World Religions Vocabulary in Spanish
La religión, or religion in Spanish, can be defined as the service and worship of a God or gods, a system of beliefs held with ardor and faith, and the commitment or devotion of religious faith or observances.
Religion has been around practically since humanity began to populate the earth. It began as a way to explain natural phenomena, and then it evolved into the systems of beliefs we know today.
To this day, there are hundreds, if not thousands, of religions around the world, but this blog post is about 10 of the most practiced religions in the world and then the most practiced and common ones in Latin America.
So, if you are a curious Spanish student interested in expanding your vocabulary on this matter, this blog post is for you!
All About Religion in Spanish
As it was stated before, there are a lot of religions in the world, and each one of those has its own history, its own saints and gods, and, some of them, even holy texts.
To understand this topic, let’s begin with how religion can be classified.
Classification of Religion in Spanish
To understand religion and beliefs more easily, experts created a system of classifications that makes the information easier to understand depending on three factors:
- By theological conception – por concepción teológica
- By revelation – por revelación
- By origin – por origen
When we talk about theological conception we refer to the bases of the religion, the understanding, and classification of divinity, and if the belief is in one, two, or more gods.
Theologic Classification of Religion in Spanish
|dualist religions||las religiones dualistas|
|monotheistic religions||las religiones monoteístas|
|non-theistic religions||las religiones no teístas|
|politheistic religions||las religiones politeístas|
When experts classify religion by revelation, this means how the religion was born.
- By revelation – por revelación: This means a higher, divine being revealed the message to humans.
- Not revealed – no reveladas: This means this religion was born not from a divine message, but can recognize deities and divine beings.
And, lastly, religion can be classified in how and where it originated. The religions that originated in the Middle East are not the same as those that originated near the Nile river or those in the Islands of the Pacific.
Depending on where the religion originated, some can share elements, like deities, prophets and even holy places.
Origin Classification of Religion in Spanish
|Abrahamic/ Semitic religions||religiones abrahámicas o semíticas|
|Dharmic/ Indic religions||religiones dhármicas o índicas|
|Indo European religions||religiones indoeuropeas|
|Iranian religions||religiones iranias|
|neopagan religions||religiones neopaganas|
|traditional African religions||religiones tradicionales africanas|
|traditional Native American religions||religiones tradicionales nativo americanas|
10 Most Practiced Religions
According to the number of followers, experts have been keeping tabs on what are the most practiced religions all around the world.
The one with the most followers is Christianity, followed by Islam, Hinduism, and Buddism, but there are so many more religions with a large base of followers! The following list details their names in English in alphabetical order and the translation of these terms into Spanish.
Most Practiced Religions in Spanish
|Cao Dai||el Cao Dai|
People and Their Religion
We know now what are the most practiced religions in the world, but how can we refer to their followers in Spanish?
Check out the following list of the religious words and terms in Spanish used to talk about religious followers and members of different religions, and even about those that don’t profess one.
People and Their Religion in Spanish
|Jehovah’s Witness||testigo de Jehová|
Most Practiced Religions in Latin America
You might be thinking: what is the common religion in Spanish-speaking countries?
Let me tell you about it!
There are more than 650 million people in Latin America and a great majority of them profess a religion or some kind of belief, but there are some religions that are more prominent than others.
Here is a little bit of information about religion in Spanish-speaking countries.
When Latin America was conquered by Spain, they not only brought their customs and traditions but also their religion.
The religion in Spanish culture was something of great importance, especially the commandment of sharing the teachings of Jesus to others, but the role of religion in the Spanish colonization was not only the share of their faith but also a way to control and conquer the natives.
Hundreds of years later, the religion of the Spanish period is still integrated into Latin American societies, to the point where a great majority of Latin Americans profess a Christian religion in the form of the different branches like Catholics, Protestants, Evangelicals, Mennonites, and Mormonism.
Christianity is a religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus, son of God, and has been practiced for about 2000 years. Its sacred text is the Bible, and is one of the most spread religions in the world, in part, thanks to missionaries and colonizers.
Christianity is divided into different denominaciones, or denominations, which are different kinds of religious organizations, that have the same belief at the center but at the same time differ one from another because of observed traditions, theology, and even values.
Below you can check some of the Christian denominations and their translation in Spanish.
Christian Denominations in Spanish
|Adventist Church||la iglesia Adventista|
|Anabaptist Church||la iglesia Anabaptista|
|Anglican Church||la iglesia Anglicana|
|Baptist Church||la iglesia Bautista/Baptista|
|Eastern Catholic Church||la iglesia Católicas Orientales|
|Eastern Orthodox Church||la iglesia Ortodoxa|
|Evangelical Church||la iglesia Evangélica|
|Latter Day Saint Church||el movimiento de Los Santos de los Últimos Días/ Mormones|
|Jehovah’s Witness||los testigos de Jehová|
|Pentecostalism||el movimiento pentecostal|
|Roman Catholic Church||la iglesia Católica Romana|
Check out our blog post on Christian Words in Spanish for more vocabulary on this topic.
Islam in Spanish
The Islam religion in Spanish-speaking countries is prominent, contrary to what some people might believe. There are around four million Muslims in Latin America spread throughout the continent.
Islam comes from the arab verb “aslama” which means to accept, give up or submit.
The most important book in Islam is the Quran and in Latin America, the largest Muslim organization is the Islamic Organization of Latin America—OIPAL by its Spanish acronym.
There are two major Islam denominations:
Sunni – Sunismo
The Sunni believe in five fundamental pillars:
- There is only one God and Mahoma was the last of his prophets.
- The prayer.
- The “zakat”, which is a form of alms, or sharing with those in need.
- The fast in Ramadan.
- Pilgrimage to Mecca at least once in your life.
Shia – Chiismo
For the Shia, these are the most important principles in Islam:
- The Oneness of God.
- Leadership and tutelage.
Native Religions and Beliefs
Latin America is very rich in culture and traditions, and even religions that have been around since thousands of years ago, and are still alive thanks to the natives of the continent.
These religions can be:
- Monotheists – monoteístas
- Polytheists – politeístas
- Henotheisitcs – henoteísticas
- Animists – animistas
Or a combination of those mentioned before. Also, these beliefs are traditionally inherited through oral traditions, like stories, allegories, and principles.
Vocabulary of Religion in Spanish
There are so many words to use when talking about religion in Spanish. Here are some of the most common for you to use!
All the different buildings and spaces for the religious followers to congregate and celebrate their faith.
Check the following list of religious words in Spanish related to infrastructure.
Infrastructure in Spanish
Leadership and Members
These are some religious words in Spanish that are shared between all these different religions, here are some of them:
Leadership and Members in Spanish
The following list of religious words in Spanish are of those religious traditions that are practiced by several religions and their Spanish translation.
Religious Traditions in Spanish
|religious service||el servicio religioso|
Here are some of the most important religious texts and their names in Spanish.
Religious Texts in Spanish
|Book of Mormon||el Libro del Mormón|
|Canons of Buddhism||los cánones del Budismo|
Check out this link for more sacred texts.
Prepare to Share Your Truth in Spanish
It doesn’t matter what religion or belief you profess, there is a great probability you want to share all about it with the world around you! Spanish can be a great help for you to achieve that goal.
In the United States alone, there are approximately 53 million people who speak Spanish, and the US is the second-largest Spanish-speaking country in the world. According to CNN, there are 41 million native Spanish speakers in the US who speak Spanish in their homes. This means that only in the US your message can reach thousands of people if you know Spanish!
And if you are planning on traveling through Latin America on missions, learning Spanish can be a great help to demolish the language barriers and let you connect better with the locals to share the message!
So what are you waiting for? Sign up today for a free 1-to-1 class with a certified native Spanish-speaking teacher at Homeschool Spanish Academy. Check out our programs and take a peek at our affordable prices and begin this new adventure with us!
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