The many years of Spanish rule has left the great majority of Honduras's citizens Roman Catholics, except along the Miskito coast to the north, which the British seized in the 17th century.
   As early as 1739, the Miskito people asked for someone to instruct them in the teachings of the Church of England, and several of them later traveled to Jamaica to study. The first British missionary, Christian Frederick Post, arrived in 1768 under the sponsorship of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts. Methodists established their initial mission on the Bay Islands, off the Miskito coast and also controlled by the British. The first congregation was formed in 1844. Toward the end of the century, Methodists from neighboring Belize entered the Spanish-speaking part of Honduras, establishing congregations among English-speaking expatriates.
   Baptists came to the Bay Islands from Belize in 1846, and also began working among expatriates. They were joined by the Seventh-day Adventist Church (1891), the Central American Mission (CAM International), which directed their work to Spanish speakers in the more central and rural part of the country (1896), the Christian Brethren, and the Quakers (1902). Pentecostal-ism was introduced in the 1930s by the Assemblies OF GOD. The initial work was supplemented with the arrival of the Church of God (Cleveland Tennessee) (1945) and the Church of God of PRoPHECY (1952). Pentecostalism thrived in the late 20th century and now has more than 100,000 adherents, though the Christian Brethren appears to be the largest Protestant FREE CHuRCH body in the country. The largest indigenous church is the Church of the Prince of Peace, brought to the country from neighboring Guatemala.
   Since the end of World War II, several more Protestant missionary organizations have initiated work, representing the full range of conservative Protestant churches. Many participate in the Honduras Evangelical Alliance, affiliated with the World Evangelical Alliance. No church based in Honduras is affiliated with the WoRLD CouNCIL oF CHuRCHEs, and there is no national council of churches.
   The oldest Protestant church, now the Honduras Episcopal Church, retained its affiliation with the Church of England until 1957, when it was incorporated into the Episcopal Church based in the United States. In the 1930s, the English-speaking Methodist work was turned over to the African Methodist Episcopal Church, which in turn passed it to the Methodist Church in the Caribbean and the Americas.
   See also Central America.
   Further reading:
   ■ Clifton L. Holland, ed., World Christianity: Central America and the Caribbean (Monrovia, Calif.: MARC-World Vision, 1992)
   ■ E. E Mathews, Planting the Church in Honduras: The Development of a Culturally Relevant Witness (Pasadena, Calif.: Fuller Theological Seminary, M.A. thesis, 1970)
   ■ William R. Reed, Latin American Church Growth (Grand Rapids, Mich.: William B. Eerdmans, 1986).

Encyclopedia of Protestantism. . 2005.

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