Venezuela, like most South American nations, is a predominantly Catholic nation. The influence of the Catholic Church was introduced in its colonization by Spain. According to a 2011 poll (GIS XXI), 88 percent of the population is Christian, primarily Roman Catholic (71%), and the remaining 17 percent Protestant, primarily Evangelicals (in Latin America Protestants are usually called Evangelicos). The Venezuelans without religion are 8% (atheist 2% and agnostic or indifferent 6%), almost 3% of the population follow other religion (1% of them are of santeria).
There are small but influential Muslim, Buddhist, and Jewish communities. The Muslim community of about 95,000 is concentrated among persons of Lebanese and Syrian descent living in Nueva Esparta State, Punto Fijo and the Caracas area; Venezuela also has a significant Druze community from the same countries (the current vice president is Druze, showing the small group's influence). Buddhism in Venezuela is practiced by over 52,000 people. The Buddhist community is made up mainly of Chinese, Japanese, and Koreans. There are Buddhist centers in Caracas, Maracay, Mérida, Puerto Ordáz, San Felipe, and Valencia. The Jewish community numbers approximately 13,000 and is mainly concentrated in Caracas.
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