Encyclopedia of Latin American Religions

Living Edition
| Editors: Henri Gooren


  • Ramon LuzarragaEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-08956-0_357-1


Nicaragua is a republic in Central America. Its population is similar to many Latin American countries in the region where the majority are mestizo, with Spanish and Amerindian roots. 2009 figures reported a national population that was 69.4% Catholic, 33.2% Protestant (including 11.8% Pentecostal), 7.7% doubly affiliated, 2.4% Mormon or Jehovah’s Witness, 1.0% other religions, and 1.7% no religion (Mandryk 2010: 635).

Pre-Colonial Religions

Before the Spanish conquest, Nicaragua’s Amerindian culture was Mesoamerican, with similarities with indigenous civilizations found from central Mexico to northern Colombia (Merrill 1993; Miller 1985). In the center and Pacific coast of the country, the indigenous groups were linguistically and culturally similar to the Aztecs and the Maya. Their culture and food, too, show a link with those Mexican civilizations (Merrill 1993). On the eastern side facing the Caribbean, the indigenous groups are related to groups found in northern...


Amerindian Catholic Church dictatorship FSLN Nicaragua Pentecostalism Protestantism revolution Sandinistas Somoza 
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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Benedictine UniversityMesaUSA