A church located in the Dominican Republic.

Roman Catholic Christianity is the most followed religious group in the country. The Church has contributed enormously to the socio-economic development of the Dominican Republic through the projects it initiated especially before the country obtained its independence. Among the projects initiated by the Church are schools and hospitals. He has been at the forefront of agitation for proper governance and accountability, particularly through his National Council of Bishops. Protestant Christianity is also large in membership and is growing rapidly. Other religious groups include Atheism, Islam, Judaism, and Eastern religions, among others.

Religious beliefs in the Dominican Republic

Roman Catholic Christianity

It is the most dominant religious group constituting more than three quarters of the country’s population. It was introduced to the country by Christian missionaries who came to the country before independence. The Church has more than 1.6 million baptized members who confess the religion. It has over 800 members serving in the priesthood which is spread across its 11 territorial dioceses. The Catholic trace found in the country is mixed with elements of indigenous traditions and other external practices, particularly from West Africa. The Church became accommodating of some of their native culture and incorporated them into their liturgy. The use of drums was one of them. Currently, Roman Catholics constitute 75% of the country’s total population.

Protestant Christianity

They represent 20% of the country’s population. It is a rapidly growing segment of the Republic’s population, primarily due to the evangelistic efforts of Protestant churches. Some of the dominant groups include the Assemblies of God, Seventh-day Adventists, Pentecostals, and Baptists among several others. Morgan Foley is credited with spreading Protestant Christianity in the country since the 1800s. Other followers of the religion came to the country from the United States and the West Indies in the 19th century.


The country has a small population of practicing Jews numbering a few hundred. He mainly came to the country when President Rafael Trujilo accepted one hundred thousand Jews into the country from Germany and other places where they were persecuted. They mainly live in the areas of Santo Domingo and Sosua where there are synagogues to facilitate their religious practices. Religious freedom in the country allowed Jews to practice their faith with little hindrance. However, Judaism did not spread widely to other cultural groups outside of the descendants of the original migrant groups.


It was brought to the country in the 1960s by two Japanese immigrants. They mainly practice the Mahayana style of Buddhism according to the original traditions of the founders. They have two main centers in the country called Zen and Nichiren where they gather for religious duties. The religion has not spread widely, especially among the natives, and is mainly adopted by immigrants from Eastern countries where the religion has its roots.

Impact of religions in the Dominican Republic

Even though there is a small group that does not subscribe to any religion, most of the citizens of the country are religious. The government has supported liberty and freedom of worship without any hindrance. Religious groups, primarily the Catholic Church, have helped develop various aspects of socio-economic development.

Religious beliefs in the Dominican Republic

Rank belief system Share of Population in the Dominican Republic
1 Roman Catholic Christianity 75%
2 Protestant Christianity 20%
3 Atheism or agnosticism 3%
Caribbean Vodou, Islam, Judaism, Eastern religions or other beliefs 2%