Religion in Palau
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Religion in Palau

Roman Catholicism is the dominant religion in Palau; approximately 65% of the population are members.[1] Estimates of other religious groups with a sizable membership include the various denominations of Evangelicalism, 2,000; Seventh-day Adventists, 1,000; The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons), 300; and Jehovah's Witnesses, 90.[1]Modekngei, which embraces both animist and Christian beliefs and is unique to the country, has approximately 1,800 adherents.[1] There also is a primarily Filipino Catholic expatriate community of 6,800 persons.[1]

Additionally, about 0.8% of the population was estimated to be Buddhist in 2010 and 0.2% was reported to be practicing elements of Chinese folk religion alongside as well. 0.7% of the population in 2010 was estimated to be practicing the Bahá'í Faith and 0.1% practiced Hinduism. 2.4% identified as agnostic while a non-negligible amount, under 0.1% of the population identified as atheist.[2]

Since the arrival of Jesuit priests in the early 19th century, foreign missionaries have been active; some have been in the country for many years.[1] During the Japanese mandate, Japanese Christian missions were heavily subsidized; Japan's native Buddhists were given a comparative pittance.[3] Japanese rule brought Mahayana Buddhism and Shinto to Palau, with the syncretism of the two being the majority religion among Japanese settlers. However, following Japan's World War II defeat, the remaining Japanese largely converted to Christianity, while the remainder continued to observe Buddhism, but stopped practicing Shinto rites.[4] The Seventh-day Adventist and Evangelical churches have missionaries teaching in their respective elementary and high schools.[1] There are also approximately 400 Bengali Muslims in Palau, and recently a few Uyghurs detained in Guantanamo Bay were allowed to settle in the island nation.[5] There are two mosques in Palau, one of which is located in Koror.[6] The Constitution provides for freedom of religion, and the Government generally respects this right in practice.[1] The US government found no reports of societal abuses or discrimination based on religious belief or practice.[1]

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h International Religious Freedom Report 2007: Palau. United States Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor (September 14, 2007). This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  2. ^ "The Association of Religion Data Archives | National Profiles". Retrieved .
  3. ^ Willard Price. Japan's Islands of Mystery. p. 111.
  4. ^ Brigham Young University--Hawaii Campus (1981), p. 36
  5. ^ Lawyers: Uighurs agree to go to Palau
  6. ^ Archived from the original on November 3, 2009. Retrieved 2009. Missing or empty |title= (help)

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