Religion in Trinidad and Tobago (2011 census)[1]

  Christianity (63.2%)
  Hinduism (20.4%)
  Islam (5.6%)
  Trinidad Orisha (1.0%)
  Rastafari (0.3%)
  None/not shared (2.5%)
  Other (7%)

Religion in Trinidad and Tobago, which is a multi-religious country, is classifiable as follows:

According to the 2011 census, the largest religious group was Christianity with 63.2 percent of the population. This included Protestant Christians (with Anglicans, Presbyterians, Methodists, Evangelicals, Pentecostals, Shouter or Spiritual Baptists and regular Baptists) as well as Roman Catholics. Hindus accounted for 20.4 percent, Muslims for 5.6 percent. There was an Afro-Caribbean syncretic faith, the Orisha faith (formerly called Shangos) with 1 percent and Rastafaris with 0.3 percent. The "Other Religions" category accounted for 7.0 percent and "None/not shared" for 2.5.[2]

The fastest-growing groups were a host of American-style Evangelical and Fundamentalist churches usually grouped as "Pentecostal" by most Trinidadians. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (known as "Mormons") had also expanded its presence in the country in the 1980s and 1990s.[3] It reported 3,524 members in 9 congregations in 2019.[4]

According to the 2011 Census, 33.4% of the population was Protestant (including 12.0% Pentecostal, 5.7% Anglican, 4.1% Seventh-day Adventist, 3.0% Presbyterian or Congregational, 1.2% Baptist, and 0.1% Methodist), 21.6% Roman Catholic, 18.2% Hindu and 5.0% Muslim. A small number of individuals subscribed to traditional Caribbean religions with African roots, such as the Spiritual Baptists (sometimes called Shouter Baptists) (5.7%); and the Orisha (0.1%). Smaller groups included Jehovah's Witnesses (1.5%) and "unaffiliated" (2.2%). There is also a small Buddhist community.[5]

Afro-Caribbean syncretic groups

Baháʼí Faith

Main article: Baháʼí Faith in Trinidad and Tobago

The Baháʼí Faith in Trinidad and Tobago begins with a mention by `Abdu'l-Bahá, then head of the religion, in 1916 as the Caribbean was among the places Baháʼís should take the religion to.[6] The first Baháʼí to visit came in 1927[7] while pioneers arrived by 1956[8] and the first Baháʼí Local Spiritual Assembly was elected in 1957[9] In 1971 the first Baháʼí National Spiritual Assembly was elected.[10] A count of the community then noted 27 assemblies with Baháʼís living in 77 locations.[11] Since then Baháʼís have participated in several projects for the benefit of the wider community and in 2005/10 various sources report near 1.2% of the country,[12] about 10[13]–16,000[14] citizens, are Baháʼís.

Hindu groups

See also: Hinduism in Trinidad and Tobago and List of Hindu temples in Trinidad and Tobago

The Hanuman Temple at Carapichaima

Islamic groups

See also: Islam in Trinidad and Tobago

A mosque in Montrose, Chaguanas

Jewish groups

Jewish settlement in Trinidad and Tobago dates back to the 17th century when a number of Jewish merchants from Suriname settled in the 1660s, when the island was still under Spanish control. By the 1790s, when it passed into British hands, the community had disappeared from record.[15]

In the 19th century a small number of Sephardi Jewish families from Curaçao settled in Trinidad but left no trace of an organised community.[16] In the late 1930s an estimated six hundred East European Jews settled in Trinidad, mainly Port of Spain, escaping the growth of Nazism in the region. The settlers established synagogues in rented houses in the capital and consecrated a Jewish cemetery. After World War II the majority of Trinidadian Jews migrated to the United States, Israel, and Canada. In 2007 an estimated 55 Jews lived in Trinidad and Tobago.[17]

Seventh-day Adventists

The Caribbean Union Conference of the Seventh-day Adventist Church recognizes 620 churches holding a membership of 236, 257 Adventists in Trinidad and Tobago, as of October 3, 2016.[18] Because Seventh-day Adventists consider spiritual well-being to be holistic, there are notable contributions to the healthcare system, such as the Community Hospital of Seventh-day Adventists in Port of Spain, Trinidad.[19] The University of the Southern Caribbean (formerly Caribbean Union College) is a Seventh-day Adventist educational facility providing Christian education to undergraduate and graduate students on the island of Trinidad.[20]

Freedom of religion

The constitution of Trinidad and Tobago establishes the freedom of religion and prohibits religious discrimination. An anti-blasphemy law is part of the legal code but is not enforced.[21]

Religious groups must register with the government in order to be able to perform marriages, sponsor missionaries, or accept tax-exempt donations.[21]

Voluntary religious instruction is available as part of the public school curriculum. The government subsidizes religious private schools affiliated with Christian, Muslim, and Hindu groups.[21]

In 2017, Trinidad and Tobago set a uniform minimum marriage age of 18 years. Previously, different age limits were enforced for different religious groups. While many organizations (and particularly religiously affiliated women's organizations) welcomed this change, some religious organizations such as the orthodox Hindu organization Sanatan Dharma Maha Sabha stated that they would oppose the law on the grounds that it infringes on religious freedom and their view that girls 16-17 who are pregnant should be able to marry the father of their child.[22]

The government of Trinidad and Tobago hosts the Inter-Religious Organization, an interfaith coordinating committee with representatives from 25 religious groups, including Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Orisha and Baháʼí groups. Chaplains from the various religious denominations present in Trinidad Tobago are able to provide religious services to inmates in prisons.[21]

The Government of Trinidad and Tobago provides substantial subventions to religious groups. In 2003 the government provided TT$ 420,750 to religious groups.[23]

In 2023, the country was scored 4 out of 4 for religious freedom.[24]

See also


  1. ^ (CSO), Central Statistical Office. "2011 Census Data". Retrieved 18 April 2021.
  2. ^ "2011 Census Data - Central Statistical Office". Retrieved 24 July 2022.
  3. ^ "US State Dept 2006 report for Trinidad and Tobago". U.S. Department of State. Retrieved 24 July 2022.
  4. ^ "Facts and Statistics: Statistics by Country: Trinidad and Tobago". Retrieved 13 Sep 2021.
  5. ^ "2011 census" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 2013-06-23.
  6. ^ Abbas, `Abdu'l-Bahá; Mirza Ahmad Sohrab; trans. and comments (April 1919). Tablets, Instructions and Words of Explanation.
  7. ^ Universal House of Justice (1986). In Memoriam. Vol. XVIII. Baháʼí World Centre. pp. 733–736. ISBN 0-85398-234-1. ((cite book)): |journal= ignored (help)
  8. ^ "The Guardian's Message to the Forty-Eighth Annual Baha'i Convention". Baháʼí News. No. 303. May 1956. pp. 1–2.
  9. ^ "First Local Spiritual Assembly…". Baháʼí News. No. 321. November 1957. p. 8.
  10. ^ "A Year of Progress in Trinidad". Baháʼí News. No. 480. March 1971. pp. 8–9.
  11. ^ "Outstanding Achievements, Goals". Baháʼí News. No. 484. July 1971. p. 3.
  12. ^ "International > Regions > Caribbean > Trinidad and Tobago > Religious Adherents". 2010. Retrieved 2013-06-13.
  13. ^ "The History of the Bahá'í Faith in Trinidad and Tobago". The National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahai´s of Trinidad and Tobago. 2010. Retrieved June 8, 2013.
  14. ^ "Most Baha'i Nations (2005)". 2005. Retrieved 2008-12-04.
  15. ^ Siegel, Alisa (2015). "Judaism - Trinidad". In Taylor, Patrick (ed.). The Encyclopedia of Caribbean Religions. University of Illinois Press. pp. 459–461. ISBN 9780252094330.
  16. ^ Arbell, Mordehay (2002). The Jewish Nation of the Caribbean: The Spanish-Portuguese Jewish Settlements in the Caribbean and the Guianas. Gefen Publishing House. pp. 314–316. ISBN 9789652292797.
  17. ^ Luxner, Larry (16 September 2007). "Trinidad's Jews stick together". Jewish Telegraphic Agency. Retrieved 23 June 2016.
  18. ^ "Caribbean Union Conference - Adventist Online Yearbook". Seventh-day Adventist Church - Office of Archives, Statistics and Research. General Conference of the Seventh-day Adventists. Retrieved 13 July 2017.
  19. ^ "Community Hospital of Seventh-day Adventists - Adventist Organizational Directory". Seventh-day Adventist Church - Office of Archives, Statistics and Research. General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. Retrieved 13 July 2017.
  20. ^ "Home". University of the Southern Caribbean. Retrieved 13 July 2017.
  21. ^ a b c d US State Dept 2022 report
  22. ^ International Religious Freedom Report 2017 Trinidad and Tobago, US Department of State, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor.
  23. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2005-11-08. Retrieved 2005-06-02.((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  24. ^ Freedom House website, retrieved 2023-08-08