Religious Diversity in Colombia

Talk of Semana Santa, may give the wrong impression that there are only Catholics in Colombia. This is not true. While the majority of Colombians are Catholic, Article 19 of the Colombian Constitution of 1991 guarantees the freedom of religion and recognizes all religions are valid under the laws of the country.

The Government itself does not keep official statistics on religious affiliation. However, in March 2007, a survey by the newspaper El Tiempo found that about 80% of Colombians consider themselves Catholic, though there is a footnote that not all are active practitioners. Another 13.5% of the population reported following another Christian based religion including Baptists, Seventh Day Adventists, Mormons, Episcopals, Pentecostals, Jehovah's Witnesses, etc. An additional 4.5% of the population is divided between Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Taoists, Indigenous, and other religions. Additionally, approximately 2% of the population is agnostic or non-believers.

According to the 2007 U.S. Embassy report (with one error which I have corrected), here is information about Non-Catholic church membership.

"The Seventh-day Adventist Church and the Methodist Church had 261,000, and 1,500 members respectively. The Anglican Church and the Presbyterian Church had approximately 10,000 members each. Other Protestant and Evangelical Churches have an estimated 5 million followers. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) claim [nearly 159,000 members. (http://newsroom.lds.org/ldsnewsroom/eng/contact_us/colombia) ] Other religious groups with a significant number of adherents included Judaism, estimated at between 7,000 and 8,000 families, Islam, with an estimated 10,000 followers, animism, and various syncretic belief systems."

"Adherents of some religious groups are concentrated in specific geographical regions. For example, the vast majority of practitioners of syncretic beliefs that blend Catholicism with elements of African animism are Afro-Colombian residents in the western department of Choco. Jews are concentrated in major cities, Muslims on the Caribbean coast, and adherents of indigenous animistic religions in remote, rural areas. There is also a small Taoist commune exists in a mountainous region of Santander Department."

If you are interested in worshipping with your own religious group while in Colombia, I offer to try and help you find a congregation. Just let me know in the comment section your affiliation and the city where you will be going, and I can try to find a group for you. Remember, not all religions will have a congregation in all areas.

Also, if you have worshipped with members of your religion (Catholic or Non-Catholic) while in Colombia, please share your experience with us.

Comments

I was wondering if there are any Baptist churches in the Bogota area? Thanks for this blog entry. Very insightful. You can just e-mail me--ralspaug@verizon.net
Colombian Mommy said…
DENOMINACIÓN BAUTISTA COLOMBIANA0
Cl 39 # 20-10
Colombia - Distrito Capital, Bogotá
Teléfono(s) : (57) (1) 2879611

You may want to call this number and see when their meeting schedule is.
Colombian Mommy said…
Doing a bit more research I also found the following:

IGLESIA BAUTISTA DEL NORTE
Av 45 # 101-33
Colombia - Distrito Capital, Bogotá
Teléfono(s) : (57) (1) 6105404

IGLESIA BAUTISTA LA SERENA
Cl 91 # 76-39
Colombia - Distrito Capital, Bogotá
Teléfono(s) : (57) (1) 5359543

IGLESIA BAUTISTA MISIONERA
Cl 33 # 20-08 Sur
Colombia - Distrito Capital, Bogotá
Teléfono(s) : (57) (1) 2784093

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