- Religious Freedom
- Religious Regulation
- Religious Support
Preferred Religion (2015)1: Sunni
Majority Religion (2015)2: Shia Muslim (59%)
Religious Adherents, (2015)2
|Muslim (all denominations combined)||99%||83.4%||22.8%|
|Christian (all denominations combined)||0.1%||5.6%||29.9%|
|Other Religionist||< 0.1%||0.3%||0.2%|
|Not Religious (incl. Atheist)||0.1%||1.2%||12%|
The country has an area of 328,100 square miles and a population of 20 million.
Virtually all citizens are Muslims, predominantly belonging to either the Zaydi order of Shi'a Islam or to the Shafa'i order of Sunni Islam. While there are no available statistics, estimates are that the Zaydis make up 45 percent and the Shafa'is make up 55 percent of the population. There are a few thousand Ismaili Muslims who reside mainly in the north. There are reportedly 150 Baha'is.
Jews are the only indigenous non-Muslim religious minority. Nearly all of the once-sizable Jewish population has emigrated. Fewer than 400 Jews remain in the northern part of the country, primarily in Amran Governorate. Since January 2007 the historic Saada Governorate community of 45 Jews has lived in Sana'a, under the protection and care of the Government, after abandoning their homes in the face of threats from al-Houthi rebels. The community has abandoned its synagogues in Saada. There is at least one functioning synagogue in Amran Governorate.
There are an estimated 3,000 Christians throughout the country, most of whom are refugees or temporary foreign residents. There are four churches in Aden, three Roman Catholic and one Anglican. There are approximately 40 Hindus living in Aden who trace their origins to India. Aden also has one Hindu temple.
Among religious minorities, approximately 1,000 Christians and most Jews actively participated in some form of formal religious service or ritual, although not always in a public place of worship.
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.