The most prominent religion in Honduras is Roman
Catholicism. Religious freedom is guaranteed by the Honduran constitution,
but the government subsidizes Catholic schools, and religious education
is part of the public school curriculum. The Roman Catholic church is
not as influential in Honduras as it is in other parts of Central America.
Many Hondurans are cultural Catholics rather than practising Catholics.
In other words, they celebrate the festivals and follow some traditions,
but they do not attend church regularly. Some Hondurans in rural areas
blend Roman Catholicism with indigenous beliefs and practices.
Many people in the Bay Islands are Protestant because of the influence of the English in the area. Since the 1980s, the number of Protestants has been growing in Honduras. The Methodists, Southern Baptists, Central American Mission and Assemblies of God are the most well-established non-Catholic denominations. Judaism and some traditional African religions are also practised in some areas.
Saints have a special place in Honduran spirituality.
Many Hondurans believe that saints have special powers. Each Catholic home
has a picture or statue of a particular saint (often the Virgin Mary).
People pray to the saints to help them solve problems or overcome hardship.
Towns and villages hold feasts for their patron saints.
The patron saint of Honduras is the Virgin of Suyapa. The Basilica of the Virgin of Suyapa, near Tegucigalpa, is one of Central America's most impressive shrines. It has beautiful stained glass windows and a marble altar with designs in bronze and gold. The basilica houses a small statue of the Virgin, which is believed to have miraculous healing powers.