RELIGION LIBRARY

Colombia

COUNTRY PROFILE

Map of Colombia

The country has an area of 439,735 square miles and a population of 45 million. The Government does not keep statistics on religious affiliation, and estimates from religious leaders varied. According to the Colombian Evangelical Council (CEDECOL), approximately 15 percent of the population is Protestant, while the Catholic Bishops' Conference estimates that 90 percent of the population is Catholic. A 2007 article in the daily newspaper El Tiempo claims that 80 percent of the population is Catholic, although not all are practicing; 13.5 percent of the population belongs to non-Catholic Christian groups, 2 percent is agnostic, and the remaining 4.5 percent belongs to other religious groups, such as Islam and Judaism. Other membership estimates include Seventh-day Adventists, 261,000; Anglicans and Presbyterians, 50,000 each; Methodists, 1,500; other Protestants and evangelicals, 5 million; The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons), 150,000; Muslims, 10,000; and Jews, 5,000. Practitioners of animism and various syncretic beliefs are also present.
Adherents of some religious groups are concentrated in certain geographical regions. For example, the vast majority of practitioners of syncretic beliefs that blend Catholicism with elements of African animism are Afro-Colombian residents of the western department of Choco. Jews are found in major cities, Muslims on the Caribbean coast, and adherents of indigenous animistic religions in remote, rural areas. A small Taoist commune exists in a mountainous region of Santander Department.

Population Population (2009 est.) 45,644,023
Religious Demographics Roman Catholic 90%, other 10%
Ethnic Groups Ethnic Groups mestizo 58%, white 20%, mulatto 14%, black 4%, mixed black-Amerindian 3%, Amerindian 1%
Languages Languages Spanish
Country Flag Flag of Colombia