TABLE OF ESTIMATED SIZE OF
THE PROTESTANT MOVEMENT
IN COSTA RICA, MAY 2001

Produced by Clifton L. Holland, Director of PROLADES

(Last Revised: January 29, 2002)


TRADITIONS – FAMILIES - DENOMINATIONS

NUMBER OF CONG.

% OF TOTAL CONG.

ESTIMATED MEMBER- SHIP

MEMBER- SHIP AS % OF TOTAL

ESTIMATED PROT. COM- MUNITY

1.0 LITURGICAL TRADITION (Formerly were "Established Churches" or State Churches in Europe)

62

2.2%

4,720

1.7%

9,440

1.1 LUTHERAN FAMILY

9

 

600

 

1,200

Costa Rican Lutheran Church (Spanish-speaking)

7

 

350

 

700

Lutheran Association for Social and Evangelistic Action

1

 

50

 

100

Lutheran Church in Costa Rica (German-speaking)

1

 

200

 

400

1.2 REFORMED/PRESBYTERIAN FAMILY

36

 

3,470

 

6,940

Christian Reformed Church

3

 

360

 

720

Fraternity of Costa Rican Evangelical Churches (PCUSA-related)

19

 

1,700

 

3,400

Genesis Presbyterian Church

10

 

1,000

 

2,000

Korean Presbyterian Churches 

2

 

310

 

620

Other Reformed/Presbyterian Churches

2

 

100

 

200

1.3 ANGLICAN/EPISCOPAL FAMILY

17

 

650

 

1,300

Episcopal/Anglican Church

17

 

650

 

1,300

2.0 SEPARATIST TRADITION
 ("Free Church" Origin)

539

19.4%

49,124

17.3%

98,248

2.1 MENNONITE FAMILY OF CHURCHES

28

 

3,650

 

7,300

Conservative Mennonite Conference (related to Rosedale Mennonite Missions)

21

3,000

6,000

Religious Society of Friends-Quakers

2

 

100

 

200

Other Anabaptist-Mennonite Churches (example: Colony Mennonites, independent churches, etc.)

5

 

550

 

1,100

2.2 BAPTIST FAMILY OF CHURCHES

238

 

22,436

 

44,872

American Baptist Association, Missionary Committee (Walter Goulding)

33

 

2,880

 

5,760

Churches related to Baptist Bible Fellowship International (6 church associations)

28

 

3,500

 

7,000

Baptist Convention of Costa Rica (related to American Baptist Churches in the USA)

27

 

1,400

 

2,800

Baptist Missionary Association of America Churches (Robert Heflin)

20

 

2,200

 

4,400

Emmanuel Baptist Churches (Bill Murdock, affiliated with Baptist International Missions)

2

200

400

Jamaican & Central American Baptist Mission (Conservative Baptist Home Mission Society-related)

6

500

1,000

National Union of Baptist Churches
(related to Southern Baptist Convention in USA)

24

 

1,876

 

3,752

World Baptist Fellowship Churches (Bill Tabor)

23

 

2,380

 

4,620

Other Baptist churches (independent--not a denomination)

75

 

7,500

 

15,000

2.3 PIETIST FAMILY OF CHURCHES

56

 

5,950

 

11,900

Methodist Church of Costa Rica (United Methodist-related)

50

 

5,000

 

10,000

Methodist Church in the Caribbean & the Americas (British Wesleyan Methodist tradition)

3

300

600

Moravian Church

3

 

600

 

1,200

Evangelical Free Church

1

 

50

 

100

2.4 INDEPENDENT FUNDAMENTALIST CHURCHES

81

 

6,525

 

13,050

Association of Central American Evangelical Churches (CAMI-related)

69

 

5,925

 

11,850

Plymouth Brethren (Brethren Assemblies, Canada: reported to exist but not found)

8

 

400

 

800

Witness Lee-related churches (reported to exist but not found)

4

 

200

 

400

2.5 HOLINESS FAMILY OF CHURCHES

74

 

4,809

 

9.618

Christian & Missionary Alliance

4

 

550

 

1,100

Church of God (Anderson, IN)

10

 

702

 

1,404

Church of the Nazarene

33

 

2,006

 

4,012

Free Methodist Church

5

 

300

 

600

Salvation Army

5

 

551

 

1,102

Pillar of Fire Ministerial Assoc.

7

 

700

 

1,400

2.6 RESTORATION MOVEMENT CHURCHES

59

 

3,704

 

7,408

Christian Church/Disciples of Christ

14

 

1,029

 

2,058

Churches of Christ (fellowship of independent churches-Ray Bynum)

40

 

2,400

 

4,800

Church of Christ-Christian (Shelton)

4

 

175

 

350

Christian Congregational Church

1

 

100

 

200

2.7 OTHER SEPARATIST CHURCHES (unclassified)

2

2,050

4,100

3.0 ADVENTIST TRADITION

151

5.4%

32,800

11.6%

65,600

Seventh-Day Adventist Church

132

 

31,350

 

62,700

Seventh-Day Adventist Reform Movement

8

 

400

 

800

Church of God Seventh-Day

10

 

1,000

 

2,000

Worldwide Church of God

1

 

50

 

100

4.0 PENTECOSTAL TRADITION

1,769

63.7%

169,890

60.0%

339,780

4.01 APOSTOLIC PENTECOSTAL FAMILY (none)

--

 

--

 

--

4.02 PENTECOSTAL HOLINESS FAMILY

639

 

39,774

 

79,548

Church of God (Cleveland, TN)

380

 

19,000

 

38,000

Church of God of Prophesy

63

 

2,500

 

5,000

Congregational Holiness Church

22

 

1,250

 

2,500

Council of National Evangelical Churches (includes 6 churches that were part of Elim Assemblies, 1988 merger)

45

 

4,768

 

9,536

Free Will Baptist Pentecostal Churches

30

 

2,556

 

5,112

Pentecostal Church of Faith and Holiness

18

 

1,800

 

2,600

Pentecostal Holiness Church

78

 

7,600

 

15,200

Other Pentecostal Holiness churches

3

 

300

 

600

4.03 JESUS-ONLY (ONENESS) PENTECOSTAL FAMILY

69

 

5,900

 

11,800

Apostolic Assembly of Faith in Jesus Christ

35

 

3,550

 

7,100

United Pentecostal Church

32

 

2,250

 

4,500

Other Apostolic churches

2

 

100

 

200

4.04 FINISHED WORK OF CHRIST PENTECOSTAL FAMILY

700

 

63,330

 

126,660

Assemblies of God (USA-related)

326

 

46,890

 

93,780

International Church of Foursquare Gospel

99

 

5,940

 

11,880

International Pentecostal Church, Worldwide Missionary Movement (Puerto Rico)

140

 

5,000

 

10,000

Pentecostal Church of God
 (Puerto Rico)

121

 

4,000

 

8,000

Prince of Peace Pentecostal Churches

11

 

1,200

 

2,400

Other Finished Work Pentecostal churches

3

 

300

 

600

4.05 SABBATICAL PENTECOSTAL FAMILY

13

 

800

 

1,600

International Evangelical Church, Soldiers of the Cross of Christ (formerly known as Gideonites)

13

 

800

 

1,600

4.06 DELIVERANCE & HEALING PENTECOSTAL FAMILY

117

 

29,251

 

58,502

Association of Christian Churches (Jorge Borbón)

32

3,500

7,000

Christian Centers of San José (Panamerican Mission) 7 1,200 2,400
Crusade of Faith (Ramiro Mijangos)

10

1,171

2,342

Maranatha Church (Oscar Coto)

8

800

1,600

The Rose of Sharon Christian Mission (Luís Madrigal)

8

15,000

30,000

Transworld Missions (Christian Centers-Manuel Tijerino)

17

 

4,000

 

8,000

Wesleyan Pentecostal Holiness Church

29

2,930

5,860

Other Deliverance Pentecostal Churches

6

650

1,300

4.07 LATTER-RAIN PENTECOSTAL FAMILY (unknown)

--

       
4.08 CHARISMATIC PENTECOSTAL FAMILY

7

950

1,900

Vineyard Christian Fellowship

3

500

1,000

Other Charismatic Pentecostal churches

4

 

450

 

900

4.09 SHEPHERDING PENTECOSTAL FAMILY

8

 

4,115

 

8,230

Independent Churches

7

 

1,015

 

2,030

International Charismatic Mission (Colombia)

1

 

3,100

 

6,200

4.10 WORD OF FAITH PENTECOSTAL FAMILY (none)

--

       
4.11 UNCLASSIFIED INDEPENDENT PENTECOSTAL CHURCHES

216

 

25,770

 

51,540

5.0 MIXED TRADITIONS (PENTECOSTAL & NON-PENTECOSTAL)

134

4.8%

8,772

3.1%

17,544

Costa Rican Bible Church Association (LAM-related)

134

8,772

17,544

6.0 OTHER PROTESTANT CHURCHES/UNCLASSIFIED

124

4.5%

18,050

6.4%

36,100

TOTALS (Estimated for May 2000)

2,779

100%

283.356

100%

566,712

TOTAL POPULATION:  mid-2000 = 3,824,593 (100%)    

7.4%

 

**14.8%

**NOTE:  According to a recent public opinion poll on religious affiliation in Costa Rica, about 16% of the total population is "Protestant" (CID-Gallup Poll, July 1999), which is about 608,000 persons (3.8 million X 16% = "Protestant Population"); therefore, the Protestant "membership" to "population" ratio is about 1:2.26 ("membership" X 2.26 = "Protestant Population"). The "Estimated Protestant Community" represents those who are "affiliated" with Protestant churches, whether active or inactive members, those who attend but are not "members" (regardless of the frequency of attendance), including the minor children (under 12 years of age) of members and non-members, as well as other relatives and friends who attend worship services and other church activities occasionally. However, it appears that only about half of those who claim that they are "Protestants" (or Evangelicals) actually attend worship services at least once each year, which means that the other half of the Protestant population is even less active: "nominal Protestantism" is alive and well in Costa Rica.

SOURCES: PROLADES national church growth survey of Costa Rica, March 1, 2000 to October 30, 2001; Coordinator, Clifton L. Holland, Director of PROLADES.

PROLADES
Apartado 1524-2050, San Pedro, Costa Rica
E-Mail: prolades@racsa.co.cr