Religion in Liberia

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Religion in Liberia (2008)[1]

  Christianity (85.5%)
  Islam (12.2%)
  Animism (0.5%)
  Others and Irreligious (1.8%)

According to the 2008 National Census, 85.5% of Liberia's population practices Christianity.[2] Muslims comprise 12.2% of the population, largely coming from the Mandingo and Vai ethnic groups.[2] The vast majority of Muslims are Malikite Sunni, with sizeable Shia and Ahmadiyya minorities.[3] Traditional indigenous religions are practiced by 0.5% of the population, while 1.8% subscribe to no religion.[2]

Christian denominations include the Lutheran, Baptist, Episcopal, Presbyterian, Roman Catholic, United Methodist, African Methodist Episcopal (AME) and AME Zion denominations, and a variety of Pentecostal churches. Some of the Pentecostal movements are affiliated with churches outside the country, while others are independent. There are also members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) and Seventh-day Adventists. Christians live throughout the country.

The Muslim population is mainly found among the Mandingo and Vai ethnic groups. Vai live predominantly in the west, but Mandingo reside throughout the country. Ethnic groups in all regions participate in the traditional religious practices of the Poro and Sande secret societies.

The Bahá'í Faith in Liberia begins with the entrance of the first member of the religion in 1952[4] By the end of 1963 there were five assemblies[5] and Liberian Bahá'ís elected their first National Spiritual Assembly in 1975.[6] The community was somewhat disrupted by the First Liberian Civil War[7] but re-established their National Spiritual Assembly in 1998.[8] Almost 9,500 Bahá'ís are believed to have been in Liberia in 2006.[9]

A large number of foreign missionary groups work openly and freely in the country. The Constitution provides for freedom of religion, and the Government generally respects this right in practice. Despite frequent interaction among religious groups, some tensions remain. Some societal abuses or discrimination based on religious belief or practice occur.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "International Religious Freedom Report 2010: Liberia". United States Department of State. November 17, 2010. Retrieved July 22, 2011. 
  2. ^ a b c "International Religious Freedom Report 2010: Liberia". United States Department of State. November 17, 2010. Retrieved July 22, 2011. 
  3. ^ "The World's Muslims: Unity and Diversity". Pew Forum on Religious & Public life. August 9, 2012. Retrieved March 31, 2014. 
  4. ^ L. Holman, Donna (2006-08-04). "Focus on spirituality". The Times and Democrat, Orangeburg, SC. 
  5. ^ Compiled by Hands of the Cause Residing in the Holy Land. "The Bahá'í Faith: 1844-1963: Information Statistical and Comparative, Including the Achievements of the Ten Year International Bahá'í Teaching & Consolidation Plan 1953-1963". pp. 50, 99–100. 
  6. ^ Locke, Hugh C. (1983). "In Memoriam". Bahá'í World, Vol. XVIII: 1979-1983. pp. 778–9, 624, 626, 629. 
  7. ^ Hansen, Holly. "Overview of Bahá'í Social and Economic Development". Bahá'í World, 1992-93. pp. 229–245. 
  8. ^ Universal House of Justice (April 2000). "Ridvan 1998". Published Documents from the Universal House of Justice. Bahá'í Library Online. Retrieved 2008-11-15. 
  9. ^ "Republic of Liberia". Operation World. Paternoster Lifestyle. 2006. Retrieved 2008-11-15.