The Roman Catholic Church's role in Mexican history goes back to 1519.
When Hernn Corts, the Spanish conqueror of New Spain, landed on the coast of Mexico, he was accompanied by Roman Catholic clergy.
Roman Catholics represented more than 95 percent of all Mexicans in a band of central-western states extending from Zacatecas to Michoacn.
In contrast, the least Roman Catholic presence was found in the southeastern states of Chiapas, Campeche, Tabasco, and Quintana Roo.
For example, the Mormons reported that membership surged from 248,000 in 1980 to 617,000 in 1990 and increased further to 688,000 by 1993.
Protestant or evangelical growth was especially strong in southeastern Mexico.
In 1833 the government adopted several anticlerical measures, including one providing for the secularization of education and another declaring that the payment of the ecclesiastical tithe was not a civil obligation.
The first major confrontation between the church and the state occurred during the presidency of Benito Jurez (1855-72).
Mexico Table of Contents The 1980s and early 1990s witnessed a notable shift in religious affiliation and in church-state relations in Mexico.
Although Mexico remains predominantly Roman Catholic, evangelical churches have dramatically expanded their membership.
Article 3 forbade churches from participating in primary and secondary education.