While a high percentage of Hispanics profess an attachment to Christianity and the Catholic Church, it would be a mistake to view Hispanic religion as homogenous or static. The term "Hispanic" itself masks the distinctive ethnic and national origins of hundreds of groups. Hispanic religious culture has evolved from centuries of interplay between Native American, European and African traditions with many local variations. Through assimilation, immigration and intercultural exchange, these myriad traditions have come to influence Hispanic life in the United States. In turn, Hispanics have also been influenced by many modern spiritual and intellectual movements in this country. These dynamic processes are the focus of this groundbreaking encyclopedia exploring all aspects of faith and religiosity in the Hispanic community in the United States. Having been raised in a household that incorporated both Catholic and Santería traditions but choosing as an adult to become an ordained Southern Baptist minister, the editor himself reflects the changing face of Hispanic religion. For this scholarly exploration, he has recruited more than 80 academic and religious leaders to examine the features of Hispanic American religious culture. For the greater part of the encyclopedia, these scholars explore the great diversity of practice in 118 articles on historic movements, groups and ideas. Thus, the entries describe the influence of Catholicism, missions and the Virgin Mary as well as Pentecostalism, Native American spirituality and voodoo. From Aztlán, conquistadors, and the Black Legend to the Cuban Revolution, Hip-Hop and the Young Lords Party, the historical and cultural background of Hispanic beliefs is explained. The distinctive experiences of Mexican American, Puerto Ricans, Salvadorans and other groups are given particular attention. So too are the many religious traditions that reflect the influence of multiple cultures, from patron saints and festivals to Santería and Diaspora theology. Also explored is the impact of feminism, the Chicano movement, environmentalism and other modern ideas on Hispanic religious thinking. The growing presence of Hispanics among the Jehovah’s Witnesses, Latter-day Saints and evangelical movements is examined. A selection of 18 concluding essays attempt to define commonalities in the Latino religious experience. Discussions include popular religion and liberation theology. Basic expressions of religion, from ethics and ideas of Christ to the liturgy and pastoral care, are examined for traces of a distinctive Hispanic attitude towards religious practice. An introductory essay describes the demographics of the Hispanic community and its beliefs. Over 130 side bars highlight related topics, from notable missionaries and modern activists to traditional beliefs and rites of passage. Each article includes suggestions for further research and numerous illustrations support the text. The result is an informative guide to a force of widening influence in the United States. This guide is recommended for academic and public libraries.