Encyclopedia of Latin American Religions

2019 Edition
| Editors: Henri Gooren


  • Nestor Da CostaEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-27078-4_363


Uruguay is a small country that borders Argentina and Brazil. From a religious point of view, it is an atypical country in Latin America. As everywhere else in the region, Catholicism has been dominant since Spanish colonialism, but unlike the rest Uruguay developed an advanced secular regime in the French style and displaced the religious to the private sphere in a decisive and distinctive way. Uruguay’s model of secularism demarcates a form of presence of religion in society with an emphasis on the privatization of religion as well as the remoteness or disregard of the state with respect to religion.

Current Religious Profile

Uruguay had 3.3 million inhabitants in 2016. Pew (2014) reported that Uruguay had the lowest proportion of believers in God as well as Catholics and the highest proportion of atheists and believers without church affiliation than anywhere else in Latin America. 81% claimed to believe in God, 42% identified as Catholics, and 15% as Protestants. As...


Laicization Lived Religion Non-affiliated Roman Catholicism Secularism Uruguay 
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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for Society and ReligionCatholic University of UruguayMontevideoUruguay