Religious Beliefs and Spirituality in Ecuador
The Roman Catholic Church presumed an essential role in the country in effect of the Spanish invasion. Catholicism becomes the official religion after the Constitution of 1869. Around 94% of Ecuadorians are Roman Catholic. In the rural areas of the country, indigenous faiths and Catholicism are sometimes matched. Generally, festivals and the yearly procession are based on religious celebrations; usually incorporating a combination of rituals and images. Approximately 7.3% of the populations in the country are Protestants according to the Evangelical Missionary Union. Other religions that are exercised in the country are Buddhism, Islam, Mormons and Orthodox Catholics.
The government of Alfaro created a new constitution which observed or valued all religions and assured freedom of religious preference in 1899. The Roman Catholic Church was formed into 3 archdioceses, 10 bishoprics, 1 defensive prelature, 7 apostolic vicar ships, and 1 apostolic region. There are 1,505 priests that attend to the Catholic populace, with a ratio of 1 priest per 5,320 Catholics. One of the oldest churches in South America is the Cathedral of Quito and settled on the southern part of La Plaza Grande. The biggest, with best personnel and well-ordered church is the Centro Cristiano de Guayaquil and settled on Juan Tanca Marengo.