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Much of the movement away from Catholicism and toward Protestantism in Latin America has occurred in the span of a single lifetime.

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The median is the middle number in a list of numbers sorted in ascending or descending order.Of the eight possible explanations offered on the survey, the most frequently cited was that they were seeking a more personal connection with God.Many former Catholics also said they became Protestants because they wanted a different style of worship or a church that helps its members more.But former Catholics are more skeptical about Pope Francis.Only in Argentina and Uruguay do majorities of ex-Catholics express a favorable view of the pope.In most countries surveyed, pluralities of Catholic-to-Protestant converts say they left Catholicism before the age of 25.

Geographic mobility may also be associated with conversion.

(For details, see Chapter 9.) Protestants in Latin America, like Protestants elsewhere, belong to a diverse group of denominations and independent churches.

But unlike in the United States, where the labels “born again” and “evangelical” set certain Protestants apart, in Latin America “Protestant” and “evangelical” often are used interchangeably.

Smaller percentages of converts to Protestantism also cite other factors – such as health or family problems (a regional median of 20%) or marriage to a non-Catholic (median of 9%) – as important reasons why they are no longer Catholic.

Most tables and charts in this report cite country-level findings.

And the survey finds that Protestants in the region are much more likely than Catholics to report sharing their faith with people outside their own religious group.