Cape Verde is an archipelago consisting of 10 islands, 9 of which are inhabited. It has an area of 1,557 square miles (4,030 km2) and a population of 458,000, according to the
National Statistics Institute. More than 85 percent of the population is nominally Roman Catholic, according to an informal poll taken by local churches. The largest Protestant denomination is the Church of the Nazarene. Other groups include the Seventh-day Adventist Church, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons), the Assemblies of God, the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God, and various other Pentecostal and evangelical groups. There are small Bahá'í communities and a small but growing Muslim community. The number of atheists is estimated at less than 1 percent of the population.
There is no association between religious differences and ethnic or political affiliations; however, the Catholic hierarchy is sympathetic to the Movement for Democracy (MPD) party, which ruled the country from 1991 to 2001. While many Catholics once were hostile toward the Party for the Independence of Cape Verde (PAICV), which became the governing party in 2001, some have become supporters of the PAICV due to conflict within the MPD party and dissatisfaction over the latter's performance.
There were foreign missionary groups operating in the country.