Spiritual Information

Spiritual Information

Visitors frequently note that Belizeans are a particularly religious people. By 1980 almost the entire population had picked a specific religious preference. Indeed, religious institutions had an obvious presence in Belize, especially in the school system which the Roman Catholic Church and the state managed together. Belize was no longer the intense battleground between competing missionary denominations that it had been in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Nonetheless, numerous foreign missionaries (mostly evangelical Protestants from the United States) worked in the country in the 1980s and continue today.

Religion has been strongly – but not exclusively – associated with ethnicity and region. Catholicism unified most Mestizos, Maya and Garifuna. Most Creoles were either Anglican or Methodist, but a significant number converted to Roman Catholicism, mainly because of proselytization in Roman Catholic schools. Roman Catholics made up at least 60 percent of the population of all districts, but in Belize City and environs, they made up only 43 percent of the population. In the last two decades, however, Evangelical Protestant groups have been particularly successful in making inroads among Creoles, Mestizos and Maya in Corozal, Orange Walk and Cayo districts.The Corazal and Cayo district both have Mennonite towns that are exclusively Mennonite. These are a Bible believing people who came to Belize in the 1950’s to found a farming community.  The people of Belize are hungry to hear the truth of God’s Word and hear the Bible taught.

A wide range of smaller denominations also flourished in Belize. These groups included Mormons,  Hindus, and Bahais. Among the Creoles and the Garifuna, there were also small but socially significant Black Muslim and Rastafarian communities. Less than 10% have been taught about the Gifts or Baptism of the Holy Spirit as taught in the book of Acts. This presents a huge opportunity for outreach in  Belize, first, for the Gospel of Grace to be taught to those bound up in religion, but have had no real experience with the Father and the Holy Spirit, and the blessing of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit with His Gifts.

Of the country’s nine major religious groups, the Roman Catholicism is the largest, 40% of the population claim to be followers. Pentecostalism is the second largest religion which has seen an increase from 7.4% to 8.5% of the population. Sadly, the number of persons who said they did not belong to any religion doubled. This group is larger than any of the main religions except Roman Catholicism.

While the people’s response to the gospel has been fair, a true conversion and walk with the Lord does not take place because there is no one here to disciple new believers. That is why we feel so strongly to go and build relationships with the people, not to simply preach to them, but rather to show them through personal relationship and discipleship how to live a life for Jesus Christ.

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