Roman Catholicism is the dominant religion in Palau; approximately 65 percent of the population are members. Estimates of other religious groups with a sizable membership include the Evangelical Church, 2,000; Seventh-day Adventists, 1,000; The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons), 300; and Jehovah's Witnesses, 90. Modekngei, which embraces both animist and Christian beliefs and is unique to the country, has approximately 1,800 adherents. There also is a primarily Catholic Filipino expatriate community of 6,800 persons.
Since the arrival of Jesuit priests in the early nineteenth century, foreign missionaries have been active; some have been in the country for many years. During the Japanese mandate, Japanese Christian missions were heavily subsidized; Japan's native Buddhists were given a comparative pittance. The Seventh-day Adventist and Evangelical churches have missionaries teaching in their respective elementary and high schools. There is also approximately 400 Bengali Muslims in Palau, and recently a few Uyghurs detained in Guantanamo Bay were allowed to settle in the island nation. The Constitution provides for freedom of religion, and the Government generally respects this right in practice. The US government found no reports of societal abuses or discrimination based on religious belief or practice.
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