An estimated 85 percent of Panamanians are Roman Catholic. Various sects of Protestantism have made inroads over the years, accounting for most of Panama ’s other followers of organized religion.
Catholicism is taught in public schools unless parents request that their children be exempted. Catholic holidays, festivals, and rites are widely observed. However, many Panamanian Catholics take a “cafeteria” approach to church doctrine. Birth control, for instance, is widely available and practiced throughout the country. And Panama has a long history of religious freedom and tolerance.
Judaism and Islam have significant minority followings and a long history in Panama, particularly in the cities. Islam is believed to have first come to the isthmus with African slaves in the 16th century. The first Jewish congregation in Panama, Kol Shearith, was founded in 1876. Panama City  has one of the world’s seven Baha’i Houses of Worship, as well as a prominent Hindu temple. The Greek Orthodox Metropolitanate of Central America is based in Panama. Many of Panama’s indigenous peoples still practice their traditional religions to some degree.