Cities in MEXICO

Many shrines and documents were destroyed by the conquistador Cortés and his men during the capture of Tenochtitlán, the ancient capital. The Roman Catholic Mission began in 1522 and completed the "work" by destroying all remnants of the original inhabitants' religion. In 1859 it was established in the constitution that church and state should be separate. This constitution was revised in 1917 and even included explicitly anti-ecclesiastical provisions, which have only been normalized since 1934.

In fact, the 1917 constitution stripped the Church of all political power. Article 130 read as follows: "The law does not recognize religious associations known as churches". The church was no longer allowed to own real estate and its own schools and newspapers were also banned. All these measures led in 1926 to the so-called "Cristero Uprising," a bloody guerrilla war waged by fanatical Catholics, which was crushed in 1929.

The tense relations were created by the close cooperation of the Catholic Church with the Spanish rulers and the fact that the church was one of the most important landowners for a long time.

A characteristic of the relationship between religion and state is the fact that Mexico did not establish diplomatic relations with the Vatican until 1993.

Despite all the bans, the bans were violated on all sides, often with the cooperation of the government. That could hardly be otherwise because Mexico has always been a thoroughly Catholic country. One of the restrictions that still applies is that religious have neither the right to vote nor to stand as a candidate.

At the moment about 90% of the population is Roman Catholic. There are also some small groups including about 5% Protestants (including Mennonites), Jews and followers of other religions. A trend in recent years has been that Protestant sects and Evangelical churches are visibly gaining ground against Roman Catholicism.

Mexican Christianity is characterized by a high degree of syncretism, the amalgamation of the Roman Catholic, but also the Protestant faith, with the Indian faith. For example, the Aztec goddess Tonantzin has been replaced by the Virgin of Guadalupe, whom all Catholic Mexicans worship.


Daling, T. / Mexico : mensen, politiek, economie, cultuur, milieu
Koninklijk Instituut voor de Tropen / Novib

Dunlop, F. / Mexico
Van Reemst,


Rokebrand, R. / Mexico

Rummel, J. / Mexico
Chelsea House Publishers

Wagenvoort, E. / Reishandboek Mexico

CIA - World Factbook

BBC - Country Profiles

Last updated November 2020
Copyright: Team Landenweb