How many Puerto Ricans are Catholic and Where does Santeria come from?

The vast majority of Puerto Ricans are Catholic, though a minority are Protestant.

The biggest Protestant denomination is the Pentecostal Church of God. Many Puerto Ricans practice Santeria, a Cuban-based blend of Catholic and West African elements.

Stores called botanicas sell charms, incense, candles, herbs, and other paraphernalia related to Santeria. Botanicas are as much a part of Puerto Rican neighborhoods as bodegas, the small mom-and-pop grocery stores familiar to urbanites, whether Latino or Anglo.

One of the biggest religious holidays for Puerto Ricans is the Fiesta del Apostol Santiago on July 25, which honors James the Apostle with music, dancing, and traditional costumes.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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