Encyclopedia of Latin American Religions

Living Edition
| Editors: Henri Gooren


  • Henri Gooren
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-08956-0_359-1


Paraguay is a landlocked country in the heart of South America, with a 2017 population of 7 million (CIA 2018) and a land area of 406,752 square kilometers: a bit smaller than Sweden or the state of California. The Catholic Church entered as part of Spanish colonialism, but the Catholic population percentage has gone down from 98.1% in 1970 to 86.0% in 2009. Protestant, Mormon, and Jehovah’s Witness membership growth was high since the 1980s.


Religion constitutes an important factor in Paraguayan culture and society. Former (2008–2012) President Fernando Lugo was a bishop in the Roman Catholic Church from 1994 to 2005 (Gooren 2013). Based on the 2002 census, the main religions with a strong presence in Paraguay are listed in Table 1: Roman Catholicism (89.6% of the population), Protestantism (6.0%), Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses (together 0.54%), other world religions (Buddhism, Judaism, Islam, and Hinduism together 0.11%), and nine main transnational new...


Catholic Charismatic Renewal Christian Base Communities Liberation theology Paraguay Pentecostalism Protestantism Roman Catholicism 
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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Sociology, Anthropology, Social Work & Criminal JusticeOakland UniversityRochesterUSA