Berkley Center Knowledge Resources Home Berkley Center Home Berkley Center on iTunes U Berkley Center's YouTube Channel Berkley Center's Vimeo Channel Berkley Center's YouTube Channel Berkley Center's iTunes Page Berkley Center's Twitter Page Berkley Center's Facebook Page Berkley Center's Vimeo Channel Berkley Center's YouTube Channel Berkley Center's iTunes Page WFDD's Twitter Page WFDD's Facebook Page Doyle Undergraduate Initiatives Undergraduate Learning and Interreligious Understanding Survey Junior Year Abroad Network Undergraduate Fellows Knowledge Resources KR Classroom Resources KR Countries KR Traditions KR Topics Berkley Center Home Berkley Center Knowledge Resources Berkley Center Home Berkley Center Forum Back to the Berkley Center World Faiths Development Dialogue Back to the Berkley Center Religious Freedom Project Back to the Berkley Center Religious Freedom Project Blog Back to the Berkley Center Catholic Social Thought Back to the Berkley Center Normative Orders Collaborative
April 16, 2014  |  About the Berkley Center  |  Directions to the Center  |  Subscribe
 
Topics Traditions Countries Classroom US/China  
Brazil

POPULATION

199,321,413 (July 2012 est.)

GDP PER CAPITA

$11,900 (2011 est.)

RELIGIONS

Roman Catholic (nominal) 73.6%, Protestant 15.4%, Spiritualist 1.3%, Bantu/voodoo 0.3%, other 1.8%, unspecified 0.2%, none 7.4% (2000 census)
> source

ALSO IN LATIN AMERICA

Argentina
Chile
Colombia
Cuba
Guatemala
Mexico
Venezuela

BrazilPrinter-icon

Latin America

Brazil possesses both a strictly secular government and a richly spiritual society formed by the convergence of Roman Catholicism and the religious traditions practiced by indigenous peoples and African slaves. During the Portuguese colonization of Brazil, this confluence of faiths led to the development of an array of syncretistic practices within the overarching umbrella of Brazilian Roman Catholicism. Following Brazilian independence from Portugal in 1822, Catholicism was designated as Brazil's official religion, and the ruling empire, headed by Prince Pedro, guaranteed religious freedom. The shift to a republic in 1889 led Brazil to adopt a secular constitution in 1891, but the Catholic Church remained politically influential into the late twentieth century. Religious pluralism in Brazil has increased dramatically since the 1970s, largely due to a Protestant community that has grown to include over fifteen percent of the population. The Constitution of Brazil guarantees the freedom of religion and prohibits government support or hindrance of religion at all levels.

ESSAYS ON BRAZIL

Colonial, Imperial, and Early Republican Periods
Dictatorship, Democracy, and the Brazilian Catholic Church
The Growth of Religious Pluralism
Contemporary Affairs
Religious Freedom in Brazil
Religion in the Brazilian Constitution