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Catholics, by contrast, have had a net loss of 25 percentage points among the native born. For more on religious switching, see Chapter 2. The new survey asked respondents who have left their childhood religion about the reasons they did so. The survey also contained an open-ended question asking respondents to explain, in their own words, the main reason they left their childhood religion.

For more on the reasons Hispanics give for switching faiths, see Chapter 2. For an analysis of the extent to which childhood Catholics who have switched faiths or become religiously unaffiliated retain vestiges of Catholic beliefs and practices, such as praying to the Virgin Mary and displaying a crucifix or other religious objects in their home, see Chapter 4. On the whole, Hispanic Catholics express very positive views of some aspects of their church. Foreign-born and U. In general, the survey finds that former Catholics tend to be less positive on these questions.

However, these are classic chicken-and-egg situations: it is impossible to know whether such views are a cause of religious switching or a consequence of having switched.

American Latino Theme Study: Struggles for Inclusion (U.S. National Park Service)

Even as Latino Catholics generally express positive views of their church, there is strong consensus among them that more action is needed to address the clergy sex abuse scandal. Disagreement with these church teachings is stronger among Hispanic Catholics who attend Mass less regularly. The influence of Pentecostalism is still strongly felt within the Hispanic community. For definitions of terms, see Chapter 7.

And those who describe themselves as charismatics are more likely than those who do not describe themselves as renewalist Christians to have witnessed or participated in these types of experiences. For more on renewalism among both Protestants and Catholics, see Chapter 7. As the religious diversity of Latinos grows, the major religious groups are marked by sharply differing levels of religious commitment.

Latino evangelical Protestants are the most likely to say they attend worship services at least weekly, pray daily and consider religion to be very important in their lives. Latino Catholics and mainline Protestants fall in the middle between these two groups. With few exceptions, Hispanic religious groups are similar to their non-Hispanic counterparts in the general public in terms of religious commitment. The main exception is Hispanic mainline Protestants, who tend to be somewhat more religious, by conventional measures, than white non-Hispanic mainline Protestants.

The differences stem primarily from higher levels of religious practice among foreign-born mainliners. For more on religious commitment and practices, including engagement in congregational life, see Chapter 3. When it comes to social and political views, Hispanics also fall into distinct groups along religious lines. Like the U. However, there still are sizable differences in views about same-sex marriage among Hispanic religious groups.

These differences among Hispanic religious groups are largely in keeping with patterns found among the same religious groups in the general public. Hispanics tend to be more conservative than the general public in their views on abortion. But Latino religious groups differ markedly in their views about abortion.

Latinos are closely divided over the role that churches and other houses of worship should play in public debates over social and political issues. But, once again, there are sizable differences of opinion among Hispanic religious groups. By contrast, half or more of religiously unaffiliated and mainline Protestant Hispanics say that church leaders should stay out of political matters. Solid majorities of Hispanics in all major religious groups reject traditional views of gender roles within marriage. Overall, Hispanics are no more likely to prefer traditional marriage roles than the general public was in a Pew Research survey that asked many of the same questions.

And Latino Protestants — including mainline as well as evangelical Protestants — are more inclined than either Catholics or the religiously unaffiliated to believe that husbands should have the final say on family matters. Latinos who attend services more regularly are more inclined to say this than are those who attend less frequently.

Hispanics are more unified when it comes to party identification. Across all of the major religious groups, Hispanics are more likely to identify with the Democratic Party than with the Republican Party. The partisan gap is narrower among Latino evangelicals than among other religious groups. About half or more of both foreign-born and U. However, those who are foreign born — including some who are not U. For more on views about social and political issues, see Chapter 9. This report is based on findings from a Pew Research Center survey conducted May July 28, , among a nationally representative sample of 5, Hispanic adults.

The survey was conducted in both English and Spanish on cellular as well as landline telephones. The margin of error for the full sample is plus or minus 2. For a detailed description of the methodology, see Appendix A. Estimates of the current religious profile of Hispanics are based on 4, respondents who were asked the standard Pew Research question on religious affiliation, which has been used in numerous U. Estimates of change in religious affiliation from to are based on Pew Research surveys that use the same standard question about religious affiliation. To allow for a direct comparison with that survey, a random subsample of 1, respondents in the new survey were asked about their religious affiliation using the question wording.

For more details, see the sidebar in Chapter 1. Many Pew Research staff members contributed to the development of this survey and accompanying report. Jessica Hamar Martinez and Cary Funk were the principal researchers on this survey and lead authors of the report. Elizabeth Sciupac contributed to the data analysis, writing and number checking.

Political Change in Latin America

Expert advice on portions of the questionnaire was provided by R. Murphy of Georgetown University and Timothy J. Steigenga of Florida Atlantic University.

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Chapter 1 looks at the religious affiliation of Hispanics, including religious profiles of the major Hispanic origin groups in the United States. Chapter 3 describes religious commitment and religious practices, including frequency of attendance at worship services, frequency of prayer and involvement in church activities aside from worship services. Chapter 5 discusses the ethnic characteristics of the churches that Hispanics attend, including the availability of Spanish-language worship services, the presence of Hispanic clergy and the presence of other Hispanic churchgoers.

Chapter 6 explores religious beliefs, including beliefs about the Bible, the Virgin Mary and the prosperity gospel.


Chapter 7 examines renewalism among Hispanics, including the beliefs and practices of those who identify as Pentecostal and charismatic Protestants and Catholics. Chapter 8 takes a closer look at the experience of the spirit world. Chapter 9 covers views on social and political issues, such as abortion, same-sex marriage, gender expectations and the role of the church in political matters. While those born in Puerto Rico are U.

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National identities and Socio-Political Changes in Latin America

Language dominance, or primary language, is a composite measure based on self-described assessments of speaking and reading abilities. Attitudes towards illegal immigration were even more pronounced. In some aspects of their lives, second-generation Latinos appear to be better off than their first-generation counterparts, especially when it comes to health insurance coverage and the ability to save money for the future. On the other hand, first- and second-generation Latinos report similar experiences with discrimination. While differences between first and second generations are very pronounced, the differences between second and third generations or higher are much more nuanced.

In fact, these two groups of Latinos exhibit more similarities than differences. Second- and third-generation or higher Hispanics report having very similar levels of both income and education. On the other hand, second- and third-generation or higher Latinos still diff er in the language they primarily speak and read.

Second- and third-generation or higher Latinos also differ substantially in their preferences and views on identity. When asked whether the United States should allow more, allow the same, or reduce the number of immigrants who come to work in this country legally, second- and third-generation or higher Latinos expressed similar views. Although they agree on the number of legal immigrants who should be allowed in the United States, second- and third-generation or higher Latinos somewhat disagree on the value of illegal immigration.

Generational Differences

Second-generation Latinos often share very similar views on social values with third-generation or higher Latinos. When it comes to family and gender roles, second- and third-generation or higher Latinos also share very similar attitudes. Second- and third-generation or higher Latinos report similar personal experiences, especially when it comes to health insurance and the ability to save money for the future, as well as experiences with discrimination or unfair treatment.

Second- and third-generation or higher Latinos also report similar experiences when it comes to the ability to save money for the future. With such a large group making up most of the adult Latino population, it is important to look at an additional division that can be made within this group to further illuminate the diversity among the Latino population. One key characteristic of Latino immigrants arriving at or before the age of ten is that they are much more likely to be bilingual or English dominant than those arriving after the age of ten.

Those who arrived when they were younger also seem more likely to enjoy more financial wealth.

Latino immigrants arriving at or before the age of ten also tend to be less socially conservative in their views towards divorce and abortion.