Record decline in Brazilian Catholics

2012-06-30 13:00


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Rio de Janeiro - Less than two-thirds of Brazilians identify as Catholics, marking a record decline in what is considered to be the world's largest Catholic country, new figures showed on Friday.

Just over 64% of the Brazilian population of 191 million identifies as Catholic, said the figures, taken from the 2010 census.

In the year 2000, when the last census was carried out, Catholics comprised almost 74% of the population, down significantly from almost 92% in 1970.

Meanwhile, the number of Brazilian Christian evangelists has risen, up roughly 7% to 22.2% from 15.4% in 2000.

Eight percent of Brazilians reported being atheist in 2010.

Pope Benedict XVI is expected to travel to the South American nation in July 2013 for a youth festival.

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