RELIGION LIBRARY

Dominican Republic

COUNTRY PROFILE

Map of Dominican Republic

The country, which occupies two-thirds of the island of Hispaniola, has an area of 18,815 square miles and a population of 9.7 million. The largest religious group is the Roman Catholic Church. Traditional Protestants, evangelical Christian groups (particularly Assemblies of God, Church of God, Baptists, and Pentecostals), Seventh-day Adventists, Jehovah's Witnesses, and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) have a much smaller but generally growing presence. According to a 2006 population survey by the Gallup Organization, the population is 39.8 percent Catholic (practicing), 29.1 percent Catholic (nonpracticing), and 18.2 percent evangelical Protestant. In the same study, 10.6 percent stated they had no religion. The Dominican Confederation of Evangelical Unity claims evangelicals represent 16 to 20 percent of the population.
There are approximately 300 Jews. Most live in Santo Domingo, which has a synagogue and a community leader but no ordained rabbi. There is a synagogue for the small Jewish community in Sosua. Both synagogues are led by the same individual. Government sources estimate there are between 5,000 and 10,000 Muslims, a figure that includes many foreign students. A Sunni mosque in Santo Domingo has approximately 500 regular worshippers. There is a small number of Buddhists and Hindus. Some Catholics practice a combination of Catholicism and Afro-Caribbean beliefs (santería), witchcraft (brujería), or voodoo (vodou), but because these practices are usually concealed, the number of adherents is unknown.

Population Population (2009 est.) 9,650,054
Religious Demographics Roman Catholic 95%, other 5%
Ethnic Groups Ethnic Groups mixed 73%, white 16%, black 11%
Languages Languages Spanish
Country Flag Flag of Dominican Republic