Religion in Arunachal Pradesh

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Religion in Arunachal Pradesh (2011)[1]

  Christianity (30.26%)
  Hinduism (29.04%)
  Donyi-Polo (26.2%)
  Tibetan Buddhism (11.76%)
  Islam (1.9%)
  Other (0.84%)

Owing to its ethnic and cultural diversity, religion in Arunachal Pradesh has been a spot for the syncretism of different traditional religions. Much of the native populations follow indigenous religions which have been systematised (generally following Hindu models) under the definition "Donyi-Polo" (Sun-Moon) since the spread of Christianity in the region by Western missionaries in the second half of the 20th century. The province is also home to a substantial Tibetan population in the north and northwest who follow Tibetan Buddhism, of ethnic groups who subscribe to Hinduism, and other religious populations. Christianity is followed by over 30% of the population, mostly by natives.


  • Christian: 418,732 (30.26%)
  • Hindu: 401,876 (29.04%)
  • Others (mostly Donyi-Polo): 362,553 (26.2%)
  • Buddhist: 162,815 (11.76%)
  • Muslim: 27,045 (1.9%)
  • Sikh: 1,865 (0.1%)
  • Jain: 216 (<0.1%)
  • Hindu: 379,935 (34.6%)
  • Others (mostly Donyi-Polo): 337,399 (30.7%)
  • Christian: 205,548 (18.7%)
  • Buddhist: 143,028 (13.0%)
  • Muslim: 20,675 (1.9%)
  • Sikh: 1,865 (0.1%)
  • Jain: 216 (<0.1%)

Conversion, migration and loss of traditional beliefs[edit]

Since the Christian missionaries had set foot in the state of Arunachal Pradesh, there has been a lot of change in beliefs resulting in conversion. The traditional belief of Donyi-Poloism has emerged as a self-conscious systematic movement since large numbers of Arunachali natives were converted to Christianity. Conversion into Christianity has been a fast process and now Christians form the major religious group in the state.

There as also been significant RSS activity in Arunachal Pradesh to merge animist faiths into the fold of Hinduism. Many followers of indigenous faiths are starting to oppose this move of the RSS and try to maintain their animistic faiths outside of Hinduism.

Migration too has been playing a major role in the changing of the religious demography of Arunachal Pradesh. The coming of Muslim populations in search of jobs and better livelihood has contributed to the growth of an Islamic community.


  1. ^ a b "Population by religious community - 2011". 2011 Census of India. Office of the Registrar General & Census Commissioner. Archived from the original on 25 August 2015. Retrieved 25 August 2015. 
  2. ^ 2001 Indian census' religion statistics