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Daryl Ries of Keller Williams Panama, associate – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Poster for a night of music for the Beth El Jewish community center, Panama City, Panama – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingNaturally, Panama, as a Latin country, is Catholic and is very observant. There is a large Jewish population in Panama, perhaps around 10,000 and Buddhist temples are plentiful enough due to a fairly large Chinese population. Religion does play a pretty big part in Panama society, and there seems to be no pressure about it.
 
I have been to a few of the many synagogues in the city and sought out their history. Its good to be able to practice your religion in a different part of the world as something to share and be part of.
 
 There are some very beautiful and well-known churches in the city. I have attended some weddings, both ornate and simple. 
 
On the coast both small churches and synagogues exist and there your attendance is mostly like a membership.  You need to make yourself known and sign up to participate in their activities. The churches will open their doors to newcomers but of course, everybody hopes that you will be a regular. It’s definitely a very important part of life in Panama.
 
(Poster for a night of music for the Beth El Jewish community center, Panama City, Panama, pictured.)
Robert Shapland – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Pastor Dolores Santana and his wife Dominga in Pedasi, Panama – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingMy wife and I attend a small Church of God here in Pedasi. We are at present the only "gringos" there, yet they take the time to interpret the pastor's message for us, as there is almost always someone in attendance who is bilingual. We feel very honored that they take the extra time to do this for us!
 
We really love our pastor and his love of God and his congregation. There is also a Baptist Church here and I believe they also usually have an interpreter. Of course, the Catholic church is the biggest of all.
 
(Pastor Dolores Santana and his wife Dominga in Pedasi, Panama, pictured.)
John Gilbert of PanamaKeys – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Missionary Elvira Corbello ministering at the vacation bible school in Puerto Armuelles, Panama – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingTheir religion here in Panama is predominantly Catholic, but they’re open to all the Protestant faiths. Here in Panama, people are very happy to talk about God, your faith, and their faith. It’s much easier to strike up conversations with people about their faith here. 
 
All the Protestant faiths are available here in Panama. There’s also an Islamic community and a Hindu community here in Panama. You will find Panama to be very tolerant of religion no matter your religious persuasion.
 
(Missionary Elvira Corbello ministering at the vacation bible school in Puerto Armuelles, Panama, pictured.)
Frank Kehanu – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Dear Newcomer,
 
Panama Republic Constitution Article Nº 35, states:
 
"All religions may be professed and all forms of worship practiced freely, without any other limitation than respect for Christian morality and public order. It is recognized that the Catholic religion is practiced by the majority of Panamanians."
 
With that said, Panama Republic upholds freedom of religion.  There is English Mass in many churches. Do a search on this site or a Google search for "English speaking churches in Panama".
 
As far as options for alternative lifestyle individuals, a full Anglican Church is not yet established, even though there is plenty of Episcopal Churches.
 
Masonry, Wicca and other practices are done behind doors to steer away from narrow minded persecution based on misinformation and gossip.
 
Moet Be.
 
 
Linda Jensen – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Catedral in Casco Viejo Panama City Panama – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingThe religion of Panama is Christianity, Catholic, and there are a lot of Jehovah’s Witness, too. I have some friends who are pastors. The missionaries come here. The new influence here are the Bible churches, which are basically bilingual American missionaries. The churches are Christian.
 
There are mosques in some places like in David and Panama City, but mostly you’re in a Christian nation. Mostly you’re in a place where you can find a church or a denomination where you can fit in.
Robert Adams of Retirement Wave – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Most of the people here in Panama are Catholic or at least have been raised as Catholic; probably about 75, 85% of the population. Maybe about another 15% are Protestants. And then the remainder is everything else under the sun.  You name the religion, we’ve got them. Everybody lives here totally in peace. Religion is not an issue.
 
There are mosques in Panama. The Muslims here are predominantly traders from years and years ago. They are not from Saudi Arabia. They’re Muslims from Indonesia or Pakistan who have lived here for a hundred years or so.
 
The Jewish and Muslim communities here get along very well in Panama. People do not argue over religion in Panama. We don’t want anyone coming down here who does. It simply is not an issue. We have Muslims and Buddhists. We have Hindu temples here too. This is the Panama Canal Country. We have people from all over the world. Panama is a nation of immigrants over the last 150 years since the railroad was put in and the last 100 years or so since the Canal was built.  Immigrants have come in large numbers and they’re from all over the place.
 
We have a beautiful Greek orthodox church here. It’s one of the nicest churches in the city. Very simple, very Greek.
 
We have everything. And that is why we are a very tolerant society because everybody comes from somewhere else. This is a business country so you don’t sit around and worry about somebody else’s religion, their language, or the color of their skin, or the color of their eyes. You just deal with them as people.
Antonio Cheng – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
typical Panama church religion Catholic – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingThe typical Panamanian church would be a Catholic church. Around 80% of the people who live in Panama are Catholics.
 
A church’s appearance depends on where it is located. Some churches in Panama have simple wooden chairs and some have air-conditioning. Some churches in Panama are very modest and humble and others are very big and beautiful.
 
Normally, people go to Mass on Saturdays and Sundays, but the churches give Mass every day.
Terry Bradford of Origen Real Estate Panama – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
St. Mary's Church in Panama – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingThe typical church service in Panama is Catholic and very solemn. They follow the liturgy and rituals of a regular Catholic church as they would in the States, as they have begun to be more contemporary in style.
 
St. Mary’s (pictured to the right) is the Catholic church we went to for a while, located in the Balboa area, which is in the Panama Canal Zone.  St. Mary’s been around for a hundred years. Father John Carney of St. Mary’s church is an American, from New York. They keep the same rituals but the practice and style are contemporary. I would not say that it is more contemporary than the churches in the US, though. They sing the hymns in Spanish and English, which is great.
 
A typical American will be comfortable going to a church service in Panama.
Lourdes Townshend of Multimodal  & Logistic Transports Magazine – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account

The Architecture, History, Tradition and Atmosphere of the Churches of Panamá

 
Basílica Menor Don Bosco Panama Exterior, looking up from the street – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingPanamá is mainly a Roman Catholic country.  Since it's discovery in the 15th century, Panamá has a history of missionary congregations and communities.
 
It started in 1510 when Santa María la Antigua, the first Catholic mission, was founded in the province of Darién, Republic of Panamá, and today, is the matron of Panamá.
 
Then, when the old city of Panamá was burned by pirates, also in the 15th century, and Gold Altar at St Joseph's Church in Panama – Best Places In The World To Retire – International Livingthe new city was built in what we call today "Casco Viejo",  a gold altar was hidden for security, and placed in St. Joseph Church.  (There's a picture of the gold altar to the right and a video below.)  This gold alter is visited by thousands of tourists every year. Unfortunately, it is located in a poor neighborhood, and survives basically on donations.
 
In Casco Viejo, there are many Catholic churches with beautiful Spanish architecture, and when the city expanded to Bella Vista and other neighborhoods, other churches were built.  There are two that stand out for their importance and beauty.  The first is the Minor Basilic of St. John Bosco (Don Bosco) the community of which has been in Panamá for 100 years, taking care of young boys with great love and care.  I included pictures of the outside of Don Bosco and the dome. Basilica Don Bosco Interior Dome Republic of Panama – Best Places In The World To Retire – International Living The official day of Don Bosco is January 31, a day that Panamanians celebrate with great devotion and a procession that attracts a larger group of people than all political candidates together would like to have.  The other church is Our Lady of Carmelo  (Iglesia del Carmen), at a very short distance away, that has the most beautiful baroque architecture and bells in the city of Panamá.
 
Basílica Menor Don Bosco Panama Yellow Facade – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingIn addition, all over the city, as well as the "interior" (the countryside, after you cross the Panamá Canal), there are hundreds and hundreds of churches that the people of Panamá attend with veneration and devotion on a daily or special events basis.
 
Two special events in Panamá are the Cristo of Atalaya (in the province of Veraguas) and Cristo Negro (located in Portobelo, Colón) where thousands of pilgrims come for celebration.  Both are worth visiting for their historical importance.
 
Our Lady of Santa María la Antigua – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingOne of the churches most known for its history is the Catholic church of  Nata de los Caballeros, one of the first churches built in the continent.  Nata de los Caballeros maintains very antique traditions like the "Nights of Columbus" who use their beautiful uniforms for special occasions.
  
In addition, other denominations and churches are also represented in Panamá, as the country offers a varied freedom of religions, including, but not limited to a large Jewish community, a non-denominational church, and many others that locals or visitors can chose of their own free will.
 
In other words, a typical church in Panamá varies with the location and town.  But one thing has to be said:  All of them have their open arms for you.

 

Here's a YouTube of the Golden Altar:

 
Nelson Lugo of Panama International Church – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
The official religion of Panama is Catholicism. Over 80% of country considers themselves to be Catholic however, the actual number of those who practice this religion is much less. A typical Panama church is such a broad question because every church is different  due to the various denominations and faiths that are present here. For example, if you are looking for a Pentecostal church you will find a church that expresses themselves in Charismatic ways and the same is for Baptist and other denominations.
James David Audlin of Editores Volcán Barú – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
What is a typical ´Panamanian church like? What is "the religion of Panama"?
 
Truth in advertising: I am a retired United Church of Christ minister, with a 35-year career of pastoring local churches. Where I live in the Tierras Altas of Chiriquí Province, most Panamanians are either Roman Catholic or some flavor of evangelical, with the latter being mostly Seventh Day Adventist. A large minority are Jehovah's Witnesses, who have congregations in English, Spanish, and Ngäbe Buglé. As a liberal Christian my taste does not run to Roman Catholicism or evangelicalism, and so I attend a Spanish-speaking JW congregation with my Panamanian JW wife. Theirs is the only alternative that is not only spiritually nourishing to me and also intellectually stimulating to me. And they are extremely friendly and welcoming, and have made absolutely no effort to try to "convert" me; they accept me just as I am. Your spiritual needs may be vastly different from mine, which of course is terrific; I am but relating my own personal views and experiences.
 
Anne Gordon de Barrigón of Whale Watching Panama/Emberá Village Tours – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Panama is 85% Catholic and religion is a required subject in public schools.  However, because Panama is a melting pot for many cultures, races and religions as a result of so many people who came to Panama to work on the railroad, canal and the business and banking industries, you will find almost every religion known to man here in Panama. 
 
In Panama city, specifically Punta Paitilla area, you will find a large Jewish population, including orthodox and Chassidic.  There is a large Chinese Buddhist population and many temples.  There are Evangelical Christians, a new large Mormon temple, Jehova's Witnesses, Baptist, Afro Caribbean beliefs and even Hindu and Muslim mosques and the only Ba'hai Temple in all of Central and South America. 
 
You will find that most people are accustomed to having many other beliefs around and generally respectful of each person's chosen religion.
 
EPA! Espanol Spokesperson of EPA Español en Panama – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
The typical Panamanian church is like XVIII Spanish Catholic architecture.The majority religion of Panama is Catholicism, but we have freedom of religion and also there are many other religions in Panama, such as Muslim, Buddhism, etc.
 
Below is the Catedral Metropolitana in Casco Viejo, Panama City​.Catedral Metropolitana in Casco Viejo, Panama City – Best Places In The World To Retire – International Living

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