- Religious Freedom
- Religious Regulation
- Religious Support
Preferred Religion (2015)1: Sunni
Majority Religion (2015)2: Sunni Muslim (87%)
Religious Adherents, (2015)2
|Muslim (all denominations combined)||96.8%||36.2%||22.8%|
|Christian (all denominations combined)||1.1%||2.2%||29.9%|
|Other Religionist||0.3%||< 0.1%||0.2%|
|Not Religious (incl. Atheist)||1.9%||1.1%||12%|
The country has an area of 55,300 square miles and a population of more than 7 million. An estimated 97 percent of citizens consider themselves Muslims, although the degree of religious observance varies widely. Overall, active observance of Islam appears to be increasing steadily, especially among city residents and those under the age of 20. The vast majority of Muslim inhabitants adhere to the Hanafi school of Sunni Islam. Approximately 4 percent of Muslims are Shi'a, the majority of whom are Ismailis. Most Ismailis reside in the remote eastern Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous region as well as certain districts of the southern Khatlon region and in Dushanbe, the capital. An unregistered Muslim group, the Salafis, has taken on a more prominent profile in recent years, particularly in Dushanbe, Sughd, and Khatlon. An estimated 5,000 Salafis practice in the country, which has aroused the concern of the Government.
There are 85 non-Muslim groups registered with the Department of Religious Affairs (DRA) at the Ministry of Culture. Approximately 150,000 Christians, mostly ethnic Russians and other Soviet-era immigrant groups, reside in the country. The largest Christian group is Russian Orthodox, but other registered organizations include Baptists (five organizations), Roman Catholics (two), Seventh-day Adventists (one), Jehovah's Witnesses (one), Lutherans (no data available), and Korean Protestants, which include the SunMin Church (two). The DRA previously estimated the number of Christian converts since independence at up to 3,000 persons. Other religious minorities include Baha'is (four registered organizations), Zoroastrians (no data available), and Jews (one). Each of these groups is very small, and nearly all their members live in Dushanbe or other large cities. An estimated 0.01 percent of the population is atheist or does not belong to any religious denomination.
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.