Religion in Burkina Faso

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Religion in Burkina Faso (2006)[1]

  Islam (60.5%)
  Christianity (23.2%)
  Animism (15.3%)
  Irreligious and Others (1.0%)

Burkina Faso is religiously diverse society with Islam being the dominant religion. According to recent census (2006) conducted by Government of Burkina Faso, 60.5% of the population adheres to Islam. The vast majority of Muslims in Burkina Faso are Malikite Sunni, deeply influenced with Sufism.[2][3] Shi'a branch of Islam also has small presence in the country. A significant number of Sunni Muslims identify with the Tijaniyah Sufi order. The Government also estimated that 23.2% practices Christianity (19.0% being Roman Catholic, 4.2% being Protestant), 15.3% follow Animism i.e., African Traditional Religion, 0.6% have other religions and 0.4% have none.[2][3]


Statistics on religion in Burkina Faso are inexact, because Islam and Christianity are often practiced in tandem with African traditional religions. The Government of Burkina Faso stated in its most recent census (2006) that 60.5% of the population practice Islam, and that the majority of this group belong to the Sunni branch,[2][3] while a growing minority adheres to the Shi'a branch. A significant number of Sunni Muslims identify with the Tijaniyah Sufi order. The Government also estimated that some 23.2% are Christians (19% being Roman Catholics and 4.2% members of various Protestant denominations), 15.3% follow Traditional indigenous beliefs, 0.6% have other religions, and 0.4% have none (atheism is virtually nonexistent).[2][3]

This shows the large level of acceptance of the various religions amongst each other. Even for Muslims and Christians, ancient African Traditional Religion rites are still highly valued. The Great Mosque of Bobo-Dioulasso was built by people of all faiths working together.

Statistics on religious affiliation are approximate because Syncretism, incorporating traditional indigenous beliefs and practices, is widespread among both Christians and Muslims.[3] The majority of citizens practice traditional indigenous religious beliefs to varying degrees, and strict adherence to Christian and Muslim beliefs is often nominal.[3] Almost all citizens are believers and atheism is virtually nonexistent.


Muslims reside largely around the northern, eastern, and western borders, while Christians live in the center of the country.[3] People practice traditional indigenous religious beliefs throughout the country, especially in rural communities.[3] Ouagadougou, the capital, has a mixed Muslim and Christian population; however, Bobo-Dioulasso, the country's second largest city, is mostly Muslim.[3] Small Syrian and Lebanese immigrant communities reside in the 2 largest cities and are overwhelmingly (more than 90 percent) Christian.[3]


There are more than 60 different ethnicities in the country.[3] Most ethnic groups are religiously heterogeneous, although the Fula and Dioula communities are majority Muslim.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ général de la population et de l'habitation de 2006|author=Comité national du recensement |date=July 2008|work=|publisher=Conseil national de la statistique|accessdate=20 January 2011}}
  2. ^ a b c d Comité national du recensement (July 2008). "Recensement général de la population et de l'habitation de 2006". Conseil national de la statistique. Retrieved 20 January 2011. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l International Religious Freedom Report 2010: Burkina Faso. United States Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor (November 17, 2010). This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.