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Religion in Africa

Religion in Africa

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Religion in Africa is multifaceted. Most Africans adhere to either Christianity
Christianity in Africa
Christianity is now one of the two most widely practised religions in Africa and is the largest religion in Sub-Saharan Africa. Most adherents outside Egypt, Ethiopia and Eritrea are Roman Catholic or Protestant. The presence of Christianity in Africa began in the middle of the 1st century in...

  or Islam
Islam in Africa
From its beginning, Islam has been a central feature in Africa. Africa was the first continent into which Islam expanded, and it has become an integral part of many African cultures and histories. According to World Book Encyclopedia, Islam is the largest religion in Africa, followed by Christianity...

. Many adherents of either religion also practice African traditional religion
African Traditional Religion
The traditional religions indigenous to Africa have, for most of their existence, been orally rather than scripturally transmitted. They are generally associated with animism. Most have ethno-based creations stories...

s, with traditions of folk religion
Folk religion
Folk religion consists of ethnic or regional religious customs under the umbrella of an organized religion, but outside of official doctrine and practices...

 or syncretism
Syncretism
Syncretism is the combining of different beliefs, often while melding practices of various schools of thought. The term means "combining", but see below for the origin of the word...

 practised alongside an adherent's Christianity or Islam.

Judaism
African Jews
Some Jewish communities in Africa are among the oldest in the world, dating back more than 2700 years. African Jews have ethnic and religious diversity and richness. African Jewish communities include:...

 also has roots in Africa (especially Ethiopia
Beta Israel
Beta Israel Israel, Ge'ez: ቤተ እስራኤል - Bēta 'Isrā'ēl, modern Bēte 'Isrā'ēl, EAE: "Betä Ǝsraʾel", "Community of Israel" also known as Ethiopian Jews , are the names of Jewish communities which lived in the area of Aksumite and Ethiopian Empires , nowadays divided between Amhara and Tigray...

). According to biblical tradition, Israelites spent time in Egypt before the Exodus.

The original religions of many ethnic groups in Africa have been declining over the past century due to the influences of colonialism, acculturation and increasing proselytizing by Christian and Muslim practitioners.

African traditional religion


Africa encompasses a wide variety of traditional beliefs. Traditional religious customs are sometimes shared by many African societies, but they are usually unique to specific ethnic groups. Traditional African religions used to be adhered to by the majority of Africa
Africa
Africa is the world's second largest and second most populous continent, after Asia. At about 30.2 million km² including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of the Earth's total surface area and 20.4% of the total land area...

's population, however since the rapid expansion of Christianity
Christianity
Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings...

 and Islam
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

 they have become a minority across much of their own continent. Many African Christians and Muslims maintain some aspects of their original traditional religions.

Some indigenous African religions worship a single God (Chukwu
Chukwu
Chukwu is the infinitely powerful, undefinable, indefinable, absolute supreme deity encompassing everything in space and space itself, in traditional Igbo spiritual belief system and Igbo mythology. Linguistic studies suggest that the name "Chukwu" is a portmanteau of the Igbo words "Chi" and "Ukwu"...

, Nyame
Nyame
Nyame is the Sky god of the Ashanti people of Ghana and of the Akan,the leader of the Abosom, the Ashanti and Akan spirits and minor Gods.His wife is Asase Yaa goddess of earth and fate and they have two children, Tano,river god and Bia, goddess of wild animals.Also theyr children or servant and...

, Olodumare, Ngai
Ngai
Ngai is the supreme God in the religions of the Kamba, Kikuyu and Maasai nationalities of Kenya....

 etc.), and some recognize a dual or complementary twin God such as Mawu-Lisa. Obeisance can be paid to the primary God through lesser deities (Ogoun
Ogoun
In the Yoruba and Haitian traditional belief system, Ogun is a orisha and loa who presides over iron, hunting, politics and war. He is the patron of smiths, and is usually displayed with a number of attributes: a machete or sabre, rum and tobacco...

, Da
DA
DA, da, or dA may refer to:* Da , a Tony-winning play by Hugh Leonard* Da , a movie adaptation of the play by Hugh Leonard* Adi Da, a spiritual leader once known as Da Free John, and Da Love-Ananda...

, Agwu
Agwu (Deity)
Agwu Nsi, in Odinani, is the Alusi of health and divination. He is one of the concepts that was used by the Igbo to explain and understand good and evil, health and sickness, wealth and poverty, and fortune and misfortune. Belief in Agwu was widespread in Igboland in the past....

, Esu
Esu
-Universities:* Emporia State University* East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania* Empire State University, a fictional university in the Marvel Comics Universe.-Other meanings:* esu is the ISO 639-3 code for the Central Alaskan Yup'ik language...

, Mbari, etc.). Some societies also deify entities like the earth, the sun, the sea, lightning, or Nature
Nature
Nature, in the broadest sense, is equivalent to the natural world, physical world, or material world. "Nature" refers to the phenomena of the physical world, and also to life in general...

. Each deity can have its own priest
Priest
A priest is a person authorized to perform the sacred rites of a religion, especially as a mediatory agent between humans and deities. They also have the authority or power to administer religious rites; in particular, rites of sacrifice to, and propitiation of, a deity or deities...

 or priestess.Jacob Olupona and Charles E. Long, Editors, African Spirituality. New York: Cross Road Publishing Co., 2000. Sabine Jell-Bahlsen, The Water Goddess in Igbo Cosmology; Ogbuide of Oguta Lake. Trenton, NJ: Africa World Press, 2008.
The Ndebele
Ndebele
- Ethnic groups :*South Ndebele people, located in the South Africa*Northern Ndebele people, located in Zimbabwe, and Botswana- Languages :*Southern Ndebele language, the language of the South Ndebele...

 and Shona
Shona people
Shona is the name collectively given to two groups of people in the east and southwest of Zimbabwe, north eastern Botswana and southern Mozambique.-Shona Regional Classification:...

 ethnic groups of Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe is a landlocked country located in the southern part of the African continent, between the Zambezi and Limpopo rivers. It is bordered by South Africa to the south, Botswana to the southwest, Zambia and a tip of Namibia to the northwest and Mozambique to the east. Zimbabwe has three...

 have a trinity - a fundamental family group - made up of God the Father, God the Mother, and God the Son. Among the Fon
FON
Fon is a company that operates a system of dual access wireless networks. Fon is the largest Wi-Fi network in the world, with over 4 million hotspots....

 of West Africa and Benin, God, who is called "Vondu", is androgynous, with both male and female traits.

The Ewe
Ewe people
The Ewe are a people located in the southeast corner of Ghana, east of the Volta River, in an area now described as the Volta Region, in southern Togo and western Benin...

 people of southern Ghana
Ghana
Ghana , officially the Republic of Ghana, is a country located in West Africa. It is bordered by Côte d'Ivoire to the west, Burkina Faso to the north, Togo to the east, and the Gulf of Guinea to the south...

 have a conception of the high God as a female-male partnership. Mawu who is female is often spoken of as gentle and forgiving. Lisa who is male renders judgment and punishes. Among the Ewe it is believed that when Lisa punishes, Mawu may grant forgiveness. Here we see the complementarity of male and female that characterizes many of the traditional African religions.

The only example in Africa of a female high Goddess
Goddess
A goddess is a female deity. In some cultures goddesses are associated with Earth, motherhood, love, and the household. In other cultures, goddesses also rule over war, death, and destruction as well as healing....

 is among the Southern Nuba
Nuba
Nuba is a collective term used here for the peoples who inhabit the Nuba Mountains, in Sudan, Africa. Although the term is used to describe them as if they composed a single group, the Nuba are multiple distinct peoples and speak different languages...

 of Sudan
Sudan
Sudan , officially the Republic of the Sudan , is a country in North Africa, sometimes considered part of the Middle East politically. It is bordered by Egypt to the north, the Red Sea to the northeast, Eritrea and Ethiopia to the east, South Sudan to the south, the Central African Republic to the...

, whose culture has matriarchal traits. The Nuba conceive of the creator Goddess as the "Great Mother" who gave birth to earth and to mankind. (Mbiti, J.S., Introduction to African Religion, Oxford, 1975, p. 53.)

Polytheism
Polytheism
Polytheism is the belief of multiple deities also usually assembled into a pantheon of gods and goddesses, along with their own mythologies and rituals....

 in Africa has developed several times independently and in very different ways. For example in the case of ancient Egypt
Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

 where a pantheon
Pantheon (gods)
A pantheon is a set of all the gods of a particular polytheistic religion or mythology.Max Weber's 1922 opus, Economy and Society discusses the link between a...

 was worshipped or in the case of the Orisha
Orisha
An Orisha is a spirit or deity that reflects one of the manifestations of Olodumare in the Yoruba spiritual or religious system....

 religion in West Africa
West Africa
West Africa or Western Africa is the westernmost region of the African continent. Geopolitically, the UN definition of Western Africa includes the following 16 countries and an area of approximately 5 million square km:-Flags of West Africa:...

.

Abrahamic religions


The majority of Africans are adherents of Christianity
Christianity
Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings...

 or Islam
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

. Both religions are widespread throughout Africa. They have both spread at the expense of indigenous African religions, but are often adapted to African cultural contexts and belief systems. It was estimated in 2002 that Christians form 40% of Africa's population, with Muslims forming 45%.

Islam



According to the World Book Encyclopedia
World Book Encyclopedia
The World Book Encyclopedia is an encyclopedia published in the United States. It is self-described as "the number-one selling print encyclopedia in the world." The encyclopedia is designed to cover major areas of knowledge uniformly, but it shows particular strength in scientific, technical, and...

, Islam is the largest religion in Africa, with 47% of the population being Muslim, accounting for 1/4 of the world's Muslim population. Its historic roots in Africa stem from the time Muhammad
Muhammad
Muhammad |ligature]] at U+FDF4 ;Arabic pronunciation varies regionally; the first vowel ranges from ~~; the second and the last vowel: ~~~. There are dialects which have no stress. In Egypt, it is pronounced not in religious contexts...

 whose relatives and the epic followers migrated on a hijra to Abyssinia
Migration to Abyssinia
The migration known as the first Hijarat was made in two groups totalling more than a hundred persons. According to Islamic tradition, eleven male and five female Sahabah, the Muslims who originally converged in Mecca, sought refuge from Quraysh persecution in the Kingdom of Aksum in of in the...

 in fear of persecution from the pagan Arabs.

The main spread of Islam
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

 came with the invasion
Military conquests of Umar's era
Umar was the second Rashidun Caliph and reigned during 634-644. Umar's caliphate is notable for its vast conquests, aided by brilliant field commanders, he was able to incorporate present day Iraq, Iran, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia, Syria, Jordan, Palestine, Lebanon, Israel, Egypt, and part of...

 of Egypt
Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

 under Caliph Umar
Umar
`Umar ibn al-Khattāb c. 2 November , was a leading companion and adviser to the Islamic prophet Muhammad who later became the second Muslim Caliph after Muhammad's death....

, through the Sinai Peninsula
Sinai Peninsula
The Sinai Peninsula or Sinai is a triangular peninsula in Egypt about in area. It is situated between the Mediterranean Sea to the north, and the Red Sea to the south, and is the only part of Egyptian territory located in Asia as opposed to Africa, effectively serving as a land bridge between two...

 - followed by the rapid conquest of North Africa
North Africa
North Africa or Northern Africa is the northernmost region of the African continent, linked by the Sahara to Sub-Saharan Africa. Geopolitically, the United Nations definition of Northern Africa includes eight countries or territories; Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, South Sudan, Sudan, Tunisia, and...

 by the Arab armies - as well as through Islamic Arab
Arab
Arab people, also known as Arabs , are a panethnicity primarily living in the Arab world, which is located in Western Asia and North Africa. They are identified as such on one or more of genealogical, linguistic, or cultural grounds, with tribal affiliations, and intra-tribal relationships playing...

 and Persian traders and sailors.

Islam is the dominant religion in North Africa
North Africa
North Africa or Northern Africa is the northernmost region of the African continent, linked by the Sahara to Sub-Saharan Africa. Geopolitically, the United Nations definition of Northern Africa includes eight countries or territories; Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, South Sudan, Sudan, Tunisia, and...

 and the Horn of Africa
Horn of Africa
The Horn of Africa is a peninsula in East Africa that juts hundreds of kilometers into the Arabian Sea and lies along the southern side of the Gulf of Aden. It is the easternmost projection of the African continent...

, and it has also become the predominant and historical religion of the West African interior and the far west coast of the continent as well as the coast of East Africa
East Africa
East Africa or Eastern Africa is the easterly region of the African continent, variably defined by geography or geopolitics. In the UN scheme of geographic regions, 19 territories constitute Eastern Africa:...

. There have been several Muslim empires in Western Africa which exerted considerable influence, notably the Mali Empire
Mali Empire
The Mali Empire or Mandingo Empire or Manden Kurufa was a West African empire of the Mandinka from c. 1230 to c. 1600. The empire was founded by Sundiata Keita and became renowned for the wealth of its rulers, especially Mansa Musa I...

, which flourished for several centuries and the Songhai Empire
Songhai Empire
The Songhai Empire, also known as the Songhay Empire, was a state located in western Africa. From the early 15th to the late 16th century, Songhai was one of the largest Islamic empires in history. This empire bore the same name as its leading ethnic group, the Songhai. Its capital was the city...

, under the leadership of Sonni Ali
Sonni Ali
Sonni Ali, also known as Sunni Ali Ber or "Sunni Ali", was born Ali Kolon. He reigned from about 1464 to 1492. Sunni Ali was the first king of the Songhai Empire, located in west Africa and the 15th ruler of the Sonni dynasty...

 and Askia Mohammed.

The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community
Ahmadiyya Muslim Community
The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is the larger of two communities that arose from the Ahmadiyya movement founded in 1889 in India by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian . The original movement split into two factions soon after the death of the founder...

 is relatively modern community which is progressing relatively rapidly, particularly in West Africa.

Christianity


Christianity is now one of the two most widely practised religions in Africa and is the largest religion in Sub-Saharan Africa
Sub-Saharan Africa
Sub-Saharan Africa as a geographical term refers to the area of the African continent which lies south of the Sahara. A political definition of Sub-Saharan Africa, instead, covers all African countries which are fully or partially located south of the Sahara...

. Most adherents outside Ethiopia
Ethiopia
Ethiopia , officially known as the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, is a country located in the Horn of Africa. It is the second-most populous nation in Africa, with over 82 million inhabitants, and the tenth-largest by area, occupying 1,100,000 km2...

 and Eritrea
Eritrea
Eritrea , officially the State of Eritrea, is a country in the Horn of Africa. Eritrea derives it's name from the Greek word Erethria, meaning 'red land'. The capital is Asmara. It is bordered by Sudan in the west, Ethiopia in the south, and Djibouti in the southeast...

 are Roman Catholic or Protestant. Several syncretistic and messianic
Messianic
Messianic primarily means 'of the Messiah .Messianic may also mean:*Messianic Complex, a psychological state of mind*Messianic democracy, democracy by force*Messianic prophecies*MessianismMessianic may refer to:...

 sects have formed throughout much of the continent, including the Nazareth Baptist Church
Nazareth Baptist Church
Nazareth Baptist Church is an African Initiated Church founded by Isaiah Shembe 1910....

 in South Africa and the Aladura
Aladura
Aladura is a religion founded c.1922–1930 in West Nigeria by various people, with around 1 million adherents worldwide."Aladura" means "Praying People" in Yoruba....

 churches in Nigeria.There is also fairly widespread populations of Seventh Day Adventists and Jehovah's Witnesses
Jehovah's Witnesses
Jehovah's Witnesses is a millenarian restorationist Christian denomination with nontrinitarian beliefs distinct from mainstream Christianity. The religion reports worldwide membership of over 7 million adherents involved in evangelism, convention attendance of over 12 million, and annual...

. However, the oldest Christian denominations in Africa are the Coptic church in Egypt and the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church
Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church
The Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church is the predominant Oriental Orthodox Christian church in Ethiopia. The Ethiopian Church was administratively part of the Coptic Orthodox Church until 1959, when it was granted its own Patriarch by Coptic Orthodox Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of All...

 and the Eritrean Orthodox Tewahedo Church, all Oriental Orthodox, which rose to prominence in the fourth century AD after King Ezana the Great made Ethiopia one of the first Christian nations.

In the first few centuries of Christianity, Africa produced many figures who had a major influence outside the continent, including St Augustine of Hippo, St Maurice, Origen
Origen
Origen , or Origen Adamantius, 184/5–253/4, was an early Christian Alexandrian scholar and theologian, and one of the most distinguished writers of the early Church. As early as the fourth century, his orthodoxy was suspect, in part because he believed in the pre-existence of souls...

 Tertullian
Tertullian
Quintus Septimius Florens Tertullianus, anglicised as Tertullian , was a prolific early Christian author from Carthage in the Roman province of Africa. He is the first Christian author to produce an extensive corpus of Latin Christian literature. He also was a notable early Christian apologist and...

, and three Roman Catholic popes (Victor I
Pope Victor I
Pope Saint Victor I was Pope from 189 to 199 .Pope Victor I was the first bishop of Rome born in the Roman Province of Africa: probably he was born in Leptis Magna . He was later canonized...

, Miltiades
Pope Miltiades
Pope Saint Miltiades, also called Melchiades , was pope from 2 July 311 to 10 January 314.- Origins :He appears to have been a Berber African by birth, but of his personal history nothing is known.- Pontificate :...

 and Gelasius I), as well as the Biblical characters Simon of Cyrene
Simon of Cyrene
Simon of Cyrene was the man compelled by the Romans to carry the cross of Jesus as Jesus was taken to his crucifixion, according to all three Synoptic Gospels...

 and the Ethiopian eunuch
Ethiopian eunuch
The Ethiopian eunuch is a figure in the New Testament of the Bible. The story of his conversion to Christianity is recounted in Acts 8.-Biblical narrative:...

 baptised by St Philip the Evangelist.

Although Christianity existed in Ethiopia before the rule of King Ezana the Great of the Kingdom of Axum, the religion took a strong foot hold when it was declared a state religion in 330 AD. The earliest and best known reference to the introduction of Christianity to Africa is mentioned in the Christian Bible's Acts of the Apostles
Acts of the Apostles
The Acts of the Apostles , usually referred to simply as Acts, is the fifth book of the New Testament; Acts outlines the history of the Apostolic Age...

, and pertains to the evangelist Phillip's conversion of an Ethiopia
Ethiopia
Ethiopia , officially known as the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, is a country located in the Horn of Africa. It is the second-most populous nation in Africa, with over 82 million inhabitants, and the tenth-largest by area, occupying 1,100,000 km2...

n traveler in the 1st Century AD. Although the Bible refers to them as Ethiopians, scholars have argued that Ethiopia was a common term encompassing the area South-Southeast of Egypt.

Other traditions have the convert as a Jew who was a steward in the Queen’s court. All accounts do agree on the fact that the traveler was a member of the royal court who successfully succeeded in converting the Queen, which in turn caused a church to be built.

Rufinus of Tyre, a noted church historian, also has recorded a personal account as do other church historians such as Socrates and Sozemius.

After being shipwrecked and captured at an early age, Frumentius was carried to Axum where he was treated well with his companion Edesius. At the time, there was a small population of Christians living there who sought refuge from Roman persecution. Once of age, Frumentius and Edesius were allowed to return to their homelands, however they chose to stay at the request of the queen. In doing so, they began to secretly promote Christianity through the lands.

During a trip to meet with church elders, Frumentius met with Athanasius, Archbishop of Alexandria who was second in line to the pope. After recommending that a bishop be sent to proselytize, a council decided that Frumentius be appointed as a bishop to Ethiopia.

By 430 AD, Frumentius returned to Ethiopia, he was welcomed with open arms by the rulers who were at the time not Christian. Ten years later, through the support of the kings, the majority of the kingdom was converted and Christianity was declared the official state religion.

Rastafari movement


There are Rasta
Rastafari movement
The Rastafari movement or Rasta is a new religious movement that arose in the 1930s in Jamaica, which at the time was a country with a predominantly Christian culture where 98% of the people were the black descendants of slaves. Its adherents worship Haile Selassie I, Emperor of Ethiopia , as God...

 communities present in modern-day Africa. In the Ivory Coast presidential candidates tried to reach out to voters in the Rasta village of Port Bouet.

Judaism



Adherents of Judaism too can be found scattered across Africa. Perhaps not as well known as the history of Christianity and Islam in Africa to the outside observer, Judaism has an ancient and rich history on the African continent. Today, there are Jewish communities in many countries; including the Beta Israel
Beta Israel
Beta Israel Israel, Ge'ez: ቤተ እስራኤል - Bēta 'Isrā'ēl, modern Bēte 'Isrā'ēl, EAE: "Betä Ǝsraʾel", "Community of Israel" also known as Ethiopian Jews , are the names of Jewish communities which lived in the area of Aksumite and Ethiopian Empires , nowadays divided between Amhara and Tigray...

 of Ethiopia
Ethiopia
Ethiopia , officially known as the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, is a country located in the Horn of Africa. It is the second-most populous nation in Africa, with over 82 million inhabitants, and the tenth-largest by area, occupying 1,100,000 km2...

, the Abayudaya
Abayudaya
The Abayudaya are a Baganda community in eastern Uganda near the town of Mbale who practice Judaism. Although they are not genetically or historically related to other ethnic Jews, they are devout in their practice of the religion, keeping their version of kashrut, and observing Shabbat...

 of Uganda
Uganda
Uganda , officially the Republic of Uganda, is a landlocked country in East Africa. Uganda is also known as the "Pearl of Africa". It is bordered on the east by Kenya, on the north by South Sudan, on the west by the Democratic Republic of the Congo, on the southwest by Rwanda, and on the south by...

, the House of Israel in Ghana, the Igbo Jews
Igbo Jews
The Igbo Jews are members of the Igbo people of Nigeria who claim descent from Mediterranean Israelite migrants into Nigeria.-Argument for the Historical Migration of the Igbo Jews:...

 of Nigeria
Nigeria
Nigeria , officially the Federal Republic of Nigeria, is a federal constitutional republic comprising 36 states and its Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. The country is located in West Africa and shares land borders with the Republic of Benin in the west, Chad and Cameroon in the east, and Niger in...

 and the Lemba
Lemba
The Lemba or 'wa-Remba' are a southern African ethnic group to be found in Zimbabwe and South Africa with some little known branches in Mozambique and Malawi. According to Parfitt they are thought to number 70,000...

 of Southern Africa
Southern Africa
Southern Africa is the southernmost region of the African continent, variably defined by geography or geopolitics. Within the region are numerous territories, including the Republic of South Africa ; nowadays, the simpler term South Africa is generally reserved for the country in English.-UN...

.

Baha'i



Baha'i Faith is the 3rd most widespread organized Abrahamic religion in Africa after Islam
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

 and Christianity
Christianity
Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings...

. African Bahá'í Community statistics are also hard to come by. However, Africans have a long history with the Bahá'í Faith; several of the earliest followers of both the Báb and Bahá'u'lláh were reportedly African. From 1924 to 1960 the religion was declared one of the legally sanctioned faiths in Egypt
Religion in Egypt
Religion in Egypt controls many aspects of social life and is endorsed by law. The 2006 census counting method did not include religion, so the number of adherents of the different religions are usually rough estimates made by religious and non-governmental agencies.Egypt is predominantly Muslim,...

, but has since then been subject to restrictions and outright persecution by authorities and others
Human rights in Egypt
The state of human rights in Egypt remains poor due to repressive government policies and brutal government crackdowns.-Rights and liberties ratings:...


Hinduism



The history of Hinduism in Africa is, by most accounts, very short in comparison to that of Islam, Christianity, or Judaism. However, the presence of its practitioners in Africa dates back to pre-colonial times and even medieval times. There are also sizable Hindu populations in South Africa
South Africa
The Republic of South Africa is a country in southern Africa. Located at the southern tip of Africa, it is divided into nine provinces, with of coastline on the Atlantic and Indian oceans...

 and the Great Lakes
African Great Lakes
The African Great Lakes are a series of lakes and the Rift Valley lakes in and around the geographic Great Rift Valley formed by the action of the tectonic East African Rift on the continent of Africa...

 region.

Table

Country Christianity
% of total population
Islam
% of total population
Traditional religions
and other
% of total population
- Central Africa
Central Africa
Central Africa is a core region of the African continent which includes Burundi, the Central African Republic, Chad, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Rwanda....

 -
 Angola 95 0 5 http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/irf/2010/148660.htm
 Cameroon 69.2 20.9 9.9 http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/irf/2010/148669.htm
 Central African Republic 80.3 10.1 9.6 http://www.minplan-rca.org/pays
 Chad 34 53 13 https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/cd.html
 Democratic Republic of the Congo 95.6 1.5 2.9 http://www.minisanterdc.cd/fr/documents/eds.pdf
 Republic of the Congo 90.7 1.3 8 http://www.religiouslyremapped.info/others/fulldocument.pdf
 Equatorial Guinea 93 1 6 http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/irf/2010/148685.htm
 Gabon 73 10 17 http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/irf/2010/148690.htm
 São Tomé and Príncipe 97 2 1 http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/irf/2010/148715.htm
- East Africa
East Africa
East Africa or Eastern Africa is the easterly region of the African continent, variably defined by geography or geopolitics. In the UN scheme of geographic regions, 19 territories constitute Eastern Africa:...

 -
 Burundi 75 5 20 http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/irf/2010/148667.htm
 Comoros 2 98 0 https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/cn.html
 Kenya 78 10 12 https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/ke.html
 Madagascar 41 7 52 https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/ma.html
 Malawi 79.9 12.8 7.3 http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/irf/2007/90107.htm
 Mauritius 32.2 16.6 51.2 https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/mp.html
 Mayotte 3 97 0 https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/mf.html
 Mozambique 56.1 17.9 26 https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/mz.html
 Réunion 84.9 2.1 13 http://www.religiousintelligence.co.uk/country/?CountryID=151
 Rwanda 93.6 4.6 1.8 http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/irf/2007/90115.htm
 Seychelles 93.1 1.1 5.8 https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/se.html
 Tanzania 62 35 3 http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/irf/2009/127259.htm
 Uganda 84 12 4 http://www.ubos.org/onlinefiles/uploads/ubos/pdf%20documents/2002%20Census%20Final%20Reportdoc.pdf
 Zambia 87 1 12 http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/irf/2010/148728.htm
- Horn of Africa
Horn of Africa
The Horn of Africa is a peninsula in East Africa that juts hundreds of kilometers into the Arabian Sea and lies along the southern side of the Gulf of Aden. It is the easternmost projection of the African continent...

 -
 Djibouti 6 94 0 https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/dj.html
 Eritrea 62.5 36.5 1 http://www.measuredhs.com/pubs/pdf/FR137/FR137.pdf
 Ethiopia 62.8 33.9 3.3 http://www.csa.gov.et/pdf/Cen2007_firstdraft.pdf
 Somalia 0 100 0 https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/so.html
- North Africa
North Africa
North Africa or Northern Africa is the northernmost region of the African continent, linked by the Sahara to Sub-Saharan Africa. Geopolitically, the United Nations definition of Northern Africa includes eight countries or territories; Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, South Sudan, Sudan, Tunisia, and...

 -
 Algeria 1 99 0 https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/ag.html
 Egypt 10 90 0 https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/eg.html
 Libya 1 97 2 https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/ly.html
 Morocco 1.1 98.7 0.2 https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/mo.html
 Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic 0 100 0 https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/wi.html
50 0 50
 Sudan 3 97 0 https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/su.html
 Tunisia 1 98 1 https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/ts.html
- Southern Africa
Southern Africa
Southern Africa is the southernmost region of the African continent, variably defined by geography or geopolitics. Within the region are numerous territories, including the Republic of South Africa ; nowadays, the simpler term South Africa is generally reserved for the country in English.-UN...

 -
 Botswana 71.6 0.3 28.1 http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/irf/2007/90083.htm
 Lesotho 90 0 10 http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/irf/2007/90104.htm
 Namibia 90 0 10 http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/irf/2010/148710.htm
 South Africa 79.7 1.5 18.8 https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/sf.html
 Swaziland 90 1 9 http://www.unhcr.org/refworld/country,,,ANNUALREPORT,SWZ,456d621e2,48d5cbbe8,0.html
 Zimbabwe 84 1 15 http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/irf/2010/148729.htm
- West Africa
West Africa
West Africa or Western Africa is the westernmost region of the African continent. Geopolitically, the UN definition of Western Africa includes the following 16 countries and an area of approximately 5 million square km:-Flags of West Africa:...

 -
 Benin 42.8 24.4 32.8 http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/irf/2010/148662.htm
 Burkina Faso 23 61 16 http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/irf/2010/148665.htm
 Cape Verde 99 0 1 http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/irf/2010/148670.htm
 Côte d'Ivoire 32.8 38.6 28.6 https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/iv.html
 The Gambia 9 90 1 http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/irf/2010/148692.htm
 Ghana 69 15.6 15.4 http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/irf/2010/148693.htm
 Guinea 10 85 5 http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/irf/2010/148694.htm
 Guinea-Bissau 10 50 40 http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/irf/2010/148695.htm
 Liberia 85.6 12.2 2.2 https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/li.html
 Mali 5 90 5 http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/irf/2008/108379.htm
 Mauritania 0 100 0 http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/irf/2010/148705.htm
 Niger 5 90 5 http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/irf/2007/90113.htm
 Nigeria 48.2 50.4 1.4 http://pewforum.org/newassets/images/reports/Muslimpopulation/Muslimpopulation.pdf
 Senegal 5 94 1 https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/sg.html
 Sierra Leone 21 77 2 http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/irf/2010/148719.htm
 Togo 48 14 38 http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/irf/2010/148726.htm
  1. The most recent census data are used.

See also



  • Africa
    Africa
    Africa is the world's second largest and second most populous continent, after Asia. At about 30.2 million km² including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of the Earth's total surface area and 20.4% of the total land area...

  • African mythology
  • Buddhism by country
    Buddhism by country
    Obtaining exact numbers of practicing Buddhists can be difficult and may be reliant on the definition used. Adherents of Eastern religions such as Buddhism with local Animism, Chinese folk religion, Confucianism, Shinto, and Taoism often have beliefs composed of a mix of religious ideas...



External links