Chile, a Spanish-speaking country winding down the Pacific Coast of South America, is a multiethnic society. More than half of its population of 17 million are people of European origin, and most of the rest are mestizos (people of mixed ancestry), with a small percentage (less than 5%) primarily of indigenous Indian ethnicity. In Chile, the church and the state are officially separate. The constitution allows for religious freedom. In 1999, a law was passed that forbade religious discrimination and granted other religions the same rights that the Catholic Church has.

About 70% of Chileans are Catholic, which is the religious tradition of the early Spanish colonial settlers. Protestants arrived in Chile in the 19th century with American missionary David Trumbull; currently, about 15% of the ...

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