Religion in Latin America is strong, except in Uruguay

Pew just released an interesting report on religion in Latin America: Religion in Latin America | Pew Research Center’s Religion & Public Life Project.  Given our recent discussion on the decline of religion in western societies, I found this report interesting.  Religion and belief in God remains very strong in Latin America, except in one country, Uruguay.

Given my preference for the theory that religion is strong where life is insecure, uncertain, and hard, and that religion is weak where life is secure and comfortable, I wondered if Uruguay might be an exception to that rule.  So I check Uruguay’s wikipedia entry:

Uruguay is ranked first in Latin America in democracy, peace, lack of corruption, quality of living,[7] e-Government,[8]and equally first in South America when it comes to press freedom, size of the middle class, prosperity and security.[7]On a per capita basis, Uruguay contributes more troops to United Nations peacekeeping missions than any other country.[7] It ranks second in the region on economic freedom, income equality, per capita income and inflows of FDI.[7]Uruguay is the third best country on the continent in terms of HDI, GDP growth,[9] innovation and infrastructure.[7] It’s regarded as a high income country (top group) by the UN, the only one in Latin America alongside Chile.[8] Uruguay is also the 3rd best ranked in the world in e-Participation.[8] Uruguay is an important global exporter of combed wool, rice,soybeans, frozen beef, malt and milk.[7]

I’d have to say that my favorite theory remains comfortably intact.  I had no idea that Uruguay was such an advanced country.  Yeah, I know, clueless American.

11 thoughts on “Religion in Latin America is strong, except in Uruguay

    1. Wow, just looked him up. You weren’t kidding. José Alberto “Pepe” Mujica Cordano. Donates 90% of his salary to charity? Refuses to live in the Presidential palace, instead living on an austere farm? He seems completely unconcerned about any trappings of power.

      How did they even convince a guy like this to run for office?


          1. Hard to see that happening after he legalised pot. Mellllow. And hey, anyone who calls Cristina, “an old hag…worse than the cross-eyed man” is never, ever going to put a foot wrong 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

  1. I read this write-up in the NYTimes on the same Pew study that stated:

    “Pew describes Uruguay as “far and away Latin America’s most secular country,” with 37 percent of the population religiously unaffiliated, after more than a century of secularization fueled by state policy.”

    ‘Latin America Is Losing Its Catholic Identity’

    I never would have guessed – another clueless American here 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks. I should have mentioned that Pew’s results show that Catholicism has declined in Latin America. I think it’s fair to say it remains the most Catholic region (excluding the Vatican state of course). But it sounds like protestant denominations are making a lot of headway.

      Liked by 1 person

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