- Religious Freedom
- Religious Regulation
- Religious Support
Preferred Religion (2015)1: Western Christian
Majority Religion (2015)2: Catholic (24%)
Religious Adherents, (2015)2
|Christian (all denominations combined)||47%||79.9%||29.9%|
|Ethnoreligionist (incl. Animist, Shamanist)||19.3%||6.3%||2.5%|
|Muslim (all denominations combined)||14.8%||9.6%||22.8%|
|Not Religious (incl. Atheist)||1.5%||0.8%||12%|
The country has an area of 183,568 square miles and a population of 18.1 million. Forty percent of the population is Christian, 20 percent Muslim, and 40 percent practices traditional indigenous religious beliefs. The Christian population is equally divided between Roman Catholics and Protestants.
Christians are concentrated primarily in the southern and western provinces and Muslims reside in every province. Large cities have significant populations of both groups. The two Anglophone provinces of the western region are largely Protestant and the Francophone provinces of the southern and western regions are mostly Catholic. In the northern provinces, the locally dominant Fulani (or Peuhl) ethnic group is mostly Muslim, but the overall population is fairly evenly divided between Muslims, Christians, and animists. The Bamoun ethnic group of the West Province is largely Muslim. Traditional indigenous religious beliefs are practiced in rural areas throughout the country, but are rarely practiced publicly in cities, in part because many of these groups are intrinsically local in character.
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.