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Religious Freedom Ranking:
3.5 out of 5 stars: Needs Improvement

The country has a population of 108,000.  It includes 607 islands that stretch over a 2,000-mile range of ocean water.  There are many diverse languages, religions, and cultures.  On the island of Kosrae, the population is 6,000, 95 percent of whom are Protestants.  On Pohnpei Island the population of 35,000 has an equal distribution of Protestants and Catholics.  On Chuuk Island about 60 percent of the population is Catholic and 40 percent Protestant.  On Yap Island an estimated 80 percent of the inhabitants are Catholic and the rest are Protestant.  Other religious groups include the United Church of Christ, Baptists, Assemblies of God, Salvation Army, and Seventh-day Adventists.  Jehovah’s Witnesses, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and the Baha’i Faith comprise less than one percent of the population.  It is reported that a small group of Buddhists live on the island of Pohnpei.  Attending church ceremonies is an important part of the culture because these congregations play a major role in the society.

Religious divisions between Protestants and Catholics have been noted on the island of Pohnpei. This separation began in the 1890s when interdenominational opposition and the conversion of clan leaders resulted in this religious split.  Yet, intermarriage has become popular and is slowly eliminating the schism.

Church-sponsored schools are common. The government has provided a few grants to church-affiliated private schools. It is not required that public schools provide religious education. Religious groups are allowed to operate radio stations that broadcast religious indoctrination.

Missionaries are allowed to work freely in the country.  There have been no reports of forced conversion of religious prisoners.

2010 U.S. State Department International Religious Freedom on the Federated States of Micronesia

Micronesia - New World Encyclopedia


Last Updated on Monday, 13 February 2012 18:28