Religious Iconography – Mexico City – Mexico

Centro Mexico City Religious Icon Shop, January 2017

You can buy a life sized Pope in Mexico City. The religious iconography is everywhere and so wonderfully kitch its hard to stop yourself from dragging a life sized angel onto the plane when you leave.

Catholic Christianity is the dominant religion in Mexico, representing about 82.7% of the total population as of 2010. In recent decades the number of Catholics has been declining, due to the growth of other Christian denominations – especially various Protestant churches and Mormonism – which now constitute 8% of the population, and non-Christian religions (1.9%).

Conversion to non-Catholic denominations has been considerably slower than in Central America, and central Mexico remains one of the most Catholic areas in the world. Mexico is a secular country and has allowed freedom of religion since the mid-19th century. Traditional Protestant denominations and the open practice of Judaism established themselves in the country during that era. Modern growth has been seen in Evangelical Protestantism, Mormonism and in folk religions, such as Mexicayot Buddhism and Islam have both made limited inroads through immigration and conversion.


After the Spaniards arrived to Mexico carrying the Catholic faith with them, the Mexican religion experienced important changes that led to the exclusion of many deities in favor of one, which was the True God announced by the Spanish priests.

However, far from being left apart and forgotten, many ancient deities were incorporated by the Mexican religion, creating a unique view of the Catholic faith. Nowadays, those deities can be found under several forms, and the rituals worshipping them are present as well.

For instance, today many Mexicans appreciate an important cultural icon who also reflects the importance of the Catholic Church. The Virgin of Guadalupe depicts the Virgin Mary as a Mexican of Native American ancestry. Her popularity attests to the importance of religion in Mexico.

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Comments 1

  1. These really were an amazing array of shops. Every possible angle of Catholicism seems to have been covered. I was particularly impressed, and just a little perterbed, by the massed cherubs. And of course loved the life sized Papa ! Thank the heavens though that Lorrie decided against bringing back the angel !

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