Religion in Lesotho

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Christianity is the dominant religion in Lesotho.[1] The Christian Council of Lesotho, made up of representatives of all major Christian churches in the country, estimates that approximately 90 percent of the population are Christian.[1] Lesotho Protestants represent 45% of the population (Evangelicals 26%, and Anglican and other Christian groups an additional 19 %.),[1] Roman Catholics represent 45 percent of the population, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Baha'i, and members of traditional indigenous religions comprise the remaining 10 percent of the population.[1]

While Christians can be found throughout the country, Muslims live primarily in the northeast.[1] Most practitioners of Islam (mainly Sunni) are of Asian origin, while the majority of Christians are members of the indigenous Basotho.[1] Many Christians practice their traditional cultural beliefs and rituals along with Christianity.[1] The Catholic and Anglican Churches have fused some aspects of local culture into their services; for example, the singing of hymns during services has developed into a traditional call and response in Sesotho—the indigenous language—as well as English.[1] Indigenous religious beliefs also influence Songoma, a form of traditional medicine.[1]

Missionaries are active in the country.[1] The Constitution provides for freedom of religion, and the Government generally respects this right in practice.[1] In 2007, the US received no reports of societal abuses or discrimination based on religious belief or practice.[1]

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  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l International Religious Freedom Report 2007: Lesotho. United States Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor (September 14, 2007). This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.