Religion in El Salvador
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Religion in El Salvador

Religion in El Salvador (2017)[1]

  Catholics (39%)
  Protestants (28%)
  None/Atheist/Agnostic (30%)
  Others (2%)
  No answer (1%)
San Salvador Cathedral

El Salvador's approximately 6.1 million inhabitants (July 2013) are mostly Christian.[2]Evangelical Protestantism is experiencing rapid growth in recent decades while the Catholic share of the population is on decline.[3]

Religious affiliation

Protestant denominations as a percent of those identifying as Protestant (38.2%, 2009)[4]
Denomination Percent
Assemblies of God 21.3
Bautista Amigos de Israel 11.5
Elim 9.0
Church of God 7.0
Baptist 7.0
Profética (Prophetic) 6.1
Pentecostal 4.5
Apóstoles y Profetas (Apostles and Prophets) 3.9
La Luz del Mundo 3.7
Adventists 2.9
Príncipe de Paz (Prince of Peace) 2.2
Others 12.6
No denomination 2.2

There is some debate about percentages, the Institute of Public Opinion of the University of Central America in May 2013 found 51% of the population as Roman Catholics, and 33% as Protestant, 14% as not having a religion and the remainder (less than 2%) being Jehovah's Witnesses, Hare Krishnas, Muslims, Jews, Buddhists, Latter-day Saints (Mormons), and members of indigenous religions.[2] However Latinobarómetro in 2017 found 39% were Catholic, 28% Protestant, 30% atheist/agnostic/not religious, 2% other religions, and 1% did not answer.[1] If the Latinobarometro stats hold up and are valid, El Salvador mirrors very closely the religious demographics of Canada, with 38% of the population Catholic, 28% Protestant, and 24% in the non-affiliate category. Of course, if 30% of the population identifies as non-affiliate and/or irreligious, that also makes El Salvador the third most irreligious country in Latin America, with only Uruguay and Cuba ahead of it. It also found in 1996 that 67% of the population considered themselves Catholic and 15% Protestant.[1]


Mision Cristiana Elim Internacional is a large pentecostal denomination started in El Salvador. It claims that its main church in San Salvador has 120,000 attending.[5] The Assemblies of God claim 285,226 members (2007).[6]

The Mormons claim 120,317 people in 164 congregations and 1 temple (2015)[7] which if correct would be just under 2% of the population. An IUDOP study in 2009 found that Mormons were 2% of the Protestants they surveyed or about .8% of the total population.[4] They started evangelizing in El Salvador in 1951.[7]

The Anglican Church in El Salvador (a diocese of the province of the Anglican Church in Central America) claims 6,000 members in 18 congregations.[8] The Baptist Association of El Salvador claims 4,427 members[9] and the Salvadorean Lutheran Synod about 15,000 in 68 congregations,[10]


Evolution of groups and denominations in Salvadorian society (2000-2010) [11]
Group % 2000 % 2010 Pop. 2000 Pop. 2010
Roman Catholicism 53.3% 49.5% 3.152.953 3.085.359
Non-Religious 23.8% 17.4% 1.407.872 1.084.550
Pentecostalism 10.8% 14.5% 638.872 903.792
Independent evangelical 5.0% 10.5% 295.774 654.470
Mormon 2.0% 2.6% 118.390 162.059
Other Religions 1.2% 1.5% 70.985 93.496
Historical Evangelical Denominations 1.4% 1.1% 82.816 68.563
Muslim 0.9% 1.0% 53.235 62.330
Seventh-day Adventist 0.6% 0.8% 35.490 49.864
Eastern Orthodoxy 0.7% 0.6% 41.405 37.398
Jehovah's Witness 0.3% 0.5% 17.746 31.165
Total 100.0% 100.0% 5.915.484 6.233.049

See also


  1. ^ a b c "Latinobarómetro 1995 - 2017: El Papa Francisco y la Religión en Chile y América Latina" (PDF) (in Spanish). January 2018. Retrieved 2018.
  2. ^ a b "International Religious Freedom Report for 2013". U.S. State Department. Retrieved . For percentages it quotes the Institute of Public Opinion of the University of Central America
  3. ^ Stephen Offutt, New Centers of Global Evangelicalism in Latin America and Africa (Cambridge University Press, 2015) focuses on El Salvador and South Africa.
  4. ^ a b "La religión para las y los salvadoreños" (PDF). Instituto Universitario de Opinión Pública Boletín de prensa (in Spanish). San Salvador, El Salvador: r: Universidad Centroamericana José Simeó. 24 (4): 2. 2009. Retrieved 2015.
  5. ^ "Células". Elim Mision Cristiana. Retrieved 2015.
  6. ^ Triplett, Don. "King's Castle 24/7 Prayer Fortress". Assemblies of God World Mission. Retrieved 2015.
  7. ^ a b "El Salvador". Newsroom. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Retrieved 2015.
  8. ^ "Iglesia Anglicana de El Salvador". Retrieved 2015.
  9. ^ "Baptist Association of El Salvador". World Council of Churches. Retrieved 2015.
  10. ^ "Salvadorean Lutheran Synod". World Council of Churches. Retrieved 2015.
  11. ^ Holland, Clifton. "Religious profile of Guatemala" (PDF). PROLADES. Retrieved .

Further reading

  • Stephen Offutt, New Centers of Global Evangelicalism in Latin America and Africa (Cambridge University Press, 2015) focuses on El Salvador and South Africa. online review

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