Argentine Culture

Religion

Religion has played a significant role in social and political life throughout Argentinian history. Roman Catholicism is particularly culturally pervasive and continues to be the official religion of the state. Approximately 92% of the population identifies as Roman Catholic; however, less than 20% are actively practising. While Roman Catholicism is the official religion of the state, freedom of religious choice is protected under the Argentine constitution. Indeed, there are various religious groups in the country; 2% identify as Protestant, 2% identify as Jewish (making the Jewish population in Argentina the largest in Latin America), and 4% identify with some other religion.


The 2011 Australian census reported that 62.5% of Argentines living in Australia identified as Catholic. Of the remaining Argentine-born population in Australia, 18.1% identified with some other religion (including other variations of Christianity), 16.3% did not identify with a religion, and 3.1% did not state their religious affiliation.


Catholicism in Argentina

For much of Argentina’s history, the Catholic Church has had significant influence and power over the country. The religion was introduced to Argentina in the 17th century by Jesuit missionaries from Spain. As a branch of Christianity, Catholicism presents the doctrine of God as the ‘Holy Trinity’, consisting of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Like most Catholics, many Argentines accept the authority of the priesthood and Roman Catholic Church, which is led currently by an Argentinian Pope – Jorge Mario Bergoglio, Pope Francis. As the first pope to come from Latin America, Pope Francis is a great source of pride for many Argentines.


Catholicism is deeply interwoven in the public life of Argentina. Indeed, it is common to see religious symbols such as crucifixes and churches everywhere one goes. Church attendance is most common for events such as baptisms, weddings and funerals. While some attend church on Sundays, many Argentines reserve the weekend as a time to be spent with family. The older generation tends to be more connected to Catholicism than the youth of Argentina, particularly regarding church attendance. Indeed, Catholicism has been decreasing in popularity over the decades. Simultaneously, there has been a rise in Protestantism and an increase in the percentage of the population considered to be unaffiliated with organised religion.


The distribution of practising Catholics and Protestants varies significantly by socioeconomic status in Argentina. Many Argentines who identify as Protestant are people from lower-income groups within society. Indeed, Protestantism is often popular among marginalised individuals who feel disconnected from the Catholic Church. One of the most popular branches of Protestantism in Argentina is Evangelical Christianity. 


There are also regional differences in the practice and degree of religiosity in Argentina. The capital (Buenos Aires) is considered to be the most secularised region of the country while the desert provinces of Jujuy, Salta and Tucumán tend to show a strong sense of religious devotion. One of the biggest religious gatherings in Argentina is the feast of ‘Señor y Virgen del Milagro’ (the Lord and Virgin of the Miracle), typically celebrated in Salta. The event contains a large procession of people who walk, bike or ride by horseback from their farmlands and desert towns into the province. 

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Argentina
  • Population
    44,293,293
    [2017 est.]
  • Languages
    Spanish (official)
    Italian
    English
    German
    French
    Indigenous (Mapudungun, Quechua)
  • Religions
    Roman Catholic Christianity (92%)
    Protestant Christianity (2%)
    Jewish (2%)
    Other (4%)
  • Ethnicities
    European (mostly Spanish and Italian descent) and mestizo (mixed European and Amerindian ancestry) (97.2%)
    Amerindian (2.4%)
    African (0.4%)
    [2010 est.]
  • Cultural Dimensions
    49
    46
    56
    86
    20
    62
  • Australians with Argentine Ancestry
    12,097 [2016 census]
Argentine in Australia
  • Population
    13,345
    [2016 est.]
    This figure refers to the number of Australian residents that were born in Argentina.
  • Average Age
    47
  • Gender
    Male (47.9%)
    Female (52.1%)
  • Religion
    Catholic Christianity (62.5%)
    Christian [nfd] (3.3%)
    Other (14.8%)
    No Religion (16.3%)
    Not stated (3.1%)
  • Ancestry
    Argentinian (30.1%)
    Italian (23.3%)
    Spanish (20.6%)
    South American (3.2%)
    Other (22.7%)
  • Language Spoken at Home
    Spanish (74.1%)
    English (19.0%)
    Italian (4.3%)
    Other (2.1%)
    Not stated (0.6%)
    Of those who speak a language other than English at home, 89.6% speak English fluently.
  • Diaspora
    New South Wales (47.9%)
    Victoria (30.4%)
    Queensland (10.2%)
    Western Australia (5.2%)
  • Arrival to Australia
    Prior to 2001 (78.8%)
    2001-2006 (10.5%)
    2007-2011 (8.1%)
Country https://dtbhzdanf36fd.cloudfront.net/countries/206/ar.svg Flag Country Argentina