Christianity in Niger

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Christianity in Niger was brought with French colonial institutions, and its adherents include local believers from the educated, the elite, and colonial families, as well as immigrants from neighboring coastal countries, particularly Benin, Togo, and Ghana.[1] Christians, both Roman Catholics and Protestants, account for less than 5 percent of the population—one estimate has Christians at 0.4% and Evangelicals at 0.1%[2]—and are mainly present in the regions of Maradi and Dogondoutchi, and in Niamey and other urban centers with expatriate populations.[1] Current estimates place the current Christian population at about 56,000 individuals with projected growth resulting in about 84,500 Christians by the year 2025.[3]

Foreign Christian missionary organizations are active in the country,[1] continuing a tradition dating back to the colonial period. The first Catholic mission was founded in 1931, while the first Protestant missionaries came to Zinder in 1924 and to Tibiri a few years later. In the late 1970s there were some 12,000 Catholic and 3,000 Protestant converts in Niger, with the remaining Christian population made up of foreigners.[4] A 2015 study estimates some 4,500 believers in Christ from a Muslim background residing in Niger.[5]

2015 prostests[edit]

In January 2015, churches and Christian-owned shops were targeted in protests over the publications of the Charlie Hebdo issue No. 1178 in France. The publication sparked riots in the Nigerien city of Zinder,[6] Maradi and Gouré,[7][8] which resulted in attacks on churches, Christian-owned shops and a French cultural center. Muslim crowds demonstrating against Muhammad's depiction attacked and set alight French businesses and churches with incendiary devices in Niamey.[9] According to President Mahamadou Issoufou at least ten people were killed over two days of protests.[10]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c International Religious Freedom Report 2010: Niger. 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.
  2. ^ Operation World[unreliable source]
  3. ^ World Christian Database,, accessed 3-3-2011
  4. ^ James Decalo. Historical Dictionary of Niger. Scarecrow Press/ Metuchen. NJ — London (1979) ISBN 0-8108-1229-0 pp. 156-7, 193-4.
  5. ^ Johnstone, Patrick; Miller, Duane Alexander (2015). "Believers in Christ from a Muslim Background: A Global Census". IJRR. 11: 14. Retrieved 20 November 2015. 
  6. ^ BBC: Charlie Hebdo: 'Four dead' in Niger protest
  7. ^ Reuters: Five killed in second day of Charlie Hebdo protests in Niger
  8. ^ The Guardian: Niger rioters torch churches and attack French firms in Charlie Hebdo protest
  9. ^ BBC: Charlie Hebdo: Niger protesters set churches on fire
  10. ^ Gul, Ayaz (17 January 2015). "Anti-'Charlie Hebdo' Violence Spreads; Death Toll at 10 in Niger". VOA News. Retrieved 17 January 2015.