Hispanics changing Catholic life, study says

We’ve all heard that growing numbers of Hispanics are leaving the Catholic Church for the evangelical and Pentecostal worlds.

Well, a more significant trend may be how Hispanics are changing the Catholic Church from within.

The Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life released today a major study on the religious beliefs and practices of Hispanics in America. Pew found that 68 percent of Hispanics still identify themselves as Catholic, while 20 percent say they are Protestant.

But more than half of Hispanic Catholics say they are charismatic, living a Spirit-filled faith is that commonly associated with Pentecostal tradition. Only 8 percent of non-Hispanic Catholics say they are charismatic.

“The major findings in this study leave little doubt that a detailed understanding of religious faith among Latinos is essential to fully appreciating the evolving nature of religion in the United States and of the role Latinos will likely play in the country’s politics and public life,� said Luis Lugo, director of the Pew Forum.

You can read the study “here.”:http://pewforum.org/surveys/hispanic/

I will have to give it a full reading soon and blog about what else Pew has to say.

Gary Stern

Gary Stern covered education in the Lower Hudson Valley for several years during the early 1990s. Now's he back on the beat. He believes that schools are one of the main reasons that people live around here and that educational issues -- from curriculum to financing -- are among the most challenging things that journalists can write about. He continues to be amazed by the complexity of educational jargon. Gary got his B.A. at SUNY Buffalo and his M.A. from the University of Missouri Journalism School (where his master's thesis was about the best ways to cover education). He lives in White Plains with his wife and two sons, who attend public schools.