- Religious Freedom
- Religious Regulation
- Religious Support
Preferred Religion (2015)1: Catholic
Majority Religion (2015)2: Catholic (56.4%)
Religious Adherents, (2015)2
|Christian (all denominations combined)||93.4%||79.9%||29.9%|
|Ethnoreligionist (incl. Animist, Shamanist)||4.4%||6.3%||2.5%|
|Muslim (all denominations combined)||1.1%||9.6%||22.8%|
|Other Religionist||< 0.1%||---||---|
|Not Religious (incl. Atheist)||1%||0.8%||12%|
The country has an area of 481,351 square miles and a population of 16 million. The majority of the population is Christian, and of those, Roman Catholics are the largest religious group. The Catholic Church estimates that 55 percent of the population is Catholic, but this figure cannot be verified. Data from the National Institute for Religious Affairs (INAR) indicates African Christian denominations make up 25 percent of the population; 10 percent of the population follows a major Protestant tradition, such as Methodist, Baptist, Congregationalist (United Church of Christ), and Assembly of God; and 5 percent belongs to various Brazilian Evangelical churches. A small portion of the rural population practices animism or traditional indigenous religions. There is also a small Muslim community, estimated at 80,000-90,000 adherents, composed largely of migrants from West Africa and families of Lebanese origin.
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.