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by Sheree-Anita Shearer | Associate Writer
Jamaica has multiple religions that are practised on the island by many different ethnicities.
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Despite this, Jamaica is a predominantly Christian country so you will find that most persons identify as Christians and our public holidays are mainly those recognised in Christianity.
Where the most disparities are, is with the many denominations within Christianity on the island. As the most churched country, and this Guinness world record does not include undocumented churches, you can imagine I’m sure that it could not all be the same church.
While there is more than one religion in Jamaica, they only account for 8% of the population. They are as follows:
Many persons may have thought that Rastafarianism would have had a larger percentage, however, it is one of the least represented religions on the island although it is the largest of the minority groups.
The truth of the matter is that only 29, 000 Jamaicans identified as Rastafarians in our last census. This makes up less than 1% of our population. Nevertheless, Rastafarianism is one of the most well-known religions in the world and it has influenced most of Jamaica’s popular culture.
71% of the population identifies as Christian and of that 71 per cent, 65% is affiliated with some protestant denomination. 21% of the nation is not affiliated with any church, religious or spiritual practice.
The religious (Christian) demography of Jamaica is broken down as follows:
Jamaica is predominantly Protestant and not Catholic because of colonialism and the merging of other beliefs and forms of worship with traditional Christianity.
While Jamaica was first colonised by Spain which is largely Roman Catholic, their rule over Jamaica was not nearly as long as the British who are mainly Anglican.
The enslaved persons were not allowed to attend the same church as their masters which led to them adopting Christian beliefs but merging them with spiritual worship from Africa. Today many denominations, namely Revival Zion and Pocomania, Kumina and the Ethiopian Orthodox Church practice this form of worship.
Others would have their own churches where they were deacons and pastors for example the Baptist church where our National Heroes Sam Sharpe and Paul Bogle were deacons.
Through different missionary works throughout the 18th and 19th centuries, the introduction of other denominations was made to the Jamaican people. Church of God, Seventh Day Adventism, Pentecostal, Moravian, Baptists, Presbyterian, Methodists, Jehovah’s Witnesses and many other churches came to Jamaica during that time.
These various denominations grew over time, spreading across the island and making multiple churches for them to worship.
Jamaica has credited religion for most of the country’s values and attitudes, and despite the erosion of these most still hold true.
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What Religion Do Jamaicans Follow? | Written: October 30, 2022
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