New Caledonia, like France, protects the freedom of religion and belief and applies the same laws on the Separation of the Churches and State. There is therefore no official religion.
Although, like most indigenous peoples, the cultural traditions of the Kanak people were inspired by animistic beliefs, Christianity is now their predominant faith.
The majority of New Caledonians are Catholics but both the Protestant and Pentecostal churches are well established locally.
Other minority religions are also represented. The Islamic faith, in particular, is espoused by members of the Indonesian community and by descendants of Algerians deported during the colonial era. The Muslim community is mainly based in the Bourail region, where travellers arriving from Noumea will find the historic Muslim cemetery and an Islamic Cultural and Prayer Centre.
Finally, Buddhism has been introduced by the Vietnamese community, mostly in Noumea.