Encyclopedia of Latin American Religions

Living Edition
| Editors: Henri Gooren

Puerto Rico

  • Ricardo GonzalezEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-08956-0_361-1


Puerto Rico is among the most religiously pluralistic countries of the Caribbean with an amalgam of indigenous, Spanish, French, and African cultural elements as well as a variety of Christian denominations, including homegrown ones, and a rich Catholic diversity that includes numerous lay apostolic movements. Stevens-Arroyo (1998) argues that the best approach for understanding Puerto Rican religious expressions is to acknowledge and analyze the syncretic nature of these practices. Because Puerto Rican spirituality is deeply immersed in culture, anthropological elements are as critical as theological ones.


Three out of four Puerto Ricans said that religion is an important aspect of everyday life (Pew 2014). While most identify as Catholic, their number has decreased over the past 40 as Protestantism has grown (Levine 2007). Surveys suggest that in 1980, Catholics made up 90% of the population, but by 2001 that figure was 75% (Barrett et al. 2001). Protestant...


Popular religiosity Taíno Santería Brujería Kardecist Spiritism Syncretism Elenita 
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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.St. Thomas UniversityMiami GardensUSA