- Religious Freedom
- Religious Regulation
- Religious Support
Preferred Religion (2015)1: Mixed Catholic, Sunni
Majority Religion (2015)2: Sunni Muslim (89%)
Religious Adherents, (2015)2
|Muslim (all denominations combined)||90%||50.5%||22.8%|
|Christian (all denominations combined)||5.5%||37.9%||29.9%|
|Ethnoreligionist (incl. Animist, Shamanist)||4.1%||9.8%||2.5%|
|Other Religionist||< 0.1%||0.1%||0.2%|
|Not Religious (incl. Atheist)||0.2%||0.3%||12%|
The country has an area of 76,000 square miles and a population of 12.5 million. Islam is the predominant religion, practiced by approximately 94 percent of the population. Most citizens practice a syncretic form of Islam, combining formal religious practices with traditional cultural beliefs and values. There also is an active Christian community (4 percent of the population) that includes Roman Catholics, Protestant denominations, and syncretistic Christian-animist groups. The remaining 2 percent of the population practice exclusively traditional indigenous religious beliefs or no religion.
The country is ethnically and religiously diverse. Although there is significant integration of all groups, Christians are concentrated in the west and south, while groups who practice traditional religious beliefs live mainly in the east and south.
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, the co-principal investigator of the World Religion Database, and co-author of the World Christian Encyclopedia series.
2. The Religious Characteristics of States Dataset Project: Demographics reports annual estimates of religious demographics, both country by country and region by region. It estimates populations and percentages of adherents of 100 religious denominations including second level subdivisions 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, the co-principal investigator of the World Religion Database, and co-author of the World Christian Encyclopedia series.
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.