Recent studies have apparently shown that Hispanic immigrants to the USAÃ‚Â are just as likely to describe themselves as having ‘no religion’ as native born American according to an article in the NYTimes by Laurie Goodstein.
A wave of research shows that increasing percentages of Hispanics are abandoning church, suggesting to researchers that along with assimilation comes a measure of secularization.
Several studies show that Hispanics are just as likely as other Americans to identify themselves as having Ã¢â‚¬Å“no religion,Ã¢â‚¬Â and to not affiliate with a church. Those who describe themselves as secular are, without question, a small minority among Hispanics Ã¢â‚¬â€ as they are among Americans at large. But, in contrast to many of the non-Hispanic Americans who identify themselves as secular, most of the Hispanics say they were once religious.
I don’t think they should be considered atheistic for if the anecdotal stories weaved in are in fact representative of the whole group there seems to be a bigger trend towards social religiosity with a certain percentage getting involved with the more socially dominant evangelical Christianity.
The Roman Catholic Church, the religious home for most Hispanics, is experiencing the greatest exodus. While many former Catholics join evangelical or Pentecostal churches, the recent research shows that many of them leave church altogether.
Which of course leads me to wonder how many would convert back to Catholicism if they returned home and the effect of society upon religious beliefs. Ã‚Â I think most tend to overlook that part of the equation.Ã‚Â Ã‚Â America is pre-dominantly Protestant Christianity and our immigrants, at least Christians of a different kind,Ã‚Â are either going for ‘non-branded God’ or ‘Protestant God’.
Of course, I think that works both ways and am pretty sure that a study of atheists in Europe and some parts of America would show that many are atheists merely because that’s what the majority of people they know are, not because of personal conviction gained through personal study.
What do you think?