Brazil has lowest priest-to-laity ratio
Rio de Janeiro, May. 7, 2007 (CWNews.com)
- Brazil has the lowest proportion of priests to laity among all the
world's Catholic nations, according to the Center for Religious
Statistics and Social Testing in Rio de Janeiro.
The Center found that in 2006, there were 18,685 Catholic priests in
Brazil, serving a population of 140 million lay faithful. Thus the
ratio of priests to lay Catholics was about 1 to 7,500.
In Italy, by contrast, there is a priest for about every 1,000 lay
Catholics. In order to reach that proportion, Brazil would need
In other Latin American countries, the proportion is higher than in
Europe, but not as high as Brazil's. In Argentina, for example,
there is one priest to 6,800 faithful; in Columbia, one priest to
5,600. In Mexico, the 2nd largest Catholic country in the world, the
number is closer to that of Brazil.
Brazil, with the world's largest Catholic population, saw a dramatic
increase in the activity of Protestant sects in the 1990s, leading
to a significant drop in the proportion of Catholics among the
country's people. During that decade the Catholic percentage of the
country's overall population dropped from 83% to under 74%. That
trend has slowed in recent years, however, and the Catholic
population remains at about 74% of the total.
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