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#7 - Colombia - 36,000,000 Catholics
Catholicism arrived in Colombia in 1508, its first diocese being established in 1534. As in most former Spanish colonies in South America, the Catholic Church (Franciscan, Dominican, and Augustinian friars mainly in the early colonial era) not only created but was also in charge of most public institutions, including teaching facilities (schools, colleges, universities, libraries) health facilities (hospitals, nurseries, leper hospitals) and even jails. Nowadays, there are 52 dioceses and over 120 religious Catholic organizations in the country.

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