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.

Click here for the sources of the statistical data

Surface area:176200 km2
GNI per capita:3950 US$
Classification:Developing economy



Christian: 50.00%

Muslim: 1.20%


Catholics: 1212121

Protestants: 173160

Orthodox: 28930

Anglicans: 1400

Protestants and Evangelicals counted together
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The indigenous people who lived in the plains of Uruguay were decimated in the three hundred years following the colonization in the 16th century. The last mass killing took place in 1831, after the country's independence in 1825. In the 19th century many Europeans migrated to Uruguay. It was a politically stable and prosperous country with an advanced welfare system. In the 1960s an economic crisis occurred and a left-wing guerilla emerged, the Tupamaros. The movement was repressed by the army, which seized power in 1973. Under the military dictatorship, which lasted until 1984, huge human rights violations took place. Since then, Uruguay is again a functioning democracy. The economy is essentially agricultural, with some manufacturing industry. Export consists of meat, dairy and leather products, wool, etc. Uruguay is the smallest country in Latin America, and also the most secularized. The Catholic Church, which dates back to the beginning of colonization, is the largest church. The Methodists are the oldest Protestant church. There is a large Waldensian community, which is part of the Waldensian Church in Italy, and therefore also of the WCC. Pentecostals represent about 30 percent of the Protestant and Independent churches. The Federation of Evangelical Churches is the oldest ecumenical body. In 1998, a Council of Christian Churches was set up, with the participation of the Catholic and Anglican churches. There is also a Christian Association of Evangelical Churches, affiliated with the WEA. The Orthodox churches are the Ecumenical Patriarchate, Moscow Patriarchate, and Armenian Apostolic Church.

More on Uruguay:

Ecumenical solidarity visit to Uruguay

An international ecumenical "Living Letters" delegation sent by the World Council of Churches (WCC) visited Uruguay in July 2009. The team learned about domestic violence, the problems faced by youth and about the wounds left by the military dictatorship. Read more...


WCC member churches based in Uruguay

WCC member churches present in Uruguay

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

Last updated: 01/01/06