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Religion in Barbados

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Religion remains at the centre of culture in Barbados.

Although you wouldn’t necessarily think it, even our Crop Over Festival has its roots in religious celebration. Crop Over was in fact originally a way of thanking God, the Gods, Jah, or Ala, for the success of another year’s sugar crop.

Anglican is officially the national religion of Barbados, however there are various denominations of Christianity and non-Christian religions practiced throughout the island. It stems from the first permanent English settlers, who arrived on the island in 1627 and were sternly Anglican and from the moment they landed started building a church in which to worship.

According to the 2010 Population and Housing Census for Barbados, religion in Barbados is made up as follows:

From those identifying with a particular religion or faith in Barbados, the majority is Anglican.

  • Anglican
  • Pentecostal
  • Adventist
  • Methodist
  • Roman Catholic
  • Wesleyan
  • ‘other’ Christian
  • Nazarene
  • Church of God
  • Jehovah’s Witness
  • Baptist
  • Moravian
  • Rastafarian
  • Muslim
  • Brethren
  • Hindu
  • Salvation Army
  • ‘other non-Christian’
  • Mormon
  • Jewish
  • Baha’i

Click to view the 2010 population and housing census, volume 1 http://www.barstats.gov.bb/files/documents/PHC_2010_Census_Volume_1.pdf.

 

Where can I practice my faith in Barbados?

We’ve provided you with a list of denominations, along with the parishes in which you will find these places of worship, and their contact details.

Note: It’s always best to phone the church or place of worship to confirm the times of services, as schedules can change slightly throughout the year.

 

Anglican

Anglican is the most popular denomination in Barbados. As a direct result of the first settlers, each parish in Barbados has an Anglican parish church, some of which are said to be haunted. All of the churches are beautiful and many provide the best scenic views of the island.

The slaves also brought their own religions with them even though they were forced to practice Christianity by their masters. Through the years, many other religions have moved and grown in our small island. The places of worship of all these various religions vary from meeting halls, large limestone churches, to chattel houses and natural settings like beaches.

Christ Church

— Christ Church Parish Church (The Ivan Harewood Centre), Church Hill, Christ Church (246) 428-2319.
— St. David’s Church, Christ Church (246) 435-4272
— St. Lawrence Church, St. Lawrence Gap, Christ Church (246) 420-7679
— St. Mathias Church, Hastings, Christ Church (246) 429-5733

St. James

— St. James Parish Church, Holetown, St. James (246) 422-4117

St. Michael

— St. Cyprian’s Church, Corner 7th Avenue and George St, St. Michael (246) 426-2762
— St. Leonard’s Anglican Church, Westbury Road, St. Michael (246) 426-7358
— St. Mary’s Church, Bridgetown, St. Michael (246) 426-3746
— St. Michael’s Cathedral, Bridgetown, St. Michael (246) 427-0790
— St. Paul’s Anglican Church, Bay Street, St. Michael (246) 426-2761
— St. Stephen’s Church, Black Rock, St. Michael (246) 424-8435

 

SEVENTH DAY ADVENTIST

The first Adventist missionary arrived in 1891, and the denomination has grown rapidly since incorporation in 1933.

St. Michael

— King Street Seventh Day Adventist Church, King’s Street, St. Michael (246) 429-8639

 

ROMAN CATHOLIC

The Roman Catholic Church has been present in Barbados since 1839. In the early and mid-twentieth century, the Catholic Church was bolstered by immigration from Guyana, Dominica, St. Lucia, and by Syrian and Lebanese Christians from Trinidad. It is expanding through natural growth and a small number of converts.

Christ Church

St. Dominic’s Roman Catholic Church, Maxwell Main Rd, Christ Church (246) 428-7677 or (246) 271-6124

St. James

— St. Francis of Assisi, Mount Steadfast, St. James (246) 422-2431

St. Michael

— Our Lady Queen of the Universe (OLQU), Black Rock, St. Michael (246) 427-2241

— St. Patrick’s Roman Catholic Cathedral, Bay Street, St. Michael (246) 426-2325

St. Peter

— Our Lady of Sorrows, Ashton Hall, St. Peter (246) 422-2179

St. John

* Our Lady of the Rosary, Verdun, St. John (246) 426-2325

St. Philip

— Sacred Heart, St. Philip (246) 426-3510

 

PENTECOSTAL

— Pentecostal Church of the Living God, Parish Land, Christ Church (246) 420-4838

 

METHODIST

Christ Church

— Hawthorne Methodist Church, Hawthorne, Christ Church (246) 436-6859

St. Michael

— James Street Methodist Church, James St, Bridgetown, St. Michael (246) 427-7452

 

JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES

Christ Church

— Rendezvous Congregation, Rendezvous, Christ Church (246) 438-0655

St. James

— Weston Congregation, Weston, St. James (246) 438-0655

 

Baptists, Moravians, and members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) are also present on the island.

 

MORMON

Christ Church

— Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints, Rendezvous, Christ Church (246) 426-9731
— Mount Carmel Pentecostal, St. Patrick’s, Christ Church (246) 420-7721

 

MORAVIAN

Christ Church

— Bethlehem Moravian Church, Maxwell, Christ Church (246) 428-8284
— Calvary Moravian Church, Roebuck Street, Bridgetown (246) 426-2337

 

MUSLIM

Christ Church

— Islamic Teaching Centre, Harts Gap, Hastings, Christ Church (246) 427-0120

St. Michael

— Juma Mosque, Kensington New Road, Bridgetown, St. Michael (246) 425-7854

 

GNOSTIC

— Church of the Glorious Christ, River Road, Bridgetown (246) 429-7792

 

Other alternatives

Other minority religions practiced on the island include the Rastafari Movement, Hinduism, Buddhism, and the Baha’i Faith.

Bajan families remain religious and most families still gather together once a week for prayer – generally over a shared meal.

Religious holidays and milestones are strictly observed and celebrated in Barbados and as a result, regardless of faith, most businesses are closed on Sunday as it is considered a day of prayer, rest and family relaxation.

Businesses generally operate from Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm, and Bridgetown still remains a hive of activity on Saturdays.

By: Brett Callaghan

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