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Hispanic Protestantism in the United States: Trends by Decade and Generation

Larry L. Hunt
Social Forces
Vol. 77, No. 4 (Jun., 1999), pp. 1601-1624
Published by: Oxford University Press
DOI: 10.2307/3005888
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3005888
Page Count: 24
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Hispanic Protestantism in the United States: Trends by Decade and Generation
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Abstract

This research studies Hispanics in the U.S. to identify temporal and sociodemographic factors that predict differences between Catholic religious affiliation and other affiliations, especially Evangelical and Pentecostal forms of Protestant affiliation that are apparently increasing. Examining the General Social Surveys conducted from 1972 to 1996 and aggregating a Hispanic sample from multiple surveys, comparisons of Hispanic Catholics and non-Catholics are made across three decades and by three types of generational status. A series of logistic models predicting different types of non-Catholic affiliation show non-Catholics have an increased presence in the Hispanic population from the 1970s to the 1990s and from first through third generations, but there is little evidence that fundamentalist Protestantism is gaining large numbers of converts from Catholicism. Only mainline Protestants and people indicating no religious preference show increased proportions across the three decades, while both mainline Protestants and fundamentalist Protestants have increased proportions among third (or more) generation residents. Several possible explanations of why the GSS surveys do not support the widely-held view that it is fundamentalist Protestant churches that are the major recipients of the general "exodus" from Catholic affiliation are considered.

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