away on page 15 of the NBC News/Telemundo National Survey report conducted over Sept. 17-26, 2022 by Hart Research Associates/Public Opinion Strategies, is a table that should spread despondency in the US Catholic Church, which had been pinning its hopes of avoiding the haemorrhage of members experience by other Christian churches in the USA, by the immigration of Hispanic people, assumed to be overwhelmingly Catholic.

NBC News/Telemundo Survey (Page 15)
Page 15 of report
In fact, the survey showed that not only do less than half (48%) of Hispanic Americans self-identify as Catholic, of those who are not now Catholic, 40% say they were formerly Catholic. This is almost double the US average of 21% of non-Catholics who have left the Catholic Church for other religions or none.

In case the dwindling Evangelical churches were hoping to mop up a significant proportion of disaffected Hispanic ex-Catholics, the survey also revealed that, of those non-Catholic Hispanic Americans, 79% said they were neither evangelical nor fundamentalist. Only 21% identified with the Protestant extremists.

NBC News/Telemundo Survey (Page 3 (part))
Table of political party suport
In what probably reflects diminishing importance of religion in their lives, of those Hispanic Americans who identify with any religion, only 33% say religion is the single most important factor or a major factor in how they vote. This is reflected in which party they support with 50% Democrat or Democrat-leaning Independent and only 28% Republican or Republican-leaning Independent with the balance either strictly Independent (15%), Other (6%), or not sure (1%) (Page 3). With religious extremism and xenophobic white Christian nationalism penetrating the Republican Party ever further, this is more evidence that the Republicans are becoming increasingly wedded to a shrinking minority base, with even supposedly conservative and Catholic Hispanics moving inexorably away from intolerant religious extremism and towards Democratic inclusivity.

A cynic might say that this level of support for the Democrats, and the fact that Hispanic Americans can't easily be controlled and manipulated from the pulpit, could be reasons for the xenophobic, anti-immigrant policies of the Republicans.

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