Religion in Trinidad and Tobago

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Religion in Trinidad and Tobago (2011 census)[1]
Religion Percent
Christianity
  
53.4%
Hinduism
  
33.0%
None/not shared
  
8.6%
Islam
  
5.0%

Trinidad and Tobago is a multi-religious nation. The largest religious groups are the Protestant Christians (including Anglicans, Presbyterians, Methodist, Evangelicals, Pentecostals), and Baptist, Roman Catholic Christians, Hindus; and Muslims Two Afro-Caribbean syncretic faiths, the Shouter or Spiritual Baptists and the Orisha faith (formerly called Shangos, a less than complimentary term) are among the fastest growing religious groups. The fastest growing groups are a host of American-style Evangelical and Fundamentalist churches usually grouped as "Pentecostal" by most Trinidadians (although this designation is often inaccurate). The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has also expanded its presence in the country since the mid-1980s.

According to the 2011 Census, 33.4% of the population was Protestant (including 12.0% Pentecostal, 5.7% Anglican, 4.1% Seventh-day Adventist, 3.0% Presbyterian or Congregational, 1.2% Baptist, and .1% Methodist), 21.5% was Roman Catholic, 18.1% was Hindu, and 5.0% was Muslim. A small number of individuals subscribed to traditional Caribbean religions with African roots, such as the Spiritual Baptists (sometimes called Shouter Baptists) (5.7%); and the Orisha (0.1%). The smaller groups were Jehovah's Witnesses (1.5 percent) and unaffiliated (2.2 percent). There are also a small, but active, Buddhist and Jewish communities on the island.[2]

Christian denominations[edit]

Coat of arms of the Anglican diocese of Trinidad.

Afro-Caribbean syncretic groups[edit]

  • Spiritual Baptist
    • National Evangelical Spiritual Baptist
    • West Indies Spiritual Sacred Order
    • Royal Priesthood Spiritual Baptist Archdiocese of Trinidad and Tobago and the Western Hemisphere (under the Leadership of the Archbishop & Founder Addelon Braveboy, the Episkopos Bishop of all the Churches of the Royal Priesthood)
    • King of Kings Spiritual Baptist, Faith Ministries International Church of the Royal Priesthood
    • Solomon Healing Temple, Church of the Royal Priesthood.
    • St Francis Divine Healing Temple, Church of the Royal Priesthood
    • St Philomena Mystical Court, Church of the Royal Priesthood
  • Santería
  • Orisha also known as Shango or Ifá
    • Ojubo Orisa Omolu - Ose'tura Ifa Temple of Light.
  • Rastafari
  • Nation of Islam

Hindu groups[edit]

The Hanuman Temple at Carapichaima, near Chaguanas.

Islamic groups[edit]

Masjid in Montrose, Chaguanas.

Jewish groups[edit]

Jewish settlement in Trinidad and Tobago dates back to the 17th century when a number of Jewish merchants from Suriname settled in the 1660's, when the island was still under Spanish control. By the 1790s, when it passed into British hands, the community had disappeared from record.[3]

In the 19th century a small number of Sephardi Jewish families from Curaçao settled in Trinidad but left no trace of an organised community.[4] In the late 1930's an estimated six hundred east European Jews settled in Trinidad, mainly Port of Spain, escaping the growth of Nazism in the region. The settlers established synagogues in rented houses in the capital and consecrated a Jewish cemetery. After World War Two the majority of Trinidadian Jews migrated to the United State and Canada. In 2007 an estimated 55 Jews lived in Trinidad and Tobago.[5]

Baha'i Faith[edit]

The Bahá'í Faith in Trinidad and Tobago begins with a mention by `Abdu'l-Bahá, then head of the religion, in 1916 as the Caribbean was among the places Bahá'ís should take the religion to.[6] The first Bahá'í to visit came in 1927[7] while pioneers arrived by 1956[8] and the first Bahá'í Local Spiritual Assembly was elected in 1957[9] In 1971 the first Bahá'í National Spiritual Assembly was elected.[10] A count of the community then noted 27 assemblies with Bahá'ís living in 77 locations.[11] Since then Bahá'ís have participated in several projects for the benefit of the wider community and in 2005/10 various sources report near 1.2% of the country,[12] about 10[13]–16,000[14] citizens, are Bahá'ís.

Government subventions[edit]

The Government of Trinidad and Tobago provides substantial subventions to religious groups. In 2003 [1] the government provided TT$ 420,750 to religious groups.

References[edit]

  1. ^ 2011 National census. cso.gov.tt
  2. ^ 2011 census
  3. ^ Siegel, Alisa (2015). "Judaism - Trinidad". In Taylor, Patrick. The Encyclopedia of Caribbean Religions. University of Illinois Press. pp. 459 – 461. 
  4. ^ Arbell, Mordehay (2002). The Jewish Nation of the Caribbean: The Spanish-Portuguese Jewish Settlements in the Caribbean and the Guianas. Gefen Publishing House. pp. 314 – 316. ISBN 9789652292797. 
  5. ^ Luxner, Larry (16 September 2007). "Trinidad's Jews stick together". Jewish Telegraphic Agency. Retrieved 23 June 2016. 
  6. ^ Abbas, `Abdu'l-Bahá; Mirza Ahmad Sohrab; trans. and comments (April 1919). Tablets, Instructions and Words of Explanation. 
  7. ^ Universal House of Justice (1986). In Memoriam. The Bahá'í World. XVIII (Bahá'í World Centre). pp. 733–736. ISBN 0-85398-234-1. 
  8. ^ "The Guardian's Message to the Forty-Eighth Annual Baha'i Convention". Bahá'í News. No. 303. May 1956. pp. 1–2. 
  9. ^ "First Local Spiritual Assembly…". Bahá'í News. No. 321. November 1957. p. 8. 
  10. ^ "A Year of Progress in Trinidad". Bahá'í News. No. 480. March 1971. pp. 8–9. 
  11. ^ "Outstanding Achievements, Goals". Bahá'í News. No. 484. July 1971. p. 3. 
  12. ^ "International > Regions > Caribbean > Trinidad and Tobago > Religious Adherents". thearda.com. thearda.com. 2010. Retrieved 2013-06-13. 
  13. ^ "The History of the Bahá'í Faith in Trinidad and Tobago". The National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahai´s of Trinidad and Tobago. 2010. Retrieved June 8, 2013. 
  14. ^ "Most Baha'i Nations (2005)". thearda.com. thearda.com. 2005. Retrieved 2008-12-04.