Officially, Brazil  is the world’s largest Catholic country in terms of population. In reality, however, Brazil’s great talent for syncretism and diversity has resulted in a country with an amazing number of religions, sects, and communities.
According to the latest IBGE census, around 75 percent of Brazilians identify themselves as Roman Catholic. Despite the strong presence of churches, endless references to Deus (God), various incarnations of Nossa Senhor (the Virgin), and prayers, promises, and processions offered up to saints, the majority of Brazilians aren’t practicing Catholics. While Catholicism is a strong presence in the collective culture, the Catholic church in Brazil has a much less rigid reputation than in other Latin American countries.
Only around 16 percent of Brazilians adhere to some form of Protestantism. However, in the last two decades, an endless number of evangelical and pentecostal churches have been sprouting like wildfire, particularly in poor rural and suburban neighborhoods where churches such as the immensely popular Igreja Assembleia de Deus (Assembly of God Church) and Igreja Universal do Reino de Deus (Universal Kingdom of God’s Church), and numerous tangents thereof, have taken root, offering succor and solutions to Brazil’s poor (often for a price).
African slaves who were brought to Brazil  arrived bereft of everything except their faith. Although the Portuguese strictly banned all such forms of “demon worship,” slaves were particularly adept at camouflaging the worship of their deities under the guise of pretending to worship Catholic saints. The consequences of this mingling of religious symbols can be seen today in many religious rituals and celebrations that fuse Catholicism with African and even indigenous religious elements.
The end of slavery did not bring about immediate tolerance for Afro-Brazilians to openly practice purer forms of their faith. Candomblé , Brazil’s largest Afro-Brazilian cult, was banned well into the 20th century, even in Salvador  and parts of Bahia  where terreiros (traditional houses of worship) are widespread. Today, less than one percent of Brazilians adhere to Candomblé and other popular Afro-Brazilian cults, such as Umbanda (which mixes Candomblé practices with spiritualist and indigenous elements).
However, in places such as Salvador , Rio , and 81005 link São Luís], Afro-Brazilian religious elements have entered into mainstream culture. Notable examples include the popularization of Yoruba terms (all Candomblé ceremonies are conducted in the Yoruba language) and of ritual dances and sacred foods (such as Bahia’s famous acarajés). Wide segments of the population participate in festas honoring orixás (deities) in which presentes (gifts) are often offered.
In Rio and Salvador, you will often find the beaches littered with flowers washed ashore after being offered to the immensely popular orixá Iemanjá, goddess of the seas.
There are numerous spiritualist and esoteric cults practiced throughout Brazil. One of the most popular forms of spiritualism is Kardecism, which was named after 19th-century spiritualist Allan Kardec. Its followers believe in multiple reincarnations and in the idea that the spirits of the dead—who can be communicated with during séances—are present among the living. Spiritualism is so popular that it often works its way into the Globo television network’s nightly novelas.
Other popular cults draw inspiration from Brazil’s indigenous cultures. This is the case with Santo Daime and União da Vegetal, both of which revolve around imbibing a hallucinogenic potion, ayahuasca, which Amazonian indigenous people have used for centuries as a way of achieving transcendental insights. The small but faithful following includes a significant number of middle-class, urban dwellers of São Paulo , Brasília , and the South.