80% declare themselves Catholic, but there is growing religious diversity

80% declare themselves Catholic, but there is growing religious diversity
80% declare themselves Catholic, but there is growing religious diversity

The Catholic population has remained stable, around 80%, but the reality “is not stagnant, since the territory is not homogeneous” there are differences between the north and part of the center, which maintain “a much more cohesive and stable reality than other regions of the country”

Other Christian groups also increased from 3.3% in 2011 to 4.6% in 2021 and non-Christians increased from 0.6% in 2011 to 1.1% ten years later.

(7Margens).- In Portugal there is “a Catholic population that remains” alongside “a greater religious diversity in the country”. At the same time, “The data reflect more the possible disarticulation between believing and belonging, a common phenomenon in societies that are familiar with the phenomenon of culturalization of a certain religious memory.” The observations are from Margarida Franca, who inaugurated the colloquium of the network of researchers on the afternoon of Wednesday, July 3 Religion in Multiple Modernities (ReliMM), which will run until Thursday 4 at the Catholic University of Lisbon.

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The Catholic population has remained stable, around 80%, the researcher observes, but the reality “is not stagnant”since the territory is not homogeneous”: there are differences between the north and part of the centre, which maintain “a much more cohesive and stable reality than other regions of the country”, with “very expressive” and constant percentages of the population that identifies as Catholic in municipalities such as Resende, Baião, Celorico de Basto and Cinfães, all above 96%. “It is no longer possible to talk about Portuguese society, from a religious point of view, without introducing the territorial equation”, adds Margarida Franca.

“In Portugal, the sacred Catholic canopy has never been truly fractured,” observes Jorge Botelho Moniz, another of the researchers who will speak at the colloquium on Thursday, asking if there is a “religious populism in Portugal”.



The big change is the increase in the population without religious affiliation”, which goes from 6.8% in 2011 to 14.1% in 2021says Margarida Franca, who is also part of CITER (Centre for Research in Theology and Religious Studies) at the Catholic University of Portugal. The regions of Lisbon and Algarve stand out from the rest, but it is the subregion of Alentejo Litoral that has the lowest percentage of Catholic population (62%) and the highest percentage of non-religious population (27.7%). Sines, Vila do Bispo and Grândola, with more than 30%, have values ​​well above the national average, she adds.

Other Christian groups also increased from 3.3% in 2011 to 4.6% in 2021 and non-Christians increased from 0.6% in 2011 to 1.1% ten years later, but These growth rates depend largely on demographic factors, on “migratory flows”.

 
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