Religion in Jamaica
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According to the most recent census (2001), religious affiliation in Jamaica consists of 64% Christian (62% Protestant and 2% Roman Catholic), 2% Jehovah's Witnesses, 3% unstated, and 10% other. The category other includes 29,026 Rastas, an estimated 5,000 Muslims, 3,000 Buddhists 1,453 Hindus, approximately 350 Jews. The census reported 21% who claimed no religious affiliation. The largest religion indigenous to Jamaica is Rastafari.
62% of the Jamaican population are Protestants. Jamaican Protestantism is composed of several denominations: 24% Church of God, 11% Seventh-day Adventist, 10% Pentecostal, 7% Baptist, 4% Anglican, 2% United Church, 2% Methodist, 1% Moravian and 1% Brethren Christian.
- Western: 10 congregations in the parishes of St. James, St. Elizabeth, Westmoreland and TrelawnyAlso, there is the National Roman Catholic Institute of God.
- South Central: 27 congregations in the parishes of Manchester and St. Elizabeth
- North Central: 17 congregations in the parishes of St. Ann, Manchester and Clarendon
- Central: 21 congregations in the parishes of St. Catherine, Manchester and Clarendon
- South Eastern: 19 congregations in the parishes of St. Andrew, Kingston and St. Catherine
- North Eastern: 17 congregations in the parishes of Portland, St. Mary and St. Ann
Roman Catholicism in Jamaica
- Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Kingston in Jamaica
- Roman Catholic Diocese of Mandeville
- Roman Catholic Diocese of Montego Bay
The Missionaries of the Poor monastic order originated in Kingston, Jamaica.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints reports having 5,891 members living in Jamaica. Members of the Church are organized under the Kingston Jamaica Stake, the Mandeville Jamaica District and the Kingston Jamaica Mission and members attend the Panama City Panama Temple.
The Rastafari movement or Rasta is a new religious movement that arose in the 1930s in Jamaica, which at the time was a country with a predominantly Christian culture where 98% of the people were the black descendants of slaves. Its adherents worship Haile Selassie I, Emperor of Ethiopia (ruled 1930–1974), as God incarnate, the Second Advent of Jesus Christ or as Christ in his Kingly Character depending on their views on the Emperor. The 2001 census counted 29,026 Rastafari.
Other popular religions in Jamaica include Islam, Bahá'í Faith with perhaps 8000 Bahá'ís and 21 Local Spiritual Assemblies, Buddhism, Sikhism and Hinduism. There is also a small population of around 200 Jews forming the Shaare Shalom Synagogue in Kingston, who describe themselves as Liberal-Conservative. The first Jews in Jamaica trace their roots back to early 15th century Spain and Portugal. Islam in Jamaica estimate a total Muslim population of 5,000.
Jamaica's constitution provides for freedom of religion, laws and policies contribute to the generally free practice of religion. The law at all levels protects this right in full against abuse, either by governmental or private actors. The Government generally respects religious freedom in practice. In 2008, the U.S. government learned of no reports of societal abuses or discrimination based on religious affiliation, belief, or practice.
- International Religious Freedom Report 2008: Jamaica. U.S. Department of State (2008) This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
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