Religion in Montenegro (2011)[1]

  Eastern Orthodoxy (72.07%)
  Catholicism (3.44%)
  Other Christian (0.43%)
  Islam (19.11%)
  Undeclared (2.61%)
  Other religions (1.04%)
St. Tryphon's Cathedral in Kotor

Eastern Orthodox Christianity is largest religion in Montenegro, but there are also sizeable numbers of adherents of both Catholic Christianity and Islam.

The majority of Orthodox Christians belong to the Serbian Orthodox Church, but there are traces of a forming Montenegrin Orthodox Church which is not canonically recognized by the Eastern Orthodox Church. According to the 2020 estimate by the Pew Research Center, 76.6% of the population is Christian, 19.11% are Muslims, and 2.61% are unaffiliated.[2]


Historical demographics

Religion in Montenegro by census (percentages)[3]
1953 1991 2003 2011
Eastern Orthodox 45.84 69.12 74.23 72.07
Islam 17.65 19.18 17.74 19.11
Roman Catholic 4.81 4.41 3.54 3.44
Protestant no data 1.41 0.39 0.44
Irreligious / Atheist 31.46 1.6 0.96 1.24
Agnostic 0.07
Undeclared 0.01 0.02 2.23 2.61
Other 0.03 0.17 0.07 1.02
Unknown no data 4.03 0.8 no data

Distribution by ethnic group in 2011

The results of the Montenegrin census of 2011 by ethnic groups, the latest census in which the indication of identification (whether by confession or as irreligious) in the question for confession was obligatory, are as follows:

Ethnic groups
by confession
Total Montenegrins Serbs Bosniaks Albanians Roma Croats
Number % Number % Number % Number % Number % Number % Number %
Eastern Orthodox 446,858 72.1 248,523 88.7 177,091 99.4 19 0.03 37 0.1 516 8.2 90 1.5
Islam 118,477 19.1 12,931 4.6 79 0.04 74,343 99.7 22,267 73.1 5,034 80.5 3 0.0
Catholic 21,299 3.4 5,667 2.0 116 0.06 3 0.0 7,954 26.1 13 0.2 5,527 91.8
Protestantism 1,601 0.4 921 0.3 262 0.15 36 0.1 2 0.0 2 0.0
Atheism/Agnosticism 9,005 1.3 6,393 2.3 697 0.39 108 0.1 5,000 5.0 1 0.0 224 3.7


Ostrog Monastery

Eastern Orthodoxy

Main article: Eastern Orthodoxy in Montenegro

Eastern Orthodox Christianity is the dominant religion in Montenegro. Adherents of Eastern Orthodoxy in Montenegro are predominantly ethnic Montenegrins and Serbs. Ethnic Serbs of Montenegro and Montenegrins are adherents of the Serbian Orthodox Church and its dioceses in Montenegro: Metropolitanate of Montenegro and the Littoral, Eparchy of Budimlja and Nikšić, parts of Eparchy of Mileševa, and parts of Eparchy of Zahumlje and Herzegovina. Ethnic Montenegrins are divided between the Serbian Orthodox Church and the independent Montenegrin Orthodox Church (which is considered by the Serbian Orthodox Church and the other autocephalous Orthodox Churches, a non-canonical schismatic, heretical, and a political fabrication Orthodox church).[4]

Catholic Church

Main article: Catholic Church in Montenegro

Most Catholics are ethnic Albanians and Croats as well as some Montenegrins.


Main article: Islam in Montenegro

Muslims form the largest minority religion in the country. In 2011, Montenegro's 118,477 Muslims made up 19.11% of the total population.[1]

Muslims in Montenegro are divided into two main groups, and further subgroups:

Islam is the dominant religion in the northeastern municipalities, which are part of the Sandžak geographical region, and in municipalities where Albanians form a majority. Islam is the majority religion in Rožaje, Plav, Gusinje, Ulcinj and Petnjica.


Hanukkah celebration in Podgorica

Main article: History of the Jews in Montenegro

According to the World Jewish Congress, there were approximately 400 to 500 Jews in the country in 2022.[5] There is a high respect for the Jewish people and its contribution to the secular civilization.[6] In February 2012, the Prime Minister of Montenegro Igor Lukšić signed an agreement with the Montenegrin Jewish community to grant official recognition of Jews as a minority in Montenegro. The agreement also established Judaism as the country's fourth official religion, along with the Eastern Orthodox Church, Catholic Church and Islam.[7]


Main article: Irreligion in Montenegro

The majority of Montenegro's population, 98.69%, declares to belong to a religion, though observance of their declared religion may vary widely.

On the census from 2011, atheists, those who declared no religion, comprised about 1.24% of the whole population, and agnostics 0.07%.

Religiosity is lowest in the Bay of Kotor region and the capital city of Podgorica. Municipalities with highest share of atheists are Herceg Novi (2.43%), Kotor (2.03%), Podgorica (1.99%) and Tivat (1.7%). In contrast, Rožaje has the fewest atheists, who make up only 0.01% of its population.[1]

Religious freedom

Main article: Freedom of religion in Montenegro

Montenegro's laws guarantee the freedom of religion and outlaw several forms of religious discrimination, as well as establishing that there is no state religion in Montenegro. The government provides some funding to religious groups.

According to a 2017 survey conducted by the Council of Europe in cooperation with the Office of the Ombudsperson of Montenegro, 45% of respondents reported having experienced religious discrimination.[8]

In 2023, the country was scored 3 out of 4 for religious freedom.[9]


  1. ^ a b c "Census of Population, Households and Dwellings in Montenegro 2011" (PDF). Monstat. pp. 14, 15. Retrieved July 12, 2011. For the purpose of the chart, the categories 'Islam' and 'Muslims' were merged; 'Buddhist' (.02) and Other Religions were merged; 'Atheist' (1.24) and 'Agnostic' (.07) were merged; and 'Adventist' (.14), 'Christians' (.24), 'Jehovah Witness' (.02), and 'Protestants' (.02) were merged under 'Other Christian'.
  2. ^ "Religious Composition by Country, 2010-2050". Pew Research Center's Religion & Public Life Project. 2015-04-02. Retrieved 2020-10-29.
  3. ^ Bakrač, Vladimir B. (2012). Religioznost mladih u Crnoj Gori (PDF) (in Serbian). Belgrade: University of Belgrade Faculty of Philosophy. p. 116. Retrieved 23 July 2022.
  4. ^ Džankić 2016, p. 110–129.
  5. ^ US State Dept 2022 report
  6. ^ "Jevreji u Crnoj Gori". Jevrejska Zajednica Crne Gore. Retrieved 3 July 2021.
  7. ^ "Jewish history of Montenegro". Jewish Virtual Library. Retrieved 2012-11-16.
  8. ^ International Religious Freedom Report 2017 Montenegro, US Department of State, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor. Public Domain This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  9. ^ Freedom House website, retrieved 12-4-2024