Religion in Jamaica
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Religion in Jamaica

Religion in Jamaica, according to the most recent census (2001), consists of a breakdown of 66% Christian (62% Protestant, 2% Roman Catholic, and 2% Jehovah's Witnesses), 3% unstated, and 10% other.[1] The category other includes 29,026 Rastas, an estimated 5,000 Muslims, 3,000 Buddhists 1,453 Hindus, and approximately 200 Jews. The census reported 21% who claimed no religious affiliation.[1] The largest religion indigenous to Jamaica is Rastafari.[2]



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.

The Church of God has 111 congregations in six regions:[3]

Roman Catholicism

There are about 50,000 (2%) Catholics in Jamaica, which is divided into three dioceses, including one archdiocese:

The Missionaries of the Poor monastic order originated in Kingston, Jamaica.

Latter-day Saints

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints reports 5,891 members living in Jamaica.[4] 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.[5][6]

Rastafari movement

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.[7][8] 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.[1]

Other religions

Other popular religions in Jamaica include Islam, Bahá'í Faith with perhaps 8000 Bahá'ís[9] and 21 Local Spiritual Assemblies,[10]Buddhism, Sikhism and Hinduism.[11] There is also a small population of around 200 Jews forming the Shaare Shalom Synagogue in Kingston, who describe themselves as Liberal-Conservative.[12] The first Jews in Jamaica trace their roots back to early 15th-century Spain and Portugal.[13] There are an estimated 5,000 Muslims in Jamaica.[14]

Religious freedom

Jamaica's constitution provides for freedom of religion, and its laws and policies contribute to the generally free practice of religion.[1] 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.[1] In 2008, the U.S. government learned of no reports of societal abuses or discrimination in Jamaica based on religious affiliation, belief, or practice.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f 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.
  2. ^ Savishinsky, Neil J. "Transnational popular culture and the global spread of the Jamaican Rastafarian movement." NWIG: New West Indian Guide/Nieuwe West-Indische Gids 68.3/4 (1994): 259-281.
  3. ^
  4. ^ "Jamaica - LDS Statistics and Church Facts". Retrieved .
  5. ^ "Find Places of Worship - LDS Maps". Retrieved .
  6. ^ "Panama City Panama LDS (Mormon) Temple District". Retrieved .
  7. ^ "Rastafari, roots and Ideology". OneWorld Magazine. Retrieved .
  8. ^ ""Dread Jesus": A New View of the Rastafari Movement". Retrieved .
  9. ^ "Missionary Atlas Project - Central America, Snapshot of Jamaica". Online. 2007. Archived from the original on 2016-03-03.
  10. ^ Bahá'í International Community (2006-08-11). "Jamaicans celebrate 4th National Baha'i Day". Bahá'í World News Service.
  11. ^, Archived February 21, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
  12. ^ Haruth Communications, Harry Leichter. "Jamaican Jews". Retrieved .
  13. ^ Dawes, Mark (2003-06-10). "Jews hold firm Life goes on in Old Synagogue". Gleaner Co. Archived from the original on November 30, 2004. Retrieved .
  14. ^ "Jamaica". 2007-09-14. Retrieved .

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