Download all chapters of "Reporting on Religion" (PDF)

The exploding number of Hispanics in America virtually guarantees that their religious choices will have a large impact on wider society. While most Hispanics identify themselves as Catholic, surveys show that many end up in Pentecostal, evangelical and other Protestant churches and that second- and third-generation immigrants are not as committed to the Catholic Church as their forebears. Hispanics, who tend to be politically liberal but socially conservative, are heavily courted by both major parties, and their religious and political views are the subject of much research.


In addition to the traditional Christian holidays, Hispanic Catholics observe the Feast Day of Guadalupe (Dec. 12), commemorating the Virgin Mary’s appearance in 1531 before St. Juan Diego, and some Hispanics observe Las Posadas (Dec. 16-24), re-enactments of Mary and Joseph’s journey to Bethlehem just before Jesus’ birth.


  • “Hispanic” and “Latino” are umbrella terms that include people from many countries. Instead of doing stories on“Hispanics,” do stories on Mexican-Americans, Cubans, Nicaraguans, Costa Ricans and others. Become attuned to cultural differences.
  • Watch for a growing national voice from Hispanic church leaders on political issues, increasing Spanish language resources for Hispanic Christians, and the continued adaptation of Hispanic cultural traditions into church practice.