Religion in South Sudan
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Religious beliefs in South Sudan
- There are conflicting reports on the adherence to religion in South Sudan, though all agree that the three main groups are Christians, adherents to indigenous religions, and Muslims. In contrast to their northern neighbors, the South Sudanese President Kiir, a Roman Catholic, stated that South Sudan would be a nation which respects the freedom of religion. (Speaking at Saint Theresa Cathedral in Juba).
Majority adhere to indigenous or traditional religion and large Christian population
- US Department of State and other scholarly sources
- The U.S. Department of State sources and other scholarly work  state that a majority of southern Sudanese maintain indigenous (sometimes referred to as Animist) beliefs, and those who follow Christianity are a minority (albeit an influential one). According to the Federal Research Division of the US Library of Congress: "in the early 1990s possibly no more than 10 percent of southern Sudan's population was Christian". In the early 1990s, official records of Sudan as a whole (Sudan and South Sudan) showed that a large percentage hold to traditional religions (17%) and Christianity (8%) (though both located mainly in the south, some also at Khartoum). Among Christians, most are Catholic Church and Anglican, though other denominations are also active, and animist beliefs are often blended with Christian beliefs. If this is true, it would make South Sudan one of few countries in the world where a majority follow indigenous religion.
Majority of people are Christian, with a large indigenous religious population
- Christian Groups
- In addition to news sources, the Anglican and Catholic churches claim large membership. The US Episcopal Church claimed 2 million members in 2005 in the Episcopal Church of the Sudan. The most recent Pew Research Forum on Religion and Public Life estimated that in 2010, there were 6.010 million Christians (60.46%), 3.270 million traditional African religion followers, 610,000 Muslims and 50,000 unaffiliated (no known religion) of of a total 9,940,000 people in South Sudan. (data from December 18, 2012).
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- The Pew Forum - Religious Composition by Country
- "South Sudan To Respect Freedom Of Religion Says GOSS President | Sudan Radio Service". Sudanradio.org. 21 February 2011. Retrieved 9 July 2011.
- "South Sudan profile". BBC News. 8 July 2011. Retrieved 9 July 2011.
- "Background Note: Sudan" U.S. Department of State 9 November 2010 Retrieved 8 December 2010
- Kaufmann, E.P. Rethinking ethnicity: majority groups and dominant minorities. Routledge, 2004, p. 45.
- Minahan, J. Encyclopedia of the Stateless Nations: S-Z. Greenwood Press, 2002, p. 1786.
- Arnold, G. Book Review: Douglas H. Johnson, The Root Causes of Sudan's Civil Wars. African Journal of Political Science Vol.8 No. 1, 2003, p. 147.
- Sudan: A Country Study Federal Research Division, Library of Congress – Chapter 2, Ethnicity, Regionalism and Ethnicity
- Christianity, in A Country Study: Sudan, U.S. Library of Congress.
- "More than 100 dead in South Sudan attack-officials" SABC News 21 September 2009 Retrieved 5 April 2011
- Hurd, Emma "Southern Sudan Votes To Split From North" Sky News 8 February 2011 Retrieved 5 April 2011
- "How many Anglicans are there in the Anglican Church in North America?"
- Pew Forum on Religion
- "BBC News - South Sudan profile". British Broadcasting Corporation. 8 July 2011. Retrieved 9 July 2011.
- Michael Pflanz (7 July 2011). "South Sudan independence: thousands of peacekeepers to be sent to prevent it becoming failed state". London: The Telegraph. Retrieved 9 July 2011.