Religion in The Bahamas

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Religion in the Bahamas (2010)[1]

  Protestant (80%)
  Roman Catholic (14.5%)
  Other Christian (1.3%)
  Unaffiliated (3.1%)
  Other religion (1.1%)

Religion in the Bahamas is dominated by various Christian denominations and reflects the country's diversity.[2] Since the English colonization, most Bahamians adhere to diverse Protestant denominations with Anglicanism, Baptist churches, Pentecostalism, Adventism and Methodism being at the forefront.[2] There is no state religion in the Bahamas, and there is generally free practice of religious beliefs.

Demographics[edit]

Statistically speaking, major Protestant denominations include Baptists (35 percent), Anglicans (15 percent), Pentecostals (8 percent), Church of God (Cleveland, Tennessee) (5 percent), Seventh-day Adventists (5 percent), and Methodists (4 percent).[2] Although many unaffiliated Protestant congregations are almost exclusively black, most mainstream churches are integrated racially.[2] There are significant Roman Catholic (14 percent) and Greek Orthodox populations.[2] Smaller Jewish, Baha'i, Jehovah's Witness and Muslim communities also are active.[2] A small number of Bahamians and Haitians, particularly those living in the Family Islands, practice Obeah, a form of African shamanism.[2] A small number of citizens identify themselves as Rastafarians.[2] Some members of the small resident Guyanese and Indian populations practice Hinduism and other South Asian religions.[2]

More than 91 percent of the population of the Bahamas professes a religion, and anecdotal evidence suggests that most attend services regularly.[2]

Religious freedom[edit]

The constitution of the Bahamas provides for the freedom of religion and prohibits discrimination based on belief. The country has no state religion, although the preamble to its constitution mentions "Christian values".[3]

Obeah is illegal in the Bahamas, punishable by a jail sentence. This law, however, is traditionally unenforced. Similarly, laws prohibiting the publication of blasphemy (with exceptions for opinions "expressed in good faith and in decent language") are also unenforced.[3]

As of 2017, there have been no reports of significant societal breaches or abuses of the freedom of religion in the Bahamas according to the United States Department of State.[3]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Religions in Bahamas - PEW-GRF". www.globalreligiousfutures.org. Retrieved 8 April 2018.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j United States Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor. Bahamas: International Religious Freedom Report 2008. This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  3. ^ a b c International Religious Freedom Report 2017 Bahamas, The, US Department of State, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor. This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.


Further reading[edit]

  • Fahlbusch, Erwin, ed. (1999), "Bahamas", Encyclopedia of Christianity, 1, Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans, pp. 179–180, ISBN 0802824137