Eritrea
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  Preferred Religion (2015)1: Orthodox

  Majority Religion (2015)2: Sunni Muslim (50.3%)

Religious Adherents, (2015)2

Eritrea Eastern Africa World
Muslim (all denominations combined) 51.6% 22.1% 22.8%
 
  • Sunni Muslim
  • 50.3% 19.8% 19%
     
  • Shia Muslim
  • 1.3% 1.4% 3.4%
    Christian (all denominations combined) 46.3% 65.3% 29.9%
     
  • Orthodox
  • 42.9% 10.7% 3%
     
  • Catholic
  • 2.3% 20.1% 15%
     
  • Protestant
  • 1% 15.8% 5.6%
     
  • Other and Unknown Christian
  • 0.1% 2.7% 2.3%
    Ethnoreligionist (incl. Animist, Shamanist) 0.6% 8.7% 2.5%
    Other Religionist < 0.1% 0.1% 0.2%
    Not Religious (incl. Atheist) 1.4% 0.5% 12%

    Religious Demography3

    The country has an area of 48,489 square miles and a population of 3.6 million. Although reliable statistics are not available, it is estimated that 50 percent of the population is Sunni Muslim, 30 percent is Orthodox Christian, and 13 percent is Roman Catholic. Groups that constitute less than 5 percent of the population include Protestants, Seventh-day Adventists, Jehovah's Witnesses, Buddhists, Hindus, and Baha'is. Approximately 2 percent of the population practice traditional indigenous religions. The population in the eastern and western lowlands is predominantly Muslim and predominantly Christian in the highlands. Religious participation is high among all ethnic groups.


    Sources

    1.  The Religious Characteristics of States Dataset Project: Government Religious Preference (GRP) measures government-level favoritism toward, and disfavor against, 30 religious denominations. A series of ordered categorical variables index the state's institutional favoritism in 28 different ways. The variables are combined to form five composite indices for five broad components of state-religion: official status, religious education, financial support, regulatory burdens, and freedom of practice. The five components' composites in turn are further combined into a single composite score, the GRP score. The RCS Data Project would like to acknowledge, recognize, and express our deepest gratitude for the significant contributions of Todd M. Johnson, the principal investigator of the World Christian Database, the co-principal investigator of the World Religion Database, and co-author of the World Christian Encyclopedia series.

    2.  The Religious Characteristics of States Dataset Project: Demographics reports annual estimates of religious demographics, both country by country and region by region. It estimates populations and percentages of adherents of 100 religious denominations including second level subdivisions within Christianity and Islam. The RCS Data Project would like to acknowledge, recognize, and express our deepest gratitude for the significant contributions of Todd M. Johnson, the principal investigator of the World Christian Database, the co-principal investigator of the World Religion Database, and co-author of the World Christian Encyclopedia series.

    3.  The U.S. State Department's International Religious Freedom Report is submitted to Congress annually by the Department of State in compliance with Section 102(b) of the International Religious Freedom Act (IRFA) of 1998. This report supplements the most recent Human Rights Reports by providing additional detailed information with respect to matters involving international religious freedom. It includes individual country chapters on the status of religious freedom worldwide. A dataset with these and the other international measures highlighted on the country pages can be downloaded from this website. These State Department reports are open source.

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