About country profiles

The country profiles are intended to provide some background and context for the descriptions of the churches. These profiles should be read in conjunction with those of the churches in the country.

Click here for the sources of the statistical data

Surface area:75520 km2
GNI per capita:6000 US$
Classification:Developed economy



Christian: 88.00%

Muslim: 4.00%

Baha'i: 2.00%

Buddhist: 1.00%

Other: 1.00%

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With the US backing, Panama seceded from Colombia in 1903 and promptly signed a treaty with the US allowing for construction of a canal and US sovereignty over a strip of land on either side of the canal, known as the Panama Canal Zone.  It remained under US control until 1999.  In 1989 the US invaded the country, toppling and imprisoning President Manuel Noriega on drug charges.  Since then, the country has experienced government reforms and free elections.  About a third of the populace lives in poverty, especially rural areas, and indigenous people are increasingly being forced off their land by cattle ranchers.  The Roman Catholic Church is the largest religious body, but indigenous religions still exist in Panama, where indigenous people make up 8 percent of the population.  Panama also has a significant numbers of adherents of several world religions, including Muslims, Baha'is, and Buddhists.  There are no WCC member churches based in the country.


(source:  In God's Hands)


Ecumenical Organizations and Councils

WCC member churches based in Panama

    WCC member churches present in Panama

    Note: The list of churches present in countries is still in development.

    Last updated: 01/01/06