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Religion | IN BRIEF

Latinos Likely to Stay Catholic, Study Shows

September 13, 2003|From Times Wire Reports

WASHINGTON — New research shows that Latinos who are born Catholic are more likely to remain in the church than are white Catholics, and Latinos who leave the church tend to adopt other faiths, while white Catholics do not.

The Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate at Georgetown University found that in a survey of 982 adults who were born Catholic, 81% of Latinos remained Catholics, compared with 72% of whites. But among "cradle Catholics" who have left the church, researchers found that Latinos were more likely to convert to another faith, while white dropouts were more likely to claim no faith at all.

The research cast doubts on the popular notion that Latino converts are flocking to Pentecostal churches. Although the percentage of Pentecostals in the Latino population grew from 3% to 4% from 1990 to 2001, those claiming "no religion" more than doubled, from 6% to 13%.

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