The Rise of the Latino Nones

On April 15, 2013, TIME magazine published a cover story on “The Latino Reformation.” It was filled with insightful and much-needed discussion of the shift to Evangelical Protestantism among Latinos, who historically have been predominantly Catholic. But the bigger story, and one hiding inside the very statistics that TIME provided, is the rise of religiously unaffiliated Latinos.

Numbering over 50 million people, Latinos, who are defined as people living in the United States who trace their roots to the Spanish-speaking countries of Latin America, are the largest conglomeration of American ethnic groups today. The rise of religiously unaffiliated Latinos will change everything from politics to the way that Latino identity is configured.

An article by an atheist. :stuck_out_tongue:

Generally speaking, those who are raised unaffiliated are not that likely to remain so into adulthood- 39% become Protestant, and 22% specifically become Evangelical. (Only 46% stay unaffiliated, this is a very low rate of retention). Compare this to the rate at which cradle Catholics become Protestants, and we see that 15% of cradle Catholics are now Protestant and 9% are specifically Evangelical.

Of course no one wants to see Christians completely leave Christianity behind, but it’s just as obvious that if people want to do so, no one is supposed to stop them. The silver lining (for me, at least) is that this unaffiliated population is more than twice as likely to become Protestant in general and Evangelical in particular. In a way, I feel like these are some people whose percentages are increasing from 15 to 39, and from 9 to 22, respectively.

These figures are not likely to be a top priority for Catholics, but they are of interest to people who are Protestant and/or Evangelical.

It is interesting that the author is one of the few athiest/humanist scholars in the academic field of Religious studies, but that doesn’t disqualify his scholarship nor his interest in what Latinos are doing or believing.

The rise of the ‘Nones’ is of interest to many in religious studies. A particular favorite author of mine is Diana Butler Bass. She says that people are leaving the church for a number of reasons, including political emphasis in teachings, and the hypocrisy we often see in institutions.

It is also of interest that Latinos are leaving the RCC, perhaps not practicing any faith tradition, and then exploring evangelical churches. I don’t know how long people are staying in those churches but it says to me that there is still an interest in finding a community of faith.

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