Puerto Rico’s Religion Practices
Puerto Rico is an island that's constitution allows all adherents to practice their faith freely with no fear of interference. This has helped to make Puerto Rico an inter-confessional country. There are many religions on the island, but the two main religions in Puerto Rico which are practiced are the Catholic faith, which holds the majority with 85% of the population, and the Protestant faith, which is followed by only about 8% of the people.
The various Protestant denominations were introduced to the island when America started taking control of Puerto Rico, but during the years when the Spanish were in control the religion was censored. An example of this was with the Holy Trinity Anglican church in Ponce, which was prevented from ringing its bell until 1898, when the American troops landed there. The rest of the population is either non-religious or practice other forms of religion. Over the years the Roman Catholic religion has proved the most popular form of religion for many Puerto Ricans.
The other religions denominations represented in Puerto Rico all have churches or places of worship to go to throughout the island. Other examples of religions or beliefs held by the people of Puerto Rico is the practice of spiritualism; Santeria, which originates from Cuba; and Judaism. The Jewish community is small but is made up of three different forms of Judaism, that being Orthodox, Reform and the Conservative, each with their own place of worship. You will also find mosques in Puerto Rico, the main ones situated in Ponce, Vega Alta and Rio Piedras for the use of the Muslim community. Other religions to look out for are Taíno; Mayombe, a Congo belief; and Palo Mayombe, an African Traditional Religion.
Many of the people who practice either Roman or Folk Catholicism have many images and objects that they use in their everyday lives. There is a specific collection of these various religious artifacts called the Vidal Collection, which includes rosaries, Santos and Milagros. Rosaries are used for prayer, Santos are wood carvings of the Virgin Mary and other saints used at alters situated in the home and Milagros are objects that represent a certain body part and can be offered to a specific saint when you are suffering a particular ailment.
Last updated: November 1, 2018