The Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN) has produced data on the religious connection of Jamaicans, but it was no easy task and changes could be made to the figures.
Valerie Nam, director of censuses, demographics and social statistics at STATIN, told The Sunday Gleaner that tracking the religious affiliations of Jamaicans was one of the most challenging aspects of the Population and Housing Census 2011.
"Religious affiliation is one of the hardest topics to deal with in the census, in terms of identifying the categories on the form, because there are so many churches across the communities, and frankly, a lot of persons do not know what denomination their church is associated with. In fact, some do not even know the name of their churches," said Nam.
"So it was very difficult and sensitive because we ran the risk of incorrectly grouping people of different faiths and beliefs."
That was supported by Merville Anderson, STATIN's director of the field services division.
"The main problem we faced was that people were more focused on the name of the church and not the denomination. Some just did not know," he said.
Nam said before the census was conducted, STATIN consulted a number of clerical leaders to get proper guidance on how to proceed.
She noted that a significant number of Jamaicans, 169,014, were placed in a category dubbed 'Other Religion/Denomination', because it was difficult to determine where they should properly be placed.
However, STATIN is now going over that data in an effort to correctly identify the religion or denomination where these people worship.
The presented data shows the local Pentecostal Church with its membership increasing by almost 2,000 per cent over the past 50 years.
The census shows the number of people who say they attend Pentecostal churches jumping from 14,739 in 1960 to 295,195 last year.
The Seventh-day Adventist denomination also recorded an impressive 311 per cent rise, enjoying the highest membership of all denominations in 2011 with 322,228.
On the other hand, the Anglican denomination had a huge 76 per cent decline over the 50-year period, recording 74,891 membership in 2011, down from a whopping 318,643 in 1960.
The Roman Catholics also suffered a similar fate, dropping by 50 per cent over the same period, from 115,291 in 1960 to 57,946 in 2011.
Other religions fared better, with Rastafarianism recording a 20.84 per cent increase over a 10-year period.
Islam also increased from 1,024 in 2001 to 1,513 in 2011.
Over the same period, the number of persons who associated themselves with Hinduism moved to 1,836, a 26 per cent increase.
In the meantime, persons who associate themselves with Judaism moved from 357 to 506, and the Bahá'í faith had a marginal 3.5 per cent decline from 279 to 269.