Ecuador Religion is comprised mainly of Roman Catholic Christians. According to the CIA World Factbook, about 95% of Ecuadorians are Catholics. This was brought about by the colonization of the Spaniards in the 1800s. Ecuador Women are devout to their faith.
Today, you will see the influence of Catholicism throughout the country, with the old and new churches, to the holidays and other celebrations in the country. Ecuadorians celebrate their holidays mostly according to a veneration of a saint. A directory of cities in Ecuador where a special holiday is best celebrated is useful to know. And some fun-filled holidays are held at or near Ecuador Beaches.
The Catholic Church still has a great influence on both the society and the government of the country. After the enactment of the 1869 Constitution, Ecuador recognized Catholicism as the official religion. Furthermore, the constitution, thus the state, only gave citizenship to Catholics. It was only on 1899 that the government has passed a law respecting all religions and the freedom of religious choice. Ecuador Religion has since welcomed other beliefs.
The Ecuadorian Constitution of 1998 includes two articles providing for freedom of worship concerning Ecuador Religion:
- Art. 23: States, among others that "all people are legally born free and equal and that they will not be discriminated on the basis of religion". It guarantees also the freedom of religion. "Freedom of religion is guaranteed. Every individual has the right to freely profess his/her religion and to disseminate it individually or collectively. All religious faiths and churches are equally free before the law." The right to declare or not about ones religious affiliation is also guaranteed.
- Art. 81: Prohibits publicity that encourages violence, racism, sexism, religious or political intolerance.
Through this law, other religions have spread throughout the country. A relatively new Ecuador Religion is the Latter-day Saints or the Mormons. In 2008, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints claimed having 185,663 members in the country. Another religion, which has a small following, is Judaism whose members are found mainly on Quito, Cuenca, Amabato, and Guayaquil. It is called the Jewish Community of Ecuador. Third is Islam or the Islam Community of Ecuador (Comunidad Islamica del Ecuador), which is of a Sunni denomination of Islam and has only about 100 members. There is a mosque in Quito and the islamic Center 'Al Hijra' is located in Guayaquil. Another religion registered with the government is Baha'i Faith. The first in the whole world to have a Baha'i radio station is in Otavalo.