Section I. Religious Demography, 2001

The Dominican Republic, which comprises two-thirds of the island of Hispanola, has a total area of approximately 16,435 square miles, and as of July 2000, the population was 8,442,533.

The major religious denomination is the Roman Catholic Church. Evangelical Christians (especially Assemblies of God, Church of God, Baptists, Methodists, and Pentecostals,) Seventh-Day Adventists, the Watchtower Society (Jehovah's Witnesses), and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormons) have a much smaller but generally growing presence. Jehovah's Witnesses have a large country headquarters, school, and assembly hall complex in the national district. In 2000 the Mormons completed the construction of a major temple in Santo Domingo with an associated administrative and educational facility. Many Catholics also practice a combination of Catholicism and Afro-Caribbean beliefs (santeria) or witchcraft (brujeria), but since this practice rarely is admitted openly the number of such adherents is impossible to estimate. Judaism, Islam, and Buddhism are practiced. There are synagogues (but no rabbis at this time) and there is as yet no mosque in the country.

According to Demos 97, a population survey taken in 1997 by the Instituto de Estudios de Poblacion y Desarrollo, the population is 68.1 percent Roman Catholic and 11 percent Protestant Christian, inclusive of evangelicals, members of the Jehovah's Witnesses, Mormons, and traditional Protestants. In the same study, 20.1 percent of the sample said that they had no religion. However, evangelical Christians claim 20 to 25 percent of the population, while the Catholic Church claims 87 percent.