Santiago (Agenzia Fides) - The National Census of the Chilean population of 2012 revealed that 67.37% of the population is Catholic, with a decrease of 2.59 percentage points compared to 2002.
The spokesman of the Episcopal Conference of Chile, Jaime Coiro, said that this is a fact of life that does not leave the leaders of the local Church indifferent. "The decrease in the percentage of Catholics is an important signal that invites us to a sincere introspection to understand what are the weaknesses in the way we live our faith and what aspects we need to strengthen," said Coiro.
In the note sent to Fides by the Chilean Episcopal Conference, Coiro added that these figures should be read in light of the secularization process in which humanity lives and influences people and the culture, because "there are tendencies that seek to relegate religion to the private sphere or directly deny the place that has the transcendent in daily life, with a mentality in which God is really absent, wholly or in part, in the existence and consciousness."
According to official statistics, the relative decline in the percentage of Catholics was accompanied by a slight increase in the percentage of people who profess the evangelical religion.
An increase was recorded in those who say they do not follow any religion, who have gone from 8,30% to 11,58%.
(CE) (Agenzia Fides 05/04/2013)