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Percentage of Latinos who’ve no religious affiliation surges

The percentage of Latinos in the usa and Latin America who say they will have no religious affiliation has been steadily rising despite how ingrained religion is in Hispanic culture.

State of play: The percentage of Hispanics in the U.S. who identify as atheists or agnostics grew during the past 12 years, in accordance with data from the Pew Research Center.

The big picture: The amount of Americans who have confidence in God has dropped to the cheapest level in nearly eight decades of surveys. Religious “nones” will be the fastest growing segment in the Americas, even surpassing evangelicals, Andrew Chesnut, the Bishop Walter F. Sullivan chairman in Catholic Studies at Virginia Commonwealth University, told Axios.

  • “Nones” are individuals who consider themselves atheist or agnostic, who don’t practice any particular religion, or who practice MODERN faiths not associated with organized religion.

By the numbers: In accordance with an analysis of U.S. Census records by Trinity College, only 6.4% of Latinos identified without religion in 1990. That jumped to 12.4% in 2008.

In Latin America, the percentage of non-affiliated people quadrupled to 16% from 1996 to 2020, in accordance with Latinobarmetro, the premier regional annual survey.

  • The survey discovered that 40% of individuals in Uruguay are “nones,” while another 10% are agnostic or atheist.

Yes, but: Leaving religion could be problematic for Latinos, because it is indeed ingrained in the culture, and several families educate children in Christian doctrines early, Luciano Joshua Gonzalez-Vega, a columnist for a secular website, tells Axios.

  • “I came across comfort in religion. So, for me personally, the procedure of leaving religion was a particularly difficult one,” says Gonzalez-Vega, who “arrived” as a non-believer at age 18.
  • Many Latinos believe that being open about their insufficient religion would include “social consequences they didn’t think were worthwhile,” including alienation from family and holiday gatherings, Gonzalez-Vega says.
  • “It really is difficult to divorce any type of Latinx culture from Christianity,” they said.

What they’re saying: “The religious right has given a negative name to religion, and that explains most of the growth of secularism in the usa,” Juhem Navarro-Rivera, political director and managing partner of Socioanaltica Research, told Axios.

  • Navarro-Rivera said conservative religious sects attacking same-sex marriage or opposing abortion are turning off younger generations.
  • The growth of non-religious affiliation is robust among young Latinos that are convenient shedding religious obligations than previous generations, said Navarro-Rivera, who’s a non-believer.

Between your lines: Groups just like the American Humanist Association and Secular Coalition for America will work to add more Latino voices to create Hispanics feel safe engaging, said Anthony Cruz Pantojas, an SCA board member.

  • The American Humanist Association, for instance, launched a “1 in 5 campaign” targeted at helping Latinos feel safe in developing as not believing in God.
  • “I believe it will require a bit more time for all of us to complete those spaces,” Cruz Pantojas said.

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