Dominican Republic

As with most Caribbean nations, the religious setting in the Dominican Republic is changing rapidly. Still, the predominant religion is Christianity, specifically Roman Catholicism. Officially, roughly 90% of the population practices it, and the Church still exerts enormous influence on the country, through strong linkages with the government, a well-established education system, and the legal sanctioning of marriages. For a brief period in the 1950s, religion and the Church were suppressed under the oppressive rule of Rafael Trujillo. But after his assassination, Catholicism quickly reclaimed its dominance.

While most citizens practice traditional Roman Catholicism, through a process known as syncretism, it has melded with African (Benin, Congo, Yoruba) and native Amerindian (Taino) religious elements to produce a form of Dominican Catholicism. A heady mix of African ...

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