Congo, Republic of the
 National Profiles > Regions > Middle Africa > Congo, Republic of the
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  Preferred Religion (2015)1: Catholic

  Majority Religion (2015)2: Catholic (52.9%)

Religious Adherents, (2015)2

Congo, Republic of the Middle Africa World
Christian (all denominations combined) 88.5% 79.9% 29.9%
 
  • Catholic
  • 52.9% 48% 15%
     
  • Protestant
  • 16.7% 14.8% 5.6%
     
  • Pentecostal
  • 10.6% 10.5% 2.8%
     
  • Other and Unknown Christian
  • 8.3% 6.2% 2.3%
    Ethnoreligionist (incl. Animist, Shamanist) 4.7% 6.3% 2.5%
    Muslim (all denominations combined) 1.2% 9.6% 22.8%
     
  • Sunni Muslim
  • 1.2% 6.7% 19%
    Bahai 0.6% 0.4% 0.1%
    Neoreligionist 0.2% --- 0.1%
    Shintoist 0.2% --- 0.5%
    Other Religionist < 0.1% 0.2% 0.2%
    Not Religious (incl. Atheist) 3% 0.8% 12%
    Unknown 1.4% 2.9% 4.8%

    Religious Demography3

    The country has an area of 132,000 square miles and a population between 2.8 million and 3.2 million. Approximately half of its citizens are Christian. An estimated 90 percent of the Christians are Roman Catholic; others include Methodists, Seventh-day Adventists, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons), and Jehovah's Witnesses. There is a growing Muslim community, estimated at 2 percent of the population. Most Muslim workers in urban centers are immigrants from West Africa, Lebanon, and North Africa. The West African Muslim immigrants arrived mainly from Mali, Benin, Togo, Mauritania, and Senegal. The Lebanese are primarily Sunni Muslims. There is also a significant Chadian Muslim population.

    The remainder of the population is made up of practitioners of traditional indigenous religious beliefs, those who belong to various messianic groups, and those who practice no religion. A small minority of Christians practice Kimbanguism, a syncretistic movement that originated in the neighboring Democratic Republic of the Congo.

    Mystical or messianic practices (particularly among the ethnic Lari population in the Pool region) have been associated with opposition political movements, including some elements of the armed insurrection in the southern part of the country from 1997 to 2003.


    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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