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#1 - Brazil - 126,880,000 Catholics
Tradition claims the first Mass celebrated in Brazilian territory took place on Easter Sunday, 1500. However, the first diocese was established by the Portuguese in this land in 1551. During colonial times, Catholic missions opposed the Portuguese governmental policy of exploiting the native population, leading to the eventual suppression of the Jesuits in the 18th century. Once the country gained its independence in the 19th century, the already existing Iberian Catholic community received a large number of Italian, Polish, and German Catholic immigrants. Brazil is nowadays the country with the most Catholics, although they only represent only 61 percent of Brazil's total population.

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