Want to understand religion in Africa? Then the map above is a good place to start. Basically, Islam dominates the North and East of the continent, while Christianity dominates the South and West, whith other native and folk religions being scattered throughout.
The data comes from the Pew Research Center and it shows that Christians make up 50.9% of Africa’s population, followed by Muslims at 43.3% and others with 5.8%. It’s important to note that the reality on the ground is much more complicated than this map would have you think.
The map just shows what religion is predominant in a given area and doesn’t show the share of the population that actually follows it. Like the rest of the world, migration and demography mean that the situation is constantly evolving. Just have a look at this Incredibly Detailed Map Of The World’s Religions.
For example, did you know that there are somewhere between 4 to 8 million Egyptian Christians who are estimated to be around 10% of Egypt’s population. Or that Ethiopia, one of the first countries in the world to adopt Christianity as state religion, is only 63% Christian and 34% Muslim.
However, it’s Nigeria that is perhaps the most interesting. While not only the largest country in Africa in terms of population (over 180 million) it’s also almost evenly divided between Muslims (50%) and Christians (48%).
And finally, in case you’re wondering, that Christian enclave in Madagascar is centred on Antananarivo, the current capital and the base of French colonial rule in the past.
Want to learn more about Religion in Africa? Then have a look at the following books:
- How Africa Shaped the Christian Mind: Rediscovering the African Seedbed of Western Christianity
- Muslim Societies in African History
- African Religions: A Very Short Introduction
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hey, is this image copyrighted. I am currently writing a book of African countries and would like to feature the in my work. If i can not, please just say.
please don’t. This report is incorrect
Bruno Faidutti says
I remember thirty years ago, when I used to live in Togo, religion was the standard discussion topic with taxi drivers, and the most common affiliation was “I’m christian, muslim and animist because, you know, better take all chances”. So this map is wrog at least for west africa, which should probably not be a pusszle but a superposition of all three colors.
That is a common joke in British history.
A missionary comes to a king and asks him to covert to Christianity. The King looks back. The Missionary gets the idea and hands over a cross. The King is excited and takes the missionary behind a curtain where lots of idols are lined up. He places it amongst the idols. The Missionary is confused and asks if he will not throw the idols away. The King shakes his head and says that “one of the gods must be the real one. So with all these I am bound to be successful.”
The Church learnt that by placing scribes among the court they could influence the king, offer administrative services and send the kings sons to Rome for an education.
The Church became involved in warfare and destroyed kings who were not Christian , or just stubborn to leave tradition.
It was a stitch up, went the Christian Frank overwhelmed the Saxons. 2000 men had their eyes gouged out at the Capital and the tribe was reduced to just 40,000 women and children. A priest was placed up stream of a river and blessed the river. The people were driven to the other side and were baptised.
Ethiopia is mostly Christian by a big portion so this map is wrong. Ethiopian orthodox without the protestants is more and islam let alone adding the two together
This is very wrong. Ethiopia is a Christian country even though there are Muslims. Stop posting things you aren’t sure of. Specially about what is not yours.
You even said it that 63% are Christians in Ethiopia, then why you color it green? Seriously, you need to check out the whole map again. . .probably you have mistaken others too.
A random lad says
I’m sorry, but the only thing you proved is that you and many others are very ignorant of the actual demographics of Ethiopia. Just because Christians make up 62% of the population does not mean that they make up a majority in all regions of Ethiopia, some areas are more sparsely populated than others. Take for example the Somali region which has a population of 5.3 million and has an area of about 279,252 km2, 98% of its population are Muslim. Despite having a smaller size of about 154,708.96km2, the Amhara region is inhabited by over 20.4 million people, 5 times bigger than in the Somali region and 82.5% of its population are Christian.
In future, please do some research before you post instead of having a temper tantrum over some flaw that does not exist.
The Ethiopian Empire is Christian in the populated Highlands but the surrounding deserts are Muslim. If Somalia were not fighting Jihadists Ethiopia would be much smaller today. I am sorry it is right.
I agree with the people that previously commented, because I am Ethiopian and I can tell you that Christians in Ethiopia are greater than half , around 62%, while Muslim only represent 1/3 of our society. Just to let you know, because there are many false situations promoted about Africa, so I might as well try and inform the people.
Gordon David Dudgeon says
Madagascar. It is a Christian Exclave . Not a Christian Enclave.