Belize
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  Preferred Religion (2015)1: Catholic

  Majority Religion (2015)2: Protestant (incl. Anglican, Pentecostal) (37.4%)

Religious Adherents, (2015)2

Belize Central America World
Christian (all denominations combined) 75.3% 91.7% 29.9%
 
  • Catholic
  • 35.7% 70.9% 15%
     
  • Protestant
  • 24.2% 7.1% 5.6%
     
  • Pentecostal
  • 9% 10.8% 2.8%
     
  • Anglican
  • 4.2% --- 1.2%
     
  • Other and Unknown Christian
  • 2.2% 3% 2.3%
    Bahai 2.5% 0.1% 0.1%
    Jewish 1% --- 0.2%
    Christian Syncretic 1% 0.1% ---
    Ethnoreligionist (incl. Animist, Shamanist) 0.6% 1% 2.5%
    Buddhist (all denominations combined) 0.3% --- 6.6%
     
  • Other and Unknown Buddhist
  • 0.3% --- 0.5%
    Muslim (all denominations combined) 0.2% --- 22.8%
     
  • Sunni Muslim
  • 0.2% --- 19%
     
  • Other and Unknown Muslim
  • < 0.1% --- 0.3%
    Hindu 0.2% --- 14.5%
    Not Religious (incl. Atheist) 17.7% 6.5% 12%
    Unknown 1.2% 0.2% 4.8%

    Religious Demography3

    The country has an area of 8,867 square miles and population of 312,000. There is a growing mestizo population (48.7 percent), a diminishing Creole component (24.9 percent), a stable Mayan element (10.6 percent), and a Garifuna component (6.1 percent). The balance of the population (9.7 percent) includes Europeans, East Indians, Chinese, Arabs, and North Americans.

    According to the 2000 census, Roman Catholics constitute 49.6 percent of the population, Pentecostals 7.4 percent, Anglicans 5.3 percent, Baptists 3.5 percent, Methodists 3.5 percent, Seventh‑day Adventists 5.2 percent, and Mennonites 4.1 percent. There are approximately 6,000 Nazarenes and modest numbers of Hindus, Baha'is, Buddhists, Jehovah's Witnesses, members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons), Muslims, Rastafarians, and Salvation Army members. Except for the Mennonites and Pentecostals, who live mostly in the rural districts of Cayo and Orange Walk, members of these groups tend to live in Belize City. Catholics are numerous throughout the country and constitute the majority in all but two of the country's six districts, Belize and Cayo, where they represent a plurality of the population. Approximately 10 percent of citizens identify themselves as nonbelievers or members of no religious congregation.


    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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