Irreligion in Ghana

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Irreligion in Ghana is difficult to measure in the country, as many citizens claim the Christian faith.[1][2] Many Atheists in Ghana are afraid to openly express their beliefs due to real or imagined threats of intimidation.[3] Most of the educational institutions also have some form of religious affiliations. This is evident in the names of schools like Presbyterian Boys School, Holy Child School and many others.[2] There is little atheism in Ghana.[4]

In the Ghana census taken in 2010, Christians make up 71.2% of the population, Islam 17.6%, Irreligion 5.3%, Traditional religion 5.2%.[5] Other faiths include Hinduism, Buddhism and Nichiren Buddhism, Taoism, Sōka Gakkai, Shintoism and Judaism.

Although it is believed that there are no atheists in Ghana, there is actually a group of outspoken atheists, freethinkers and skeptics who form the Humanists Association of Ghana. The group organized a humanists conference in November, 2012 which brought together humanists from around the world to discuss issues relevant to the advancement of humanism in Ghana.[6]

Another episode of an international humanist conference was hosted by the same organization in December, 2014. It featured discussions on many other topics which are relevant to humanism such as feminism, witchcraft accusations in West Africa and humanist ceremonies. Although the organization currently has barely fifty members and attracts little media coverage, work is still in progress to officially register the association and make it well known in the public arena.

Humanism is not a very well known philosophy in Ghana and many of the ideals of this philosophical stance are not even understood. This, coupled with Ghana's highly religious nature has made life quite tough for many unbelievers to communicate their opinions freely without fear of scorn or stigma. There have also been a few although significant debates by some humanists in the country about what should be considered core humanist principles and what should be shifted to the broad spectrum of secularity.[6]

Professing atheist or antireligious beliefs openly can lead to public outrage, such as when the popular hiplife artist Mzbel stated that Jesus was a fake.[7]


  1. ^ "Humanism In Ghana". Modern Ghana. Retrieved 2014-03-17. 
  2. ^ a b ZUCKERMAN, P. (2009). Atheism and Secularity. ABC-CLIO. p. 75. ISBN 9780313351822. 
  3. ^ "Humanists call for African age of "Enlightenment"". Reuters. Retrieved 2012-12-09. 
  4. ^ "Global Index of Religiosity and Atheism" (PDF). Gallup. Retrieved 2012-09-02. 
  5. ^ "Ghana - 2010 Population and Housing Census" (PDF). Government of Ghana. 2010. Retrieved 22 July 2013. 
  6. ^ a b "In world's most religious country, humanists rally for secular space". CS Monitor. Retrieved 2012-12-07. 
  7. ^ "Mzbel Gets Support -For Saying Jesus Christ Is Fake". Retrieved 2014-03-03.