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According to the 2000 census, Roman Catholics constitute 49.6% of the population of Belize; Protestants constitute 29% (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).[1] 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.[1] 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.[1] 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.[1] Approximately 10 percent of citizens identify themselves as nonbelievers or members of no religious congregation.[1]

Hinduism is followed by most Indian immigrants, while Islam is common among Middle Eastern immigrants and has gained a following among some Kriols. Catholics frequently visit the country for special gospel revivals. The Greek Orthodox Church has a presence in Santa Elena.[2] Jehovah's Witnesses have experienced a significant increase in membership in recent years. According to the Witnesses, around 3% of the population attended at least one religious meeting in 2007.[3] The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints claims 3,300 members in the country [4]

The Constitution of Belize provides for freedom of religion, and other laws and policies contribute to the generally free practice of religion.[1] The Government at all levels protects this right in full against abuse, either by governmental or private actors.[1] The Government generally respects religious freedom in practice.[1] In 2008, the U.S. government received no reports of societal abuses or discrimination based on religious affiliation, belief, or practice.[1]

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i International Religious Freedom Report 2008: Belize. U.S. Department of State (2008). This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  2. ^ Orthodox Church of Belize homepage
  3. ^ "2007 Report of Jehovah's Witnesses Worldwide", Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania
  4. ^ Belize. LDS Newsroom. retrieved 2008-12-13
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