Bangladesh
 National Profiles > Regions > South-Central Asia > Bangladesh
Search National Profiles:

  Preferred Religion (2015)1: Muslim

  Majority Religion (2015)2: Sunni Muslim (88%)

Religious Adherents, (2015)2

Bangladesh South-Central Asia World
Muslim (all denominations combined) 90.3% 36.2% 22.8%
 
  • Sunni Muslim
  • 88% 27.3% 19%
     
  • Shia Muslim
  • 2.1% 8.6% 3.4%
     
  • Other and Unknown Muslim
  • 0.1% 0.3% 0.3%
    Hindu 7.7% 56.1% 14.5%
    Buddhist (all denominations combined) 0.6% 1.6% 6.6%
     
  • Theravada Buddhist
  • 0.4% 0.9% 1.6%
     
  • Other and Unknown Buddhist
  • 0.2% 0.6% 0.5%
    Christian (all denominations combined) 0.5% 2.2% 29.9%
     
  • Catholic
  • 0.2% 0.7% 15%
     
  • Protestant
  • 0.2% 0.7% 5.6%
     
  • Other and Unknown Christian
  • 0.1% 0.3% 2.3%
    Ethnoreligionist (incl. Animist, Shamanist) 0.5% 0.4% 2.5%
    Other Religionist < 0.1% < 0.1% 0.2%
    Not Religious (incl. Atheist) 0.1% 1.1% 12%
    Unknown 0.2% 0.7% 4.8%

    Religious Demography3

    The country has an area of 55,126 square miles, and its population is 154 million. According to the 2001 census, Sunni Muslims constitute 89.7 percent of the population and Hindus account for 9.2 percent. The rest of the population is mainly Christian (mostly Roman Catholic) and Theravada-Hinayana Buddhist. Ethnic and religious minority communities often overlapped and were concentrated in the Chittagong Hill Tracts and northern regions. Buddhists are found predominantly among the indigenous (non-Bengali) populations of the Chittagong Hill Tracts. Bengali and ethnic- minority Christians lived in many communities across the country; in cities such as Barisal City, Gournadi in Barisal District, Baniarchar in Gopalganj, Monipuripara in Dhaka, Christianpara in Mohakhal, Nagori in Gazipur, and Khulna City. There also are small populations of Shi'a Muslims, Sikhs, Baha'is, Animists, and Ahmadis. Estimates of their numbers varied from a few thousand to 100 thousand adherents per group. There was no indigenous Jewish community, nor a significant immigrant Jewish population. Religion was an important part of community identity for citizens, including those who did not participate actively in prayers or services.

    The majority of individuals classified as foreign residents are returned Bangladeshi émigrés, who practice Islam. There are approximately 30,000 Rohingyan refugees practicing Islam in the southeast around Cox′s Bazar. There was no reliable estimate of the number of missionaries. Several faith-based nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) operated in the country.


    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.

    Bookmark and Share