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Costa Rica

Section I. Religious Demography

The U.S. government estimates the total population at 5.1 million (midyear 2020 estimate). A 2019 survey by the Center for Research and Political Studies of the University of Costa Rica (UCR) with other institutions estimates 40 percent of the population is Catholic (compared with 52 percent in the 2018 UCR survey); 36 percent Protestant, including evangelical Christians (22 percent in 2018); and 20 percent without religious affiliation (17 percent in 2018).

The majority of Protestants are Pentecostal, with smaller numbers of Lutherans and Baptists. There are an estimated 32,000 Jehovah’s Witnesses, predominantly on the Caribbean coast. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints estimates its membership at 50,000. The Jewish Zionist Center estimates there are between 3,000 and 3,500 Jews in the country. Approximately 1,000 Quakers live near the cloud forest reserve of Monteverde, Puntarenas. Smaller groups include followers of Islam, Taoism, the International Society of Krishna Consciousness, Scientology, Tenrikyo, and the Baha’i Faith. Some members of indigenous groups practice animism.

International Religious Freedom Reports
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U.S. Department of State

The Lessons of 1989: Freedom and Our Future