Religion and spirituality in the modern Caribbean


In the modern Caribbean, technology and access to knowledge has reached an astonishing level, so has literacy. These leaps in the social life of the average West Indian man may have seemed like a preposterous delusion in the minds of 19th century men and women living the region and tilling the lands. As a result of us moving forward the Caribbean people seem to be on the path to an unavoidable trend. As literacy and education levels rise the belief in God and the supernatural falls. Why? Because people become more open to asking questions, questions which a few decades ago could have gotten you some cuss-out, taken to local spiritual leader/guru or result in a flagging.

But now as I walk the streets of my town I’m beginning to realize that the youth are far more open to discussing topics such as atheism, homosexuality and all the other subjects which were outlawed in grandma’s days. I believe at the core of this is the media namely the internet, cable television(American television; because all the channels are from the US) and more access to foreign press, polls and opinions. Thanks to this bombardment of information we are beginning to see something remarkably different in the youth. But what the so called “first world” and the youth may see as progress older people might take as a gloomy sign of the end times.

I remember asking my grand-aunty:

Me: Granny what if heaven and Jesus don’t exist?

Granny: Likkle fool-fool bwoy go sit down and stop chat foolishness!

Just like that it was over, no more questions regarding the issue. So as me and many of my peers thirst and dig for understanding our parents wail in frustration as they interpret our activities as sinful and “it is wrong to question God”

So is this the generation of West Indians that will begin the exodus away from religion and towards the more contemporary views on evolution and the big band? Will we be the ones to throw away the tale of Adam and Eve for quantum mechanics and sub-atomic forces. Well we’ll have to wait and see. But for now take a look at the current religious demographic of our tropical haven.

Religious Affiliation in the Caribbean
Religion Total Number Percent (%)
Judaism 1,888 0.01
Islam 15,860 0.07
Hinduism 279,515 1.17
Protestantism 5,912,490 24.85
Catholicism 14,102,041 59.23
Other 3,497,828 14.69

Stay focused on whatever path you choose to take, because remember its your life and you must try and do what makes you fulfilled even if it means subtracting a few things from your life. Remain steadfast in whatever you believe if it makes you happy.

Hold the faith.


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