The Catholic majority in Mexico is slipping, as Protestants surpassed 10% of the population in the country for the first time ever. According to recently released data from Mexico’s 2020 census, the Protestant/evangelical movement increased from 7.5% in 2010 to 11.2% last year.
The Catholic Church has historically dominated the religious landscape across Latin America, but especially in Mexico, which ranks among the most heavily Catholic countries in the region. Today, though an overwhelming majority of Mexicans still identify as Catholic, declines are accelerating.
It took 50 years—from 1950 to 2000—for the proportion of Catholics in Mexico to drop from 98 percent to 88 percent. Now, only two decades later, that percentage has slipped another 10 points to 77.7 percent.
National church leaders attribute the boom in Protestantism to a range of factors, from the influence of Americans and fellow Latin Americans in the country to effective evangelical outreach in indigenous areas. Pentecostalism dominates the Protestant landscape, and even many of Mexico’s historical denominations—Baptists, Presbyterians, and Methodists—have been “pentecostalised” in some beliefs and practices, embracing energetic worship, healing, and spiritual gifts.