Religion in Guinea-Bissau

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Religion in Guinea-Bissau[1][2]
religion percent
Men in Islamic garb, Bafatá, Guinea-Bissau.

Throughout the 20th century, most Bissau-Guineans practiced some form of Animism. Recently, many have adopted Islam, which is currently practiced by 50% of the country's population; most of Guinea-Bissau's Muslims have Malikite Sunni denomination, with Shia and Ahmadiyya minorities.[3]

Approximately 10% of the country's population belong to the Christian community, and 40% continue to hold Indigenous beliefs. These statistics can be misleading, however, as both Islamic and Christian practices may be largely influenced by syncretism with traditional African beliefs.[1][2] Islam is practiced most widely by the Fula and Mandinka ethnic groups, and Muslims generally live in the north and northeast.[4]

Practitioners of traditional indigenous religious beliefs generally live in all but the northern parts of the country.[4] Christians belong to a number of groups, including the Roman Catholic Church (including Portuguese Guinea-Bissauans) and various Protestant denominations.[4] Christians are concentrated in Bissau and other large towns.[5]

Foreign missionaries operate in the country without restriction.[6] The Constitution provides for freedom of religion, and the Government generally respected this right in practice.[7] In 2007, the US government received no reports of societal abuses or discrimination based on religious belief or practice.[8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Guinea-Bissau. CIA the World Factbook. Retrieved on 5 February 2012.
  2. ^ a b "Guinea-Bissau", Encyclopædia Britannica
  3. ^ "The World's Muslims: Unity and Diversity" (PDF). Pew Forum on Religious & Public life. August 9, 2012. Retrieved February 22, 2014. 
  4. ^ a b c International Religious Freedom Report 2007: Guinea-Bissau. United States Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor (September 14, 2007). This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
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