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Cultures Around the World: Nepal, Syria, Portugal, and America

Portuguese Catholicism
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In Portugal, religion is important. They are Roman Catholics, just like their neighbors in Spain. In a traditional village, the church would be the first thing built in the middle of the town.

For a long time, formal religion, folk beliefs, and superstition were all jumbled together. Many devout Roman Catholics practiced witchcraft, magic, and sorcery on the side. Later as people started urbanizing and grew more educated, the folk religions slowly faded. Now they are only practiced in the poorest and most uneducated areas.

Compared to Spain, Portuguese Catholicism was 'softer and less intense'. Unlike Spain, in Portugal, G-d and his saints were imagined as forgiving and serene. Many Spanish statues of saints have facial expressions of pain and anguish, while Portuguese one were complacent and pleasant looking.

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