El Salvador

The Central American country of El Salvador, one of the smallest nations in the Americas, is among the least diverse religiously. Although most Salvadorans are Catholic, a growing Protestant population and changes within Catholicism have transformed the nation's religious profile in recent decades.

Religious life in El Salvador, as in most of Latin America, has been dominated by the Roman Catholic Church since colonization by Spain. Until the 1960s, the vast majority of Salvadorans practiced a form of syncretic popular Catholicism that centered on the saints and the Virgin Mary. The country's patron saint is Jesus, El Salvador del Mundo (“The Savior of the World”). Under the leadership of Luis Chávez y Gonzalez, archbishop of San Salvador from 1938 to 1977, the Salvadoran church began ...

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