Vanuatu
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  Preferred Religion (2015)1: Western Christian

  Majority Religion (2015)2: Protestant (incl. Anglican, Pentecostal) (70.7%)

Religious Adherents, (2015)2

Vanuatu Melanesia World
Christian (all denominations combined) 88.3% 71.1% 29.9%
 
  • Protestant
  • 47.5% 32.1% 5.6%
     
  • Anglican
  • 15.6% 4.6% 1.2%
     
  • Catholic
  • 11.4% 23.9% 15%
     
  • Pentecostal
  • 7.6% 7.6% 2.8%
     
  • Other and Unknown Christian
  • 6.2% 2.9% 2.3%
    Christian Syncretic 4.9% 0.2% ---
    Ethnoreligionist (incl. Animist, Shamanist) 3.8% 2.8% 2.5%
    Bahai 1.6% 0.6% 0.1%
    Buddhist (all denominations combined) 0.2% 0.2% 6.6%
     
  • Mahayana Buddhist
  • 0.1% --- 4.3%
     
  • Other and Unknown Buddhist
  • 0.1% --- 0.5%
    Muslim (all denominations combined) 0.1% 0.7% 22.8%
     
  • Other and Unknown Muslim
  • 0.1% < 0.1% 0.3%
    Other Religionist 0.1% 0.1% 0.2%
    Not Religious (incl. Atheist) 1% 4.4% 12%

    Religious Demography3

    The country is an archipelago with an area of 4,707 square miles and a population of 218,000. Approximately 83 percent of the population is Christian. An estimated 32 percent is Presbyterian, 13 percent Roman Catholic, 13 percent Anglican, and 11 percent Seventh-day Adventist. Groups that together constitute 14 percent include the Church of Christ, the Apostolic Church, the Assemblies of God, and other Protestant denominations. The John Frum Movement, an indigenous religious group with its own political party, is centered on the island of Tanna and includes approximately 5 percent of the population. The Baha'i Faith, Islam, Jehovah's Witnesses, and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) also are active. There are believed to be members of other religious groups within the foreign community; they are free to practice their religions, but they are not known to proselytize or hold public religious ceremonies.

    Missionaries representing several Western churches brought Christianity to the country in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Some foreign missionaries continue this work; however, approximately 90 percent of the clergy of the established churches are now indigenous. SIL International has translated the New Testament into three of the country's indigenous languages.


    Sources

    1.  The Religious Characteristics of States Dataset Project: Government Religious Preference (GRP) measures government-level favoritism toward, and disfavor against, 30 religious denominations. A series of ordered categorical variables index the state's institutional favoritism in 28 different ways. The variables are combined to form five composite indices for five broad components of state-religion: official status, religious education, financial support, regulatory burdens, and freedom of practice. The five components' composites in turn are further combined into a single composite score, the GRP score. The RCS Data Project would like to acknowledge, recognize, and express our deepest gratitude for the significant contributions of Todd M. Johnson, the principal investigator of the World Christian Database, the co-principal investigator of the World Religion Database, and co-author of the World Christian Encyclopedia series.

    2.  The Religious Characteristics of States Dataset Project: Demographics reports annual estimates of religious demographics, both country by country and region by region. It estimates populations and percentages of adherents of 100 religious denominations including second level subdivisions within Christianity and Islam. The RCS Data Project would like to acknowledge, recognize, and express our deepest gratitude for the significant contributions of Todd M. Johnson, the principal investigator of the World Christian Database, the co-principal investigator of the World Religion Database, and co-author of the World Christian Encyclopedia series.

    3.  The U.S. State Department's International Religious Freedom Report is submitted to Congress annually by the Department of State in compliance with Section 102(b) of the International Religious Freedom Act (IRFA) of 1998. This report supplements the most recent Human Rights Reports by providing additional detailed information with respect to matters involving international religious freedom. It includes individual country chapters on the status of religious freedom worldwide. A dataset with these and the other international measures highlighted on the country pages can be downloaded from this website. These State Department reports are open source.

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