Gautemala is the largest country in Central America, with 13 million inhabitants. Table 1 shows the main global religions present in Guatemala: Roman Catholics, Protestants, marginal Christians, other world religions, and new religious movements.

Roman Catholicism

The Roman Catholic Church entered with Spanish colonization, establishing the Guatemala diocese in 1534. A shortage of priests curtailed the strength of the Church for centuries. After independence (1821), Conservative dictators supported the Roman Catholic Church, whereas the Liberals were anticlerical and annexed the Church properties.

Table 1 Main Global Religions in Guatemala: 1995, 2000, 2004


The Guatemalan Bishops' Conference

Since the 1940s, Guatemalan bishops supported Catholic Action, a lay movement fighting communism, Protestantism, and Indian religious syncretism. The Bishops' Conference, founded in 1964, was conservative and hardly influenced by the Second Vatican ...

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