By Adelle M. Banks
Religion News Service
About half the nation's Hispanics -- including many who are Roman Catholic -- consider themselves to be charismatics or Pentecostals, creating a new confluence of streams in American Christianity.
"Simply put, Latinos are transforming the nation's religious landscape," said Roberto Suro, director of the Pew Hispanic Center, one of two organizations that produced a new study.
The survey and accompanying report, released Wednesday (April 25), found that 68 percent -- or two-thirds -- of Hispanics describe themselves as Roman Catholics while 15 percent are evangelical or born-again Protestants. Eight percent do not identify with a religion.
A joint project of the Pew Hispanic Center and the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, the report details results of a bilingual telephone survey of 4,016 Hispanic adults between August and October of 2006. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.5 percentage points.
The religious practice of Hispanics -- across religious persuasions -- is a daily, active one, researchers found. Seventy percent of all Hispanics have a crucifix or other religious object in their home. And 58 percent pray to the Virgin Mary or saints at difficult times.
Among Latino Christians:
-- 75 percent believe in miracles
-- 71 percent say religion is very important
-- 70 percent pray every day
-- 53 percent believe the Bible is the literal word of God
-- 52 percent believe Jesus will return in their lifetime
-- 47 percent attend church at least weekly
-- 29 percent speak in tongues at least weekly
Hispanic Catholics are four times as likely as non-Hispanic Catholics to describe themselves as charismatic, but they do not discard traditional Catholic teaching, the report notes. Instead they incorporate charismatic practices into their religious life.
Press here for the Beliefnet report