CREATED as a Mexican state in 1902, heavenly Quintana Roo is a haven where youngsters are growing up without fear of hell or concerns about what happens to them in a mythical ‘after-life.’
According to a recent National Survey of Believers and Non-Believers in Mexico, Quintana Roo has highest percentage of atheists in the country: almost 37 percent, followed by Baja California, with 20 percent, and Mexico City, with 16 percent.
A report (in Spanish) quotes psychologist Graciela Alvarado Estrella as saying:
It is not an exclusive phenomenon of Quintana Roo. It is happening throughout the country, and even in the world: the new generations are less interested in being part of a religious congregation, since they receive less instruction on the subject.
She explained that most of the young people she has treated have expressed problems with their parents or older relatives, precisely because of their decision not to embrace any religion.
Most religious beliefs base their teachings on the promise of a better life after death, or punishment for breaking the rules. But the new generations are less and less afraid of what might happen.
They prefer to live in the here and now, and for that they need to remove the shackles of religious norms.
The specialist points out that in following generations the number of religious people will decrease even more, since today’s young people are instilling atheism in their children.
In the territory, which has the biggest concentrations of manatees in the world, about 252,000 people chose to declare themselves atheists, most of them young people between 17 and 29 years old. The state has a population of of about 1.8-million.
Paradoxically, the number of churches, temples and other religious centres has increased by almost 67 percent in the last five years – but largely remain empty.
Catholics continue to be the majority in the Caribbean state, but they have lost ground to evangelicals, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mormons and other denominations. Catholics went from being 64 percent of the believing population in 2015, to about 51 percent in 2020.
• Note: The atheist symbol in the top illustration was created by Loud Live Graphics and appears on merchandise ranging from button badges to T-shirts and key rings.