San Antonio is a vibrant city in Texas that is renowned for its diverse religious landscape. According to the Association of Statisticians of Religious Bodies in the United States, the estimated number of Muslims in the state of Texas is 421,972, making it the fifth largest religious group in the state. This census, which is conducted every 10 years, is based on congregations' self-reports to determine the number of members. Although the percentage of religious affiliation in Texas is higher than the 56.0 percent figure compiled by the reporting churches, it is still lower than 67.1 percent twenty years ago and 61.7 percent in 2000, indicating a shift away from religious affiliation in Texas.
San Antonio's religious history dates back to 1731 when Juan Leal Goraz led a group of people from Veracruz to San Antonio de Béjar Presidio. In a series of battles, the Texan army succeeded in expelling Mexican soldiers from the settlement areas east of San Antonio, which were dominated by Americans. This event marked a shift in the city's religious culture and since then, San Antonio has become home to many different religions. The main religion in San Antonio is Christianity, with Catholicism being the most prominent denomination. However, there are also thriving Sikh and Mennonite communities, a distinctive Quaker meeting center designed by a leading architectural firm, several Greek Orthodox churches, Bahá'í and Unitarian Universalist congregations and many evangelical Christian and Catholic churches.
Other religions represented in San Antonio include Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism and Jainism. German immigrants founded smaller neighboring cities such as New Braunfels, Castroville, Boerne, Comfort, Fredericksburg and Bulverde which are all located far from San Antonio. The diversity of religions represented at an official city event is evidence of how San Antonio has continued to be religious but has also come a long way since its 18th century culture when Catholic Christianity was the only religion recognized by the Spanish or Mexican government. San Antonio is located approximately 75 miles (121 km) southwest of its neighboring city Austin, the state capital; about 190 miles (310 km) west of Houston; and about 250 miles (400 km) south of the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Stinson Municipal Airport is a relief airport located 9.7 km (six miles) south of downtown San Antonio. The main industries present in San Antonio are educational services, health care and social assistance. The natural vegetation of the San Antonio area (where it is not affected by development) includes oak and cedar forests, oak grassland savannas, chaparral thickets and riverine forests (streams).
In 1877, after the Reconstruction Era, developers built the first railroad to San Antonio connecting it to major markets and port cities. San Antonio radio is diversified due to the influx of non-Texan Latinos mostly from the East Coast who serve at the city's various military bases as well as immigrants from Mexico. The city gets about a dozen nights below zero each year and there's usually snow sleet or freezing rain about once every two or three winters but accumulation and snow itself are very rare. San Antonio is home to four Fortune 500 companies and the South Texas Medical Center which is the only provider of research and health care in the South Texas region. San Antonio has a rich religious history that dates back centuries ago when Catholicism was the only religion recognized by Spanish or Mexican government. Today, however, this vibrant city has become home to many different religions including Christianity (with Catholicism being most prominent), Sikhism, Mennonites, Quakerism, Greek Orthodoxy, Bahá'í Faith, Unitarian Universalism, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism and Jainism. This diversity of religions represented at an official city event is evidence that San Antonio has come a long way since its 18th century culture.