Religious Beliefs and Spirituality in Cape Verde
Majority of the people of Cape Verde consider themselves Catholics. Based on an informal local churches survey, more than 90% of the population is Roman Catholics. Currently, there are two dioceses in the islands, namely Mindelo and Santiago de Cabo Verde. There are also Protestant denominations, the largest of which is the Church of the Nazarene. Other Protestant groups include the Assemblies of God, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints or Mormons, Seventh Day Adventist, Universal church of the Kingdom of God and other evangelical and Pentecostal faiths. There are also non-Christian groups like the Bahai and Muslims. Less than 1% of the population does not belong to any religious group and are atheists.
Both the constitution and government of Cape Verde guarantees and respects religious freedom. The constitution also mandates the separation of church and state, one could not impose on the other on anything that has to do with any religious beliefs or practices. Needless to say, there is also no state religion. However, the Catholic Church is given free television broadcast time for religious services by the government. Ash Wednesday, Good Friday, Easter All Saints Day and Christmas Day are declared as national official holidays while the day a municipality honors its patron saint is treated as a local holiday.
Foreign missionary groups like the Jehovah’s Witnesses are also present and openly conduct its operations inside the country. In order to be recognized as a legal entity, a religious group must register with the Justice Ministry and must declare that their organization does not promote dictatorship, racism, violence, xenophobia or acts that is punishable by its penal laws.