The National Institute of Statistics and Geography in Mexico stated this week that the 2010 census will include an “open question” to enable each Mexican citizen to identify his or her religious affiliation without bias.
In a letter to the Archdiocese of Mexico City’s news service, Mexican officials said census workers would be instructed to ask respondents, “What is the religion professed by (name of the person),” and would write down “literally what the respondent says.”
“The answer will not be multiple choice. Each respondent will answer out loud stating the religion he or she professes, and it will be duly noted,” officials said. “It is important to point out that this question will be addressed to each person who resides at the home in question, as this has proven to be the most adequate method of determining the religion of the Mexican population without bias.”
Officials also said census workers would be attentive to synonyms often used by Mexicans to describe their affiliation with the Catholic faith, such as “Guadalupan, Franciscan, Carmelite, Jesuit.”
“In this way we will be assured that no answer related to Catholicism will be excluded,” they said.
Officials urged Mexicans to participate in the census, which will take place May 31-June 25.