Burkina Faso
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Burkina Faso - Major World Religions2




Burkina Faso - Largest Religious Groups2


  Preferred Religion (2015)1: Mixed Catholic, Sunni

  Majority Religion (2015)2: Sunni Muslim (57.9%)

Religious Adherents, (2015)2

Burkina Faso Western Africa World
Muslim 60.1% 50.51% 22.98%
 
  • Sunni
  • 60.1% 45% 19.28%
    Christian 26.44% 37.91% 29.88%
     
  • Catholic
  • 19.89% 11.76% 14.95%
     
  • Protestant
  • 8.71% 27.42% 9.58%
    Indigenous 7.82% 9.77% 2.5%
    Not Religious 0.33% 0.29% 12.1%
     
  • Unspecified Not Religious
  • 0.33% 0.27% 10.11%
    Bahai 0.02% 0.07% 0.11%

    Religious Demography3

    The country has an area of 105,689 square miles and a population of 14.3 million. The Government estimated in the 1996 census that approximately 60 percent of the population practices Islam, and that the majority of this group is Sunni. The Government also estimated that 24 percent of the population maintains exclusively traditional indigenous beliefs, 17 percent are Roman Catholic, and 3 percent are members of various Protestant denominations.

    Statistics on religious affiliation are approximate because the majority of citizens practice traditional indigenous religious beliefs to varying degrees, and strict adherence to Christian and Muslim beliefs is often nominal.

    Muslims reside largely in the northern, eastern, and western border regions, while Christians live in the center of the country. Persons practice traditional indigenous religious beliefs throughout the country, especially in rural communities. Ouagadougou, the capital, has a mixed Muslim and Christian population. Bobo-Dioulasso, the second largest city, is mostly Muslim. Small Syrian and Lebanese immigrant communities reside in the two largest cities and are more than 90 percent Christian.

    There are more than 60 different ethnic groups. Most are religiously heterogeneous, although the Fulani and Dioula communities are overwhelmingly Muslim.


    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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