Sierra Leone
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  Preferred Religion (2015)1: Sunni

  Majority Religion (2015)2: Sunni Muslim (71.4%)

Religious Adherents, (2015)2

Sierra Leone Western Africa World
Muslim (all denominations combined) 71.6% 50.5% 22.8%
 
  • Sunni Muslim
  • 71.4% 45% 19%
     
  • Shia Muslim
  • 0.2% 4% 3.4%
     
  • Other and Unknown Muslim
  • < 0.1% 1.5% 0.3%
    Christian (all denominations combined) 12.9% 37.9% 29.9%
     
  • Catholic
  • 4.4% 10.8% 15%
     
  • Pentecostal
  • 3.9% 8.3% 2.8%
     
  • Protestant
  • 3.3% 11.4% 5.6%
     
  • Anglican
  • 0.3% 6.7% 1.2%
     
  • Other and Unknown Christian
  • 1% 0.7% 2.3%
    Ethnoreligionist (incl. Animist, Shamanist) 11.3% 9.8% 2.5%
    Bahai 0.3% --- 0.1%
    Other Religionist 0.1% 0.1% 0.2%
    Not Religious (incl. Atheist) 0.1% 0.3% 12%
    Unknown 3.6% 1% 4.8%

    Religious Demography3

    The country has an area of 29,925 square miles and a population of 6 million. The Inter-Religious Council (IRC) estimates that 60 percent of the population is Muslim, 20 to 30 percent Christian, and 5 to 10 percent indigenous and other religious beliefs, mostly animist. There are small numbers of Baha'is, Hindus, and Jews.

    Many citizens practiced a mixture of Islam or Christianity with traditional indigenous religious beliefs.

    Historically, most Muslims have been concentrated in the northern areas of the country, and Christians in the south; however, the 11-year civil war, which officially was declared over in 2002, resulted in movement between regions by large segments of the population.


    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, 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.

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