Costa Rica Religion
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The state religion in Costa Rica is Roman Catholicism as mandated by the Constitution of 1949, but most Costa Ricans are comparatively tepid when it comes to religion. The Constitution provides for freedom of religion, and the Government generally respects this right in practice. The Constitution establishes Roman Catholicism as the state religion. However, persons of all denominations freely practice their religion without government interference. Some of the other religious groups are Protestants, Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, etc. These sects found in many places of Costa Rica never tend to be any kind of majority, although they are certainly on the rise and quite uproarious compared to the traditional religions.

The Catholic clergy has fiercely defended its turf against Protestant missionaries, and the Protestant evangelism so prevalent in other parts of Central America has yet to make a dent in Costa Rica. A sudden increase in the number of religious sects might be marking a spiritual awakening of a large non-religious population who is disappointed by the traditional catholic church's pomposity and lack spiritual content. Unfortunately, these new sects, are usually founded by greedy or lascivious preachers with something other than salvation in mind. The catholic church has already started it's counter attack in trying to recover the souls of the people by sending nice looking priest to preach on television and radio in a manner quite unheard of from the Catholics before this troublesome times.

The smallest towns have their own churches or chapels. When you drive by dirt roads in the more distant towns of Costa Rica, especially on Sundays, you will see lots of people walking to the Sunday catholic or protestant services. Older people tend to be more pious than younger ones, but it is undeniable that even without attending church a vast majority of the population considers itself catholic and have an inherited respect for the church.

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