Protestants have dominated Mississippi since the late 18th century. The Baptists are the leading denomination and many adherents are fundamentalists. Partly because of the strong church influence, Mississippi was among the first states to enact prohibition and among the last to repeal it.
In 2000, membership in the two principal Protestant denominations was: the Southern Baptist Convention, 916,440 known adherents and the United Methodist Church, 240,576. There were about 115,760 Roman Catholics, an estimated 3,919 Muslims, and about 1,400 Jews. Over 1.2 million people (about 45.4% of the population) did not claim any religious affiliation.