Country Listing

Guyana Table of Contents


Religious Organizations

At different times and from different perspectives, the churches of Guyana have been a source of opposition to government policy. In the 1950s, the Christian churches were vocal opponents of Jagan and the PPP's Marxism. These churches also drew international attention with their criticisms of the Burnham government in the 1970s and 1980s.

Much of the criticism of the national government has come from the Guyana Council of Churches (GCC), an umbrella organization of sixteen major Christian denominations. Anglicans and Roman Catholics, confident of foreign support for their positions, often have taken the lead. Some of the smaller churches with ties to the PNC have been instrumental in getting the GCC to soften its criticism. One sect, the House of Israel, has been reported to have close ties to the PNC (see Cults , ch. 2). The sect's members were accused of disrupting a 1985 meeting of the GCC.

Hindu and Muslim religious organizations traditionally have played almost no political role in Guyana. In contrast to many Christian organizations, which receive support from adherents abroad, Hindu and Muslim leaders rely strictly on a local base. Religious leaders often are dependent on local political bosses, and the PNC has successfully recruited many Hindu and Muslim leaders into party organizations.

Data as of January 1992