Portugal - Religions
Although most Portuguese are Roman Catholic, other religions enjoy freedom of worship. In 2002, about 80% of the population aged 12 or older identified themselves as Roman Catholic; though many claimed that they are not active participants in the church. Protestants constituted about 4% of the populace; and various other groups made up about 1%. Nearly 3% claim no religious affiliation.
Christian groups include Seventh-Day Adventists, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Orthodox Christians, and Brazilian syncretic Catholic churches. There are about 35,000 Muslims, 700 Jews, and small groups of Buddhists, Taoists, and Zoroastrians. About 7,000 people are Hindus. An estimated 100,000 people, who live mainly in the north, are nominally Roman Catholics but keep some Jewish practices; these are descendants of the Marranos, a Spanish term for those who outwardly converted to Christianity but secretly practiced Judaism after the expulsion of all professing Jews from Spain and Portugal at the end of the 15th century.
In 2001 a new law on religious freedom was passed in the National Assembly. This law extends to minority religions more of the privileges previously extended only to the Roman Catholic Church.