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Religion in Portugal


Most of Portugal's population lives in the coastal districts, especially from Setúbal and the north. About 75 percent of the population lives in cities, of which the capital Lisbon (552 700 residents, 2011, in the metropolitan area 1.9 million) and Porto (237 600) are the dominant. The most important cities are Setúbal, Coimbra and Braga as well as Funchal in Madeira.

Religions of Portugal

According to Countryaah data, Portugal has long had significant emigration, formerly mainly to Brazil, but from around 1960 mainly to Western Europe, where mainly France received many Portuguese as guest workers. In the late 1970s, Portugal received a stream of return migrants, retornados, from the former colonies, giving the country an additional 700,000 people. As a result of the economic problems in Portugal, many Portuguese people have begun to move abroad, including to the former colonies of Angola, Brazil and Mozambique.


The official language is Portuguese. Linguistically, Portugal is one of Europe's most unified nations. Portuguese is the language spoken throughout the territory, except in a few localities on the border with Spain, where dialects of Spanish occur.


Approximately 93% of the population (1994) belongs to the Roman Catholic Church. Among the approximately 80,000 Protestants, the Pentecostal Movement and Jehovah's Witnesses are the largest groups. Christianity reached Portugal in the first centuries AD Through the immigration of the Visigoths, Aryanism came to dominate, but the Catholic faith was established through the church meeting in Toledo 589. Most of Portugal was 711 to 1139 under Islamic rule. When Portugal became colonial power in the late 1400s, it became the center of a worldwide mission.

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