Flamboyant and vivid the culture of Mexico is sprinkled with lush traditional customs and bounteous and dynamic religious landscape. Garnishing the secular Mexican soil are prolific religious groups that are characterized by their parallel affiliation with the socioeconomic division, and familial diversity. The distinction of the religious background braces to the social stature, wealth index and educational trends.

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The history of Mexican religion has underwent a landscape of changes. From imposing the curtailment on the Roman Catholic churches in 1917 to amputating all restrictions circling the religious affairs of the state in 1992, Mexico has travelled a mammoth to cover the destination to Secularism. Ranging from Christianity to Judaism, Buddhism to Sikhism, and Islam to Hinduism Mexico is home to a medley of Religion.

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Pre-colonial Era

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The sparks of exploration has given fire to the belief that the indigenous Mexican natives practiced two of the most prevalent religion scilicet the Aztec and the Mayan. These religions were believed to be purely indigenous lacking any international influence. The religion encompassed deity worshipping and the ubiquitous traditions that testimonies to the prevailing ideas of the rituals and sacrifices the natives indulged in. The community had flourished temples that were splendid monuments of architecture and intricate and complex priestly hierarchy.

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The Mexico City Metropolitan Cathedral

Catholicism

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The Spanish conquest of the Mexican lands towed with it a culture laden with scores of traditions, art and architecture, alongside religion. The military invasion marshalled its clutches in the spiritual sector as the new customs merged with the indigenous to manifest a spiritual conquest. The colonization of the land inaugurated the legacy of Catholicism in the Mexican soil and even though many of the native’s faiths stood undeterred Catholicism amalgamated the Latin America in ways military and political institutions failed. The Spaniards prosecuted a path that zeroed in on military conquest alongside escorting indigenous people under the Spanish clutches. Appalled at the traditional customs of self-sacrifice, the Spanish set about to inculcate reforms to terminate such practice, but it wasn’t until the conquest of the Aztec Empire that it was truly stamped out. The indigenous priests were dislodged and the temples were remolded into churches with the belief to fetch in as many natives towards Christianity.

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Despite the proliferation of Catholicism a multitude of Mexicans still indulged in cultural forms of superstition and folk religion. A ratio of community soiled their hand in black magic, folk remedies and a myriad of other superstitious belief they sought after where Catholicism and science failed to comfort them.

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The Mexican land alongside garneringCatholicism houses a plethora of other religions that just cements the secular roots of the Mexican soil. The Secularism in Mexico was established in the constitution of 1857 which recognized the religious tolerance of the nation and set along a path that disembarked any form of conflict between the religious groups. The Catholic Church had flourished affluently and widely, garnering immense economic power and the sole purpose of the amendment was to assert independence and political sovereignty from its clutches. The Mexican secular state sought to domineer and conquer over the Catholic Church, as well as to define the rules of the ties between the state and the majority church.

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Cathedral de San

The state was successful in eliminating the economic power the church held through the process of confiscation of property in mortmain and nationalization of property. Owing to the lion’s share of the Mexicans being catholic, the nation asserted itself more as a sovereign state.

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A service at the Catedral Ortodoxa de San Jorge in Colonia Roma, Mexico City

Evangelism

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The historic days in Mexico had witnessed a very restricted hold of the nation over the evangelists and their efforts in promulgating their religion. The civil authorities had its clutches firmly stationed on the religious escapades; the places of public worship were stated to be the property of nation by the constitution of law. It was not unlit 1942 that some amount of leniency was showcased that ameliorated the evangelist in proliferating their religious ideology and conducting meetings. The years that followed garnered inspiration from the preliminary meetings which had etched an imprint on the other enthusiasts. From enduring obstacles with the legalization of the church buildings to having around one hundred churches and special meeting places, the Mexican evangelists have journeyed a long way to engulf the distance to their destination to spread their religious faith and install a firm ground for their religion in the Mexican soil. The pupils to this day advertise their efforts by the meetings conducted with utmost discretion to fetch in and win over the respects and goodwill of the local prerogatives.

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Protestantism

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The rural and the Indian belt of the nation of Mexico in the last three decades of the twentieth century saw the growth of a new religion, a reaction culminating from opposing the traditional Indian cargo systems, triggering economic and political power. Protestantism has succored the Indian community to veer from an agriculture subsistence economy towards the one based on labor migration and trade that amplified the modern global market economy. This evangelical Protestantism stemmed from infrastructural determinism (cultural materialism), swathed in symbolical and emotional commitments, the religion strengthened from the trust people had in new leaders and in a new economy. The religion is often times viewed as opposing Catholicism, the major base of the converts being Catholics. The historians’ estimates for the number of protestants has showcased an array of figures differing from one another, ranging from an aggregate of eight hundred thousand to five million but all showed a united front in declaring a steady rise in numbers from 1970 to 2000. The nation’s census bore witness to an exponential growth rate. The religion of Protestantism has unfurled its clutches to multitudes expanding further still by conversion of faith, alongside locomoting generation to generation. These blooming numbers were accounted to have psychological, historical as well as materialistic explanation. Some say the confrontation with various power led way to the change of faith while others accosts its intimacy to native spiritual healing to be the chief rationale. The census studies has proclaimed a tapering of growth rate in the Indian dwelling community of the south whereas a scaling of numbers in the non-Indian states of the north.

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Lebanese

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The states of Yucatan, Veracruz, Puebla, Mexico City and many others in the north of the nation saw settlements of Lebanese origin in the 19th and 20th centuries rise to a rough estimate of one hundred thousand. The bulk of the Lebanese Mexicans are Christians belonging to the confessions of Maronite, Roman Catholic, Eastern orthodox and Melkite Catholic. The lion’s share of the Lebanese in Mexico were Christians with a small scale of them being followers of Islam. The Lebanese brought along with them a plethora of rich culture alongside its diverse religion. These migrants ventilated within the Mexican air the cult of saint Charbel, which has now unfurled throughout the nation. The religion embedded itself with a finesse in the Mexican soil inculcating devotion to St Charbel which is showcased virtually with the pictures and statues of the Saint in almost every Mexican church. The reputation of St Charbel as a miracle monk and the devotion in his prayers called out to the people of Mexico and the faith spread in its vast glory among the Mexicans. Placing colored ribbons to the images and statues of St. Charbel to implore for a favor or miracle plagued a culture.

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As the years sailed by the Lebanese who initially practiced Catholicism, learned to speak Spanish and the community welded with the nation’s mainstream religious activities. The Lebanese Muslims were accounted for erecting up the first mosque, Soraya in the city of Torreon, in Coahuila.

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Islam

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The Lebanese Mexicans and Arab Mexicans embodies the part of population engaging in Islamic traditions tallying the total count to be approximately 111,000 according to the 2010 census. The Lebanese and the Syrians constitute the primary base of the Muslims who glided in significant numbers to settle in the states of Nayarit, Puebla, Mexico City, Baja California and many others. Mosques were erected and Madrasas (Quranic schools) were established for the people to offer prayers and promote Islamic studies within the children of their community. The progression of years beheld the conversion of many Mayans and Tzotzils from their indigenous faith to Islam which gradually held a firm ground in the secular Mexican soil.

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Mezquita Soraya, first mosque in Mexico

Judaism

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The existence of the Jews in the Mexican soil dates back to the early sixteenth century since Hernán Cortés vanquished the Aztecs. The recent census acclaimed to the residence of approximately 67,000 Mexican Jews.

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The interior of the Sinagoga Histórica Justo Sierra 71

Buddhism

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The Tibetan culture embellishes the Mexican soil with its spirituality and simplicity. With the count of approximately 108,70 Buddhists, Mexico harbors one of the six Tibet houses of the world- the Casa Tibet located in the Mexico City. Dalai Lama and other torchbearers of Tibetan Buddhism are the core mongers of preserving and promoting Tibetan culture in the Mexican lands owing to which today Mexico houses around 30 Buddhist groups.

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A Tibetan Buddhist ritual in Valle de Bravo

Hinduism

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Mexico accounts to the residence of around 800 Indian families in Mexico and docks a Sai baba temple and a Vaishnava temple that had been forged by the sangam organization in the capital city of Mexico.

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Atheism

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The study of Agnosticism and atheism has seen a considerable incline at the end of the last century. Mexico alongside the rest of the world saw the bloom in the figures as the twenty first century commenced. The emergence of the “Atheism” in the country is said to be remarked by a controversial event, “The Necromancer” by the young Ignacio Ramirez in 1837. The speech highlighted the belief garnered by the atheist of today’s world that “there is no God! Natural beings sustain themselves”. This event bore the weight of a deafening impact on the public. The plummeting number in the Catholics armed with the banner of secularism assisted a part of the population to turn towards agnosticism and atheism

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As the years swept by Mexico has witnessed dynamic reforms in its religious affairs but has triumphed in maintaining a robust framework that upholds and safeguards the tolerant Mexican cultures and tradition.

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