Religion in Sierra Leone

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Religion in Sierra Leone (2009)[1][2]

  Islam (71.3%)
  Christianity (26.8%)
  Traditional African religion and others (1.9%)

Islam is the largest religion in Sierra Leone, with significant Christian and animist minorities. According to a 2009 estimate, 71.3% of the population is Muslim, 26.8% is Christian and 1.9% of the population is either animist or follows other religious beliefs.[1]

Other sources give different estimates. Muslims are estimated to comprise 60% of Sierra Leone's population according to the US Department of State,[3] while 20 to 30% are reported to be followers of Christianity, and 5 to 10% of the population practice indigenous animist beliefs.

The 2007 UNHCR's "Report on International Religious Freedom in Sierra Leone"[4] estimated 55% Muslim, 40% Christian and 5% other beliefs, with many citizens practising a mixture of Islam and traditional indigenous religious beliefs or Christianity and traditional indigenous beliefs. The Pew Research Center estimates the Muslim population at 78.0%.[5]

Islam in Sierra Leone[edit]

Further information: Islam in Sierra Leone

Muslims predominate in all of the country's three provinces and the Western Area, though formerly they were concentrated in the north with the south being mainly Christian.

The vast majority of Sierra Leonean Muslims are Sunni of Maliki school of jurisprudence; while small minorities are Shia and Ahmadiyya.


The vast majority of Sierra Leonean Christians are Protestants, of which the largest are Methodists[6][7] and Evangelicals.[8][9] Other Christian protestant denominations in the country include Presbyterian,[10] Baptists,[11] Seventh-day Adventist[12] and Lutheran[13]

Catholics are the second largest non protestant Christians division in Sierra Leone at about 5% of the country's population.[14] The Jehovah’s Witnesses,[15] Anglicans[16] and Latter-day Saints[17][18] form a small minority of the Christian population in Sierra Leone.

Religious freedom[edit]

The constitution of Sierra Leone provides for freedom of religion and the government generally protects this right and does not tolerate its abuse.[citation needed]