Religion in the Republic of the Congo

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Religion in the Republic of the Congo (2013)[1]

  Christianity (50.0%)
  Islam (2.0%)
  Others (3.0%)

Christianity is the largest religion in Republic of the Congo, accounting for 50% of the total population. Other religions include Animism i.e., Traditional African religion and Islam (mainly Sunni).[2] The majority of Christians in the country are Catholic. Other denominations include Methodist, Seventh-day Adventist, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons), and Jehovah's Witnesses. Most Muslim workers in urban centers are immigrants from West Africa and Lebanon, with some also from North Africa. The West African immigrants arrived mostly from Mali, Benin, Togo, Mauritania, and Senegal. The Lebanese are primarily Sunni Muslims. There are also 6,000 followers of the Ahmadiyya school of Islam in the country.[3]

The remainder of the population is made up of practitioners of traditional indigenous religious beliefs, those who belong to various messianic groups, and those who practice no religion. A small minority of Christians practice Kimbanguism, a syncretistic movement that originated in the neighboring Democratic Republic of the Congo. While retaining many elements of Christianity, Kimbanguism also recognizes its founder (Simon Kimbangu) as a prophet and incorporates African traditional beliefs, such as ancestor worship.

Mystical or messianic practices (particularly among the ethnic Lari population in the Pool region) have been associated with opposition political movements, including some elements of the armed insurrection in the southern part of the country from 1997 to 2001. While the association persists, its influence has diminished considerably since 2003.