Islam in Suriname
|Islam by country|
According to the official data, the Muslim population of Suriname represents about 13.9 percent of the country's total population as of 2012, which is the highest percentages of Muslims on the South American continent. Though the majority belong to the Sunni interpretation of Islam and some syncretic sects such as Sufism and Javanese Kejawèn.
Some speculate that Muslims first came to Suriname as slaves from West Africa and then were converted to Christianity over time, even though there is little proof for these speculations. The ancestors of the actual Muslim population came to the country as indentured laborers from South Asia and Indonesia, from whom today most Muslims in Suriname are descended.
Because Islam came to Suriname with immigrants from Indonesia (Java) and South Asia (today India, Pakistan and Bangladesh), who brought their local form of Islam to Suriname, it is strongly influenced by these regions. Apart from descent, most Surinamese Muslims also share the same culture and speak the same languages. Suriname has a small number of Afghan Muslims and their native-born children.
There are 75,053 Muslims in Suriname, according to the 2012 census. This number is up from 66,307 Muslims in 2004. However, the share of Muslims declined from 19.6% to 13.9% in the last half-century. The main reason for the declining share of Muslims in Suriname is the mass conversion of Ahmadi Muslims of Javanese descent to Christianity in the last years. Between 1971 and 2012 the share of Christianity among ethnic Javanese people grew from 9% to 21% (+12%), while that of Javanese Muslims decreased from 85% to 67% (-18%). The share of Muslims of Indo-Surinamese descent decreased from 17% to 13% in the same period (-4%), mainly because of emigration to the Netherlands and declining fertility rates. The share of Muslims among Maroon people doubled from 0.1% to 0.2%.
|Year ||Suriname (population)||Muslim population||Share (%)|
|Islam by ethnic group as of 2012|
|Others and indefinable||10,561||412||3.9%|
|Share of Muslims by district according to 2004 Census|
|District||Percent of Muslims|
- The Afghan muslims of Guyana and Suriname
- (in Dutch) MOZAÏEK VAN HET SURINAAMSE VOLK: VOLKSTELLINGEN IN DEMOGRAFISCH, ECONOMISCH EN SOCIAAL PERSPECTIEF  page 121
- Muslim Population in the Americas: 1950 – 2020  page 7
- Member States of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation Archived 2013-12-09 at the Wayback Machine