Religious Beliefs In Cyprus

A church in the Troodos Mountains in Cyprus.
A church in the Troodos Mountains in Cyprus.

Christianity is the dominant religion in Cyprus, and about 78% of the country’s population identify themselves as Christians. Within Christianity, the most popular denomination is Orthodox Christianity, with the majority of Cyprus’ Christians being followers of the Autocephalous Greek Orthodox Church. Another Christian denomination which is popular in Cyprus is the Roman Catholic Church whose followers account for about 2.9% of the country’s population. Other major religious beliefs in Cyprus are Protestant Christianity, Islam, and the Armenian Church.

Orthodox Christians In Cyprus

Orthodox Christianity is the most popular religious belief in Cyprus and is practiced by an estimated 89.1% of the country’s population. The Orthodox Church of Cyprus (also known as the Church of Cyprus) which was established by Barnabas the Apostle in 431 A.D., is the most ancient church in the country and is among the oldest in the world. The Holy Synod of the Autocephalous Church of Cyprus is the chief administrative authority of the Church. The Church of Cyprus is made up of 16 dioceses, and each is headed by a bishop. Sermons in the Autocephalous Church of Cyprus are conducted in the Koine Greek language.

Roman Catholics In Cyprus

The Roman Catholic Church represents the second-most popular religious belief in Cyprus. An estimated 2.9% of Cyprus residents identify themselves as practicing Catholicism. The Roman Catholic Church in Cyprus is made up of two distinct factions which are the Maronite Catholic Archeparchy of Cyprus and the Latin Catholic Church of Cyprus (also known as the Latin Patriarchal Vicariate for Cyprus). Roman Catholicism in Cyprus is under the leadership of the Pope in the Vatican, as is the case around the world.

Protestants/Anglicans In Cyprus

Protestants and Anglicans make up about 2.0% of the total population in Cyprus, and they represent the third-largest Christian denomination in the country. The first Anglican Church in Cyprus was established in 1878 and set the foundation for Anglicans in the country. The main Anglican Cathedral in Cyprus is the Nicosia Cathedral which is dedicated to St. Paul. Other Anglican churches are found in Larnaca, Paphos, Limassol, Tala, and Polis. Anglicans in Cyprus are led by the Archdeacon of the Church. There is a small community of Protestants found in Northern Cyprus known as Turkish Cypriot Protestants who are estimated to number about 500 individuals.

Islam In Cyprus

Islam is the second-largest religion in Cyprus, with the population of Muslims in the country being only surpassed by Christians. Islam was introduced to Cyprus in the 16th century after the island became part of the Ottoman Empire in 1571. However, Arabs had been conducting sporadic attacks in the coastal regions of Cyprus for many decades before the Ottoman conquest of Cyprus. Even after the fall of the Ottoman Empire in the late 19th century, Muslims made up a significant portion of the country’s population and currently account for as much as 18% of Cyprus’ population. The population of Muslims in the country was bolstered after the 1974 Turkish invasion of Cyprus led to the settlement of Sunni Muslims from Turkey. There are several important Muslim sites in the country including the Hala Sultan Tekke Mosque which was constructed in the 18th century.

Religious Beliefs In Cyprus

RankReligion % of national population affiliated to the religion
1Orthodox Christian89.1%
2Roman Catholic2.9%
5Other (includes Maronite, Armenian Church, Hindu)1.4%

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