The Fastest-Growing New Religious Movement
Santa Muerte is a Mexican folk saint of death. Saint Death, in English, is now the fastest-growing new religious movement not only in North America but throughout the entire Americas. There are no surveys of the number of devotees, but with 8 years of research experience, I estimate some 10–12 million, with 70% in Mexico, 15% in the USA, 10% in Central America, and the remaining 5% mostly in South America. Devotion to the skeleton saint only went public in 2001, so the great majority of adherents have become devoted to death only in the past decade and a half. In the USA, devotees are concentrated in Texas, California, and the Southwest, so it’s no coincidence that the first American bishops to rebuke the Bony Lady (one of her common monikers) are from this region.
Folk Saint of Death
Saint Death is a skeletal folk saint whose cult has proliferated on both sides of the US-Mexico border over the past decade and a half. The Grim Reapress (she’s...
KeywordsSanta Muerte Saint Death Grim Reapress Folk Saint Culture of Death
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