TravelTill

Religions of Puerto Rico



The Roman Catholic Church has historically been the dominant religion in Puerto Rico. The first dioceses in the Americas, including the first diocese of Puerto Rico, were authorized by Pope Julius II in 1511. One Pope, John Paul II, visited Puerto Rico in October 1984. All municipalities in Puerto Rico have at least one Catholic church, most of which are located at the town center or "plaza".

Protestantism, which was suppressed under the Spanish regime, has spread under American rule, making modern Puerto Rico interconfessional. The first Protestant church, Holy Trinity Church in Ponce, was established by the Anglican diocese of Antigua in 1872. In 1872, German settlers in Ponce founded the Iglesia Santísima Trinidad, an Anglican Church, the first non-Roman Catholic Church in the entire Spanish Empire in the Americas.

There is also an Eastern Orthodox community in Puerto Rico, The Dormition of the Most Holy Theotokos/ St. Spyridon's Church is located in Trujillo Alto, and serves the small Orthodox community. The congregation represents Greeks, Russians, Serbians, Bulgarians, Americans, Moldavians, and Puerto Ricans.

In 1940, Juanita Garcia Peraza founded the Mita Congregation, the first religion of Puerto Rican origin. Taíno religious practices have been rediscovered/reinvented to a degree by a handful of advocates. Various African religious practices have been present since the arrival of African slaves. In particular, the Yoruba beliefs of Santería and/or Ifá, and the Kongo-derived Palo Mayombe find adherence among a few individuals who practice some form of African traditional religion.

In 1952, a handful of American Jews established the island's first synagogue in the former residence of William Korber, a wealthy Puerto Rican of German descent, which was designed and built by Czech architect Antonin Nechodoma. The synagogue, called Sha'are Zedeck, hired its first rabbi in 1954. Puerto Rico now is home to the largest Jewish
previous12next