Puerto Rico


About country profiles

The country profiles are intended to provide some background and context for the descriptions of the churches. These profiles should be read in conjunction with those of the churches in the country.

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Surface area:8950 km2
Capital:San Juan
GNI per capita:9620 US$
Classification:Upper middle income




Christian: 97.00%


Catholics: 2771937

Protestants: 602020

Anglicans: 12500

Independent: 363280

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Puerto Rico was under Spanish colonial rule from 1493 until the end of the 19th century. The Spanish exterminated the indigenous population, and brought in slaves from Africa. After the Spanish-American war of 1898, Puerto Rico was ceded to the USA. Since 1952 it has the status of free associated state with the USA and has internal self-government. Two distinct cultures co-exist in Puerto Rico, Hispanic and North American. Popular protest has obliged the US government to stop using the island of Vieques, which is part of Puerto Rico, for military purposes. The economy of Puerto Rico is based on agriculture, industry, and service. The Catholic Church is the oldest, and the largest, church. Protestant missions from the USA started working in the island at the beginning of the 20th century, after the cession. Puerto Ricans returning from the US brought Pentecostalism. Today there are many indigenous charismatic groups. The estimate in 2000 was that one third of all Christians in Puerto Rico were Evangelical and Pentecostal/Charismatic. The former Evangelical Council of Puerto Rico became in 2002 the Council of Churches of Puerto Rico. The Methodist Church is the first church in Puerto Rico to join the WCC (2005). The Anglicans come under the Episcopal Church in the USA, which is a WCC member.


Ecumenical Organizations and Councils

WCC member churches based in Puerto Rico

WCC member churches present in Puerto Rico

Note: The list of churches present in countries is still in development.

Last updated: 01/01/06