Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico was under Spanish colonial rule from 1493 until the end of the 19th century. The Spanish exterminated the indigenous population, and brought in slaves from Africa. After the Spanish-American war of 1898, Puerto Rico was ceded to the USA. Since 1952 it has the status of free associated state with the USA and has internal self-government. Two distinct cultures co-exist in Puerto Rico, Hispanic and North American. Popular protest has obliged the US government to stop using the island of Vieques, which is part of Puerto Rico, for military purposes. The economy of Puerto Rico is based on agriculture, industry, and service. The Catholic Church is the oldest, and the largest, church. Protestant missions from the USA started working in the island at the beginning of the 20th century, after the cession. Puerto Ricans returning from the US brought Pentecostalism. Today there are many indigenous charismatic groups. The estimate in 2000 was that one third of all Christians in Puerto Rico were Evangelical and Pentecostal/Charismatic. The former Evangelical Council of Puerto Rico became in 2002 the Council of Churches of Puerto Rico. The Methodist Church is the first church in Puerto Rico to join the WCC (2005). The Anglicans come under the Episcopal Church in the USA, which is a WCC member.

Note: The list of churches present in countries/territories is still in development.