Palau
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  Preferred Religion (2015)1: Western Christian

  Majority Religion (2015)2: Catholic (54.1%)

Religious Adherents, (2015)2

Palau Micronesia (region) World
Christian (all denominations combined) 86.5% 91.4% 29.9%
 
  • Catholic
  • 52.8% 55.2% 15%
     
  • Protestant
  • 31% 27.3% 5.6%
     
  • Pentecostal
  • 1.1% 4.1% 2.8%
     
  • Other and Unknown Christian
  • 1.6% 4.5% 2.3%
    Christian Syncretic 8.5% --- ---
    Muslim (all denominations combined) 2.6% 0.2% 22.8%
     
  • Sunni Muslim
  • 2.6% 0.2% 19%
    Buddhist (all denominations combined) 0.8% 1.6% 6.6%
     
  • Mahayana Buddhist
  • 0.8% 1.6% 4.3%
    Bahai 0.7% 1.5% 0.1%
    Ethnoreligionist (incl. Animist, Shamanist) 0.6% 0.8% 2.5%
    Chinese Folk Religionist 0.2% 0.9% 4.3%
    Other Religionist 0.2% 0.4% 0.2%

    Religious Demography3

    An archipelago of more than 300 islands in the western Pacific Ocean, the country has an area of 188 square miles and a population of 20,000. An estimated 70 percent live in Koror State. Roman Catholicism is the dominant religion in the country; approximately 65 percent of the population is Catholic. Estimates of other religious groups with a sizable membership include the Evangelical Church, 2,000; Seventh-day Adventists, 1,000; Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons), 300; and Jehovah's Witnesses, 90. Modekngei, which embraces both animist and Christian beliefs and is unique to the country, has approximately 1,800 adherents. There is a primarily Catholic Filipino expatriate community of 6,800, as well as a small group of Bangladeshi Muslims.

    Since the arrival of Jesuit priests in the early nineteenth century, foreign missionaries have been active; some have been in the country for many years. The Seventh-day Adventists and the Evangelical Church have missionaries teaching in their respective elementary and high schools.


    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 and the co-principal investigator of the World Religion Database.

    2.  The Religious Characteristics of States Dataset Project: Demographics reports the estimates of religious demographics, both country by country and region by region. The RCS was created to fulfill the unmet need for a dataset on the religious dimensions of countries of the world, with the state-year as the unit of observation. It estimates populations and percentages of adherents of 100 religious denominations including second level subdivision 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 and the co-principal investigator of the World Religion Database.

    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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