Friday, 8 November 2019
Religious Beliefs In Barbados
The Caribbean island nation of Barbados has a total area of 439 square km and houses a population of about 277,821 individuals. Over 90% of the population of the nation is of African ethnicity. Mestizos, Europeans, Indians, and others account for 4.1%, 3.7%, 1.3%, and 0.4% of the total population of the country, respectively. As per the CIA World Factbook, Christianity is the largest religion in the country.
Religious Composition of Barbados
Approximately 95% of the population of Barbados are Christians. Most of the Barbadians of African and European ethnicity adhere to this religion. The large majority of these practice Protestant and Anglicanism with Roman Catholics account for a small part of the Christian population. Some of the other religions practiced in the country include Islam, Hinduism, Judaism, Wicca, and Bahá’í. A significant number of Barbadians (about 20.6%) do not claim to adhere to any of the religions.
Christianity in Barbados
As with most other nations in the region, Christianity arrived in the country with the Europeans. The island of Barbados was previously occupied by the different Amerindian tribes for brief periods of time. With the arrival of the Europeans, most of these people fled to the neighboring islands. As the Europeans settled down in Barbados with their African slaves, Christianity flourished. The African slaves who would practice their traditional African religions soon accepted the religion of their masters. Thus, Christianity became well-established in the country.
Other Religions in Barbados
Believers of other religions in Barbados include the descendants of indentured laborers from South Asia who were brought to the island by the Europeans following the abolition of slavery. Some of them also include recent migrants from Guyana and neighboring Caribbean islands and even the Middle East.
Hinduism is one of the growing religions in the country. The number of Hindus in the country grew from only 840 in 2000 to 1,055 in 2010. This increased the share of the Hindus in the population of Barbados from 0.31% to 0.38% within a decade.
The Muslim population in the country is more than 4000. Muslims represent about 1.5% of the population. Three mosques, an Islamic Academy, a Muslim school, and some other Islamic organizations cater to the needs of the Muslims in the country.
The country also hosts about 3,500 Bahá’ís. The first Bahá’í visited the Bahamas in 1927 and the first Local Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’í’s was established in 1965.
By Oishimaya Sen Nag
•culled from www.worldatlas.com