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Portuguese stroll in a square in Lisbon Portuguese stroll in a square in LisbonPhoto: Muffin CC 2.0 Generic no changes made

The population of the area including the city of Lisbon is almost 3 million. (2013 census). Many Portuguese citizens live abroad, mostly for economic reasons. Following the decolonization of Angola and Mozambique, hundreds of thousands of so-called retornado have returned to the mother country. Some of them have emigrated to Brazil after some time.


Portuguese Language Map Portuguese Language MapPhoto: Public domain

The official language is Portuguese. Portuguese is a Romance language and is closely related to Spanish. However, the pronunciation is very different. Portuguese has a unique sound and is immediately recognizable. Anyone who has ever listened to Fado music will recognize both the raw and melancholic of this language. Portuguese is a global language and is spoken by more than 160 million people, especially in Brazil. that is archaic in pronunciation and vocabulary than the language spoken in Portugal. In terms of sentence structure, on the other hand, it is more modern. Due to the many influences of other languages, Brazilian Portuguese has about 10,000 words more than Portuguese in Portugal.


Church of the holy cross in Braga, Portugal Church of the holy cross in Braga, PortugalPhoto: Jose Goncalves CC 3.0 Unported no changes made

The former national church of Portugal is the Roman Catholic Church. About 80% of the population claims to be Catholic, although mass participation has been declining in recent years. There are three archdioceses, namely Braga, Évora and Lisbon, with eight, two and eight dioceses respectively. Lisbon has been the seat of a patriarch since 1716, who has also been a cardinal since 1736.

Fatima, a catholic pilgrimage site in Portugal Fatima, a catholic pilgrimage site in PortugalPhoto: Güldem Üstün CC 2.0 Generic no changes made

Portugal has a tradition of Marian worship, the most famous religious cult in Portugal is the alleged apparition of the Virgin Mary to three children in Cova da Iria, in the village of Fátima, in 1917. The apparition of the Heavenly Mother in this small village in the district of Santarém has led hundreds of thousands of pilgrims to visit the Shrine of Our Lady of Fátima every year, many in hopes of a cure.

The Protestant churches have about 50,000 members. There are also smaller groups of Muslims, Hindus (from the former colony of Goa) and Jews.



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Last updated February 2024
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