The country has an area of 13,000 square miles and a total population of 3.95 million, including 528,600 in the secessionist-controlled region of Transnistria.
The predominant religion is Orthodox Christian. According to various estimates, more than 90 percent of the population nominally belongs to either of two Orthodox denominations, Moldovan or Bessarabian.
According to the Government, the Moldovan Orthodox Church (MOC), which is subordinate to the Russian Orthodox Church, has 1,281 parishes, monasteries, seminaries, and other entities; the Bessarabian Orthodox Church (BOC), subordinate to the Romanian Orthodox Church, has 309 such entities; and the Old Rite Russian Orthodox Church (Old Believers) has 15 parishes. There was no information on the number of parishes or followers of the True Orthodox Church of Moldova (also known as the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad). Jehovah's Witnesses reported that they have 239 congregations, including 31 in the separatist region of Transnistria. According to the Baptist World Alliance, the Union of Evangelical Christian Baptists of Moldova has 313 churches and 20,391 members. In November 2008 the European Baptist Federation stated that hundreds of indigenous missionaries are involved in establishing 40 new Baptist churches in the country.
Government figures also list 2,327 registered religious groups, in chronological order of date of registration, through June 11, 2008. The list does not distinguish between local parishes and denominations, or connect individual parishes to a parent denomination.
Adherents of other religious groups, constituting less than 10 percent of the population, include Roman Catholics, Baptists, Pentecostals, Seventh-day Adventists, Muslims, Jehovah's Witnesses, Baha'is, Jews, followers of the Reverend Sun Myung Moon (the Unification Church), Molokans (a Russian group), Messianic Jews, Lutherans, Presbyterians, and charismatic and evangelical Christian groups.
In Transnistria the largest religious organization is the MOC. Other groups include Roman Catholics, followers of Old Rite Orthodoxy, Baptists, Seventh-day Adventists, evangelical and charismatic Protestants, Jews, and Lutherans.
On March 31, 2009, the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) granted registration to the Armenian Christian Apostolic Cult and one of its religious communities. The MOJ states that the Armenian Christian Apostolic Cult is different from the Armenian Apostolic Church, which was granted registration in 1995 and had two religious communities. Both organizations share the same address, but have different legal identities.
The MOJ did not consent to specify the number of registration requests received during the reporting period. However, the Embassy received reports from Muslim groups and from Falun Gong that the MOJ has refused numerous requests to register the groups.