Mali
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  Preferred Religion (2015)1: Mixed Catholic, Sunni

  Majority Religion (2015)2: Sunni Muslim (85%)

Religious Adherents, (2015)2

Mali Western Africa World
Muslim (all denominations combined) 87% 50.5% 22.8%
 
  • Sunni Muslim
  • 85% 45% 19%
     
  • Other and Unknown Muslim
  • 2% 1.5% 0.3%
    Ethnoreligionist (incl. Animist, Shamanist) 9.5% 9.8% 2.5%
    Christian (all denominations combined) 3.4% 37.9% 29.9%
     
  • Catholic
  • 2.6% 10.8% 15%
     
  • Protestant
  • 0.7% 11.4% 5.6%
     
  • Pentecostal
  • 0.1% 8.3% 2.8%
     
  • Other and Unknown Christian
  • 0.1% 0.7% 2.3%
    Other Religionist < 0.1% 0.1% 0.2%
    Not Religious (incl. Atheist) 0.1% 0.3% 12%

    Religious Demography3

    The country has an area of 474,764 square miles and a population of 12 million. Muslims comprise an estimated 90 percent of the population; the vast majority of Muslims are Sunni. Approximately 5 percent of the population is Christian; the Christian community is roughly two-thirds Catholic and one-third Protestant. The remaining 5 percent practice traditional indigenous religious beliefs or no religion. Most immigrants come from neighboring countries and either practice Sunni Islam or belong to a Christian denomination. The majority of citizens practice their religion daily.

    Christian communities tend to be located in and around urban areas, generally in the southern regions. Groups that practice traditional indigenous religious beliefs reside throughout the country, but they are most active in rural areas.

    The Muslim community in general is tolerant and respectful of minority religious groups. There are several mosques associated with the fundamentalist group Dawa al Tabligh; however, their influence appears to have declined in recent years. The Wahhabi movement, which has existed in the country since the 1940s and 50s, is evident throughout the country, although, as with other forms of Islam in the country, it is not as exclusionary as practiced in other countries.


    Sources

    1.  The Religious Characteristics of States Dataset Project: Government Religious Preference (GRP) measures government-level favoritism toward, and disfavor against, 30 religious denominations. A series of ordered categorical variables index the state's institutional favoritism in 28 different ways. The variables are combined to form five composite indices for five broad components of state-religion: official status, religious education, financial support, regulatory burdens, and freedom of practice. The five components' composites in turn are further combined into a single composite score, the GRP score. The RCS Data Project would like to acknowledge, recognize, and express our deepest gratitude for the significant contributions of Todd M. Johnson the principal investigator of the World Christian Database and the co-principal investigator of the World Religion Database.

    2.  The Religious Characteristics of States Dataset Project: Demographics reports the estimates of religious demographics, both country by country and region by region. The RCS was created to fulfill the unmet need for a dataset on the religious dimensions of countries of the world, with the state-year as the unit of observation. It estimates populations and percentages of adherents of 100 religious denominations including second level subdivision within Christianity and Islam. The RCS Data Project would like to acknowledge, recognize, and express our deepest gratitude for the significant contributions of Todd M. Johnson the principal investigator of the World Christian Database and the co-principal investigator of the World Religion Database.

    3.  The U.S. State Department's International Religious Freedom Report is submitted to Congress annually by the Department of State in compliance with Section 102(b) of the International Religious Freedom Act (IRFA) of 1998. This report supplements the most recent Human Rights Reports by providing additional detailed information with respect to matters involving international religious freedom. It includes individual country chapters on the status of religious freedom worldwide. A dataset with these and the other international measures highlighted on the country pages can be downloaded from this website. These State Department reports are open source.

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