Sponsored by the Latin American Socio-Religious Studies Program /
Programa Latinoamericano de Estudios Sociorreligiosos (PROLADES)
RITA is an acronym for “Religion-In-The-Americas,” and it was chosen to communicate the broad scope of our study of ethnic and religious diversity in Latin America and the Caribbean regions, which includes all identifiable religions and religious groups in each country and dependent territory of the Americas. However, our study of ethnic and religious diversity in the USA and Canada was limited to the Hispanic and Portuguese population as a complement to our larger study.
Although I am the intellectual author, designer and developer of this study, it was very much a team effort by members of the PROLADES staff in Costa Rica, which has been my home and base of operations since 1972. As the founder and director of PROLADES (Programa Latinoamericano de Estudios Sociorreligiosos – Latin American Socio-Religious Studies Program) since 1977, I have been involved in numerous socio-religious studies in at least 25 countries in terms of field work, although — thanks to the Internet — information about all of the independent nations and dependent territories of the Americas is now available with a few key strokes.
The latest update of the RITA Database began in April 2012 after we signed a partnership agreement with representatives of Fuller Theological Seminary (FTS) in Pasadena, California, that had been negotiated in conversations with Dr. Juan Martínez, Director of Hispanic Studies, between October 2011 and the date of signing the agreement in late March 2012. FTS provided PROLADES with a research grant to cover part of our expenses for this study for a period of six months, 1 April to 30 September, although it took us until 26 February 2013 to complete this update.
Clifton L. Holland, Director of PROLADES
General Partner, Holland International Consultants
USA Office in Fairfax, California
International Office in San Pedro, Montes de Oca, Costa Rica
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