The state religion in Costa Rica
is Roman Catholicism as mandated by the Constitution of 1949, but
most Costa Ricans are comparatively tepid when it comes to religion.
The Constitution provides for freedom of religion, and the Government
generally respects this right in practice. The Constitution establishes
Roman Catholicism as the state religion. However, persons of all
denominations freely practice their religion without government
interference. Some of the other religious groups are Protestants,
Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, etc. These sects found in many places
of Costa Rica never tend to be any kind of majority, although they
are certainly on the rise and quite uproarious compared to the traditional
The Catholic clergy has fiercely
defended its turf against Protestant missionaries, and the Protestant
evangelism so prevalent in other parts of Central America has yet
to make a dent in Costa Rica. However the population special dislike
for dictators have made them intolerant of priests, together with
the influence of secular liberal administrations that vanished orders
and deeply affected the church's influence at the beginning of the
19th century. In Costa Rica the church had trouble from the earliest
colonial times to take control over people minds and moral. While
poor peasants can be convinced they’ll become bourgeois in
heaven, a rising class wants its comforts on earth. Costa Rica’s
modernity and middle-class achievements have made the traditional
Church and all of its meanings superfluous for many people.
A sudden increase in the number
of religious sects might be marking a spiritual awakening of a large
non-religious population who is disappointed by the traditional
catholic church's pomposity and lack spiritual content. Unfortunately,
these new sects, are usually founded by greedy or lascivious preachers
with something other than salvation in mind. The catholic church
has already started it's counter attack in trying to recover the
souls of the people by sending nice looking priest to preach on
television and radio in a manner quite unheard of from the Catholics
before this troublesome times.
The smallest towns have their
own churches or chapels. When you drive by dirt roads in the more
distant towns of Costa Rica, especially on Sundays, you will see
lots of people walking to the Sunday catholic or protestant services.
Older people tend to be more pious than younger ones, but it is
undeniable that even without attending church a vast majority of
the population considers itself catholic and have an inherited respect
for the church.
of the information on our site as it relates to Costa Rica is:
of Christopher P. Baker and Avalon Travel Publishing.
© 2004 Christopher P. Baker. All Rights Reserved.
A2Z Languages highly
recommends Christopher P. Baker's book: Moon
Handbooks Costa Rica. Click on the image to visit
his website where you can purchase this book or find out more about
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