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Virgin Islands (U.S.)

The U.S. Virgin Islands, a territory of the United States in the Leeward Islands chain of the Caribbean Sea, consists of three major islands—St. Croix, St. John, and St. Thomas—plus smaller ones; its religious diversity stems from European and American missions mixed with African forms of ecstatic worship. A majority of the population lives on St. Croix and St. Thomas. According to the 2001 census, most inhabitants are Christian: 42% Baptist, 34% Roman Catholic, 17% Episcopalian, and 7% other.

Although Spain never established permanent settlements in the 16th century, explorers and planters warred with the native Caribs, who usually refused to convert to Catholicism, killing most of them over the next two centuries. Danish colonizers arrived in the late 17th and early 18th centuries, bringing slaves ...

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