Skip to comments.Hispanics increasing Catholic numbers in US, but assimilation has downside
Posted on 03/17/2010 9:36:00 AM PDT by NYer
.- A new study of Hispanics shows they comprise an increasingly large percentage of the Catholic Church in the United States. While immigrant influx has helped keep the American Catholic population stable, the more immigrants assimilate into American society the less likely they are to identify as Catholic.
Hispanics also mirror a larger national trend towards non-identification with religion.
The results come from the American Religious Identification Survey 2008 (ARIS) and were reported in a recent press release from Trinity College in Hartford Connecticut. The report was titled U.S. Latino Religious Identification 1990-2008: Growth, Diversity & Transformation.
Over the past 18 years, there are probably few phenomena that have changed America and American religion more than the growth of the Latino population, commented Juhem Navarro-Rivera, a research fellow at Trinitys Institute for the Study of Secularism in Society and Culture (ISSSC), who conducted the ARIS survey.
Over the 18-year period considered by the study, the addition of nine million Latino Catholics accounted for most of the 11 million additions to the U.S. Catholic population. Latinos now comprise 32 percent of all U.S. Catholics in 2008, compared to 20 percent in 1990.
However, Catholic identification has slipped among the 31 million Latino adults, from 66 percent in 1990 to 60 percent in 2008.
There has also been a significant jump in the number of Latinos who do not adhere to a religion. In 1990 they made up 900,000 people, six percent of the population. They now number four million, 12 percent in 2008, and are the fastest growing segment, according to the ARIS survey.
Jehovahs Witnesses and some Protestant sects, such as Adventists and non-denominational Christians have tripled their number of adherents in recent years, though the number of Pentecostal adherents only kept pace with Latino population growth.
The longer a Latino has lived in the United States, the less likely he or she is to be Catholic. Those most proficient in English are less likely to identify themselves as Catholic but more likely to self-identify as affiliated with conservative Christian traditions or no religion.
Of those with no religion, 61 percent are male. Among those who are Pentecostal, 58 percent are female.
Marital status also shows distinct patterns, ARIS says. Among unmarried persons cohabitating outside of marriage, 15 percent are without religion, 11 percent are Catholics, and seven percent are non-Catholic Christians. Latinos who say they are separated are overwhelmingly Catholic women. Researchers suggest this means that Latinas are more loyal to Catholic teaching against divorce and remarriage than Latino men.
There are fewer than 400,000 married Latinas who have no religion, while there are over 1.1 million married Latinos without religion. According to ARIS, this suggests that many couples and homes are not religiously homogeneous.
The larger proportions of those without religion and those in Protestant sects are under age 30. Those with no religion are more likely to have a college degree, while those in Protestant sects are the least college educated. Mainline Protestant Latinos have the highest household incomes, sectarian Protestants the lowest, and non-denominational Hispanics are the most suburbanized.
Regionally, non-religious Latinos are now 28 percent of all non-religious Texans, up from 15 percent in 1990.
In California, they are 24 percent of all non-religious Californians, up from 10 percent in 1990. They are now 56 percent of Catholics in the state, up five points from 1990.
Latino Catholics and those without religion are most likely to prefer the Democratic Party, while the non-Catholic Christians prefer the Republican Party.
Whereas Latino immigrants are contributing significantly to the stability of American Catholicism, the younger generation and the U.S.-born population are tending to polarize between those moving away from religion and those moving towards conservative Christian traditions, summarized Trinity professor Barry A. Kosmin.
That makes the Hispanics rather like the Irish. The longer they are here, the more American they are, and the less Catholic.
That'll keep 'em from assimilating.
It's all our fault anyway, right?
Catholic Bishops to the World: We don't need no steenken' Gringos! Back to Europe, Gabachos!
There are the faithful, and there are the parsites.
Back in Mexico, the Catholic Church provides schooling, medical care and food to the poor. Thus, they need the Catholic Church.
Here in the USA, the US Gov’t provides schools, medical care and food; and unlike the Church, has no demands for tithing, morality or support.
So, why would someone feel the need to identify themselves as Catholic (or any other church)? The faithful will always align with the teachings of Christ; the parasites need to be bribed.
That says a lot. I guess that explains why, as a Catholic, I identify ever less as an “American”. Well, at least partially anyway.
I’m not trying to be adversarial here.
I AM having a little cognitive dissonance here. I have on reason to doubt what you are saying baout the services the Church provides in Mexico. But I know that ten years ago or so when I was involved in a little informal migrant ministry with our pastor, a lot of them were unmarried and some of their kids were unbaptized because their perception was that they would be charged fees for these sacraments.
At first they resisted our suggestion that we would celebrate Mass in their camps. We couldn’t figure out why. Finally our pastor pressed one of them to find out what the problem was. He asked how much it would cost!
When we said, “Gratis! But we will take a collection,” their attitude was one of astonished gratitude.
So I’m having trouble reconciling these two views. Is it religious v. secular or geographical differences or what?
Latinos are also flocking to Islam.
More US Hispanics drawn to Islam / The Christian Science Monitor ...
NBC: Latino women finding a place in Islam - Life- msnbc.com
Number of Hispanic Muslim converts growing - Houston Chrinicle
Latinas Choosing Islam over Catholicism : NPR
The Latino Crescent: Latinos make a place for themselves in Muslim ...
Muslim Organizations in Latin America
Not to worry. We are bring in 1.2 million LEGAL immigrants a year, two-thirds of whom are Hispanic. By 2050, one in three residents of this country will be Hispanic.
An excellent summation! Thank you for the post and ping.
Oh my gosh! I would never have expected this! Thanks for posting those links. This is quite a surprise.
Probably over a year ago, there was a thread on the topic of Islam/latinos. The information that came out was shocking.
I wish I could find it. IIRC, there are dozens of mosques in Mexico and several Latino Mosques in the USA.
My mom been watching Soap on Telumundo called EL CLON it like Romero and Juilet story line about Latina who is Muslum who fall in love with Mexican businessman son
Their family against it
Someone once stated that when the Catholic Church instituted the fundamental option for the poor, in Latin America the poor turned to the Fundamentalists. Not surprising, really, at least they were hearing God’s Word preached to them, not some feel good Social Justice message. Probably worked the same here in the US.
God created all people in His image. Are you judging?
Our Hispanic Community has told us to take these steps to help them assimilate into our culture — AND it’s working!
1 — Work together
2 — Eat together
3 — Pray together
It’s a slow process, but it started out with the Hispanics helped with the twice a year grounds clean up for Christmas and Easter.
Then they started having a Lady of Guadalupe Festival, a Divine Mercy Festival, fundraisers for a covered outdoor picnic area — which got built last year and is all paid for! They also are starting to attend our Faith Formation 101 classes for Adults — but they also still have many parallel ministries. The Hispanics have at least two members on our 10-12 member Pastoral Council that is a consulting and visioning body for the parish.
Lastly — the praying together — for the last three years we have said the Divine Mercy Novena together for one day. We have bilingual Masses all the time. Two Hispanic choirs. It just keeps growing and growing. Two years ago they got a separate room and storage for their ministry meetings.
A final thought — when we have a Ministry Fair — they don’t come over to the hall so the next time we have a ministry fair we are going to take the sign-up tables outside to them.