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National / Regional Profiles

Included Nations/Regions: Botswana [x], Southern Africa [x], The World [x]


Religion and State (RAS) Indexes1

Religion Indexes (Botswana)

State Funding of Religion
Summary categories: None (0/3), Low (1/3), Medium (2/3), High (3/3)

Ranking: 161/253
Societal Discrimination of Minority Religions
Summary categories: None (0/3), Low (1/3), Medium (2/3), High (3/3)

Ranking: 148/253
State Regulation of Majority or All Religions
Summary categories: None (0/3), Low (1/3), Medium (2/3), High (3/3)

Ranking: 156/253
State Discrimination of Minority Religions
Summary categories: None (0/3), Low (1/3), Medium (2/3), High (3/3)

Ranking: 145/253
For details on how these indexes were constructed, click here

Botswana: Major World Religions (1900 - 2050) (World Religion Database, 2020)2

The following groups with less than 1% of the population were hidden from this graph: Baha'is, Buddhists, Chinese folk-religionists, Hindus, Jews, Muslims, Nonreligious, Sikhs.


Botswana: Largest Religious Groups (1900 - 2050) (World Religion Database, 2020)2

The following groups with less than 1% of the population were hidden from this graph: Agnostics, Atheists, doubly-affiliated, Mahayanists, Orthodox, Saktists, Shaivites, Shias, Sunnis, Vaishnavites.


Religious Adherents (World Religion Database 2020)2

Religion Botswana
[x]
Southern Africa
[x]
The World
[x]
Baha'is 0.82% 0.50% 0.11%
Buddhists 0.06% 0.37% 6.83%
--Mahayanists 0.06% 0.37% 4.89%
--Theravadins --- --- 1.72%
--Lamaists --- --- 0.23%
Chinese folk-religionists 0.01% 0.16% 5.98%
Christians 70.05% 82.17% 32.16%
--unaffiliated Christians 21.63% 12.11% 1.46%
--Orthodox 0.00% 0.04% 3.75%
--Catholics 5.32% 8.43% 15.90%
--Protestants 12.33% 23.98% 7.51%
--Independents 34.23% 38.89% 5.00%
Daoists --- --- 0.11%
Confucianists --- 0.05% 0.11%
Ethnic religionists 28.46% 7.84% 3.65%
Hindus 0.14% 2.10% 13.58%
--Vaishnavites 0.04% 0.69% 5.15%
--Shaivites 0.05% 0.90% 4.86%
--Saktists 0.05% 0.51% 3.57%
Jains --- 0.00% 0.08%
Jews 0.02% 0.10% 0.19%
Muslims 0.27% 1.55% 24.20%
--Sunnis 0.27% 1.53% 21.56%
--Shias 0.01% 0.03% 2.44%
--Islamic schismatics --- --- 0.21%
New religionists --- 0.03% 0.85%
Shintoists --- --- 0.04%
Sikhs 0.01% 0.02% 0.34%
Spiritists --- 0.00% 0.19%
Zoroastrians --- --- 0.00%
Non-Religious 0.16% 5.09% 11.57%
--Agnostics 0.16% 4.85% 9.65%
--Atheists 0.01% 0.24% 1.92%

Religious demographics (Botswana)3

The country has an area of 224,710 square miles and a population of 1.7 million. An estimated 70 percent of citizens identify themselves as Christians. Anglicans, Methodists, and the United Congregational Church of Southern Africa make up the majority of Christians. There are also congregations of Lutherans, Roman Catholics, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons), Seventh-day Adventists, Jehovah's Witnesses, Baptists, the Dutch Reformed Church, Mennonites, and other Christian denominations. The country's Muslim community, primarily of South Asian origin, numbers slightly more than 5,000. There are small numbers of Hindus and Baha'is. Approximately 20 percent of citizens espouse no religion.

Religious services are well attended in both rural and urban areas.

Summary Information

Botswana
[x]
Southern Africa
[x]
The World
[x]
Region Southern Africa The World --
Total Population4 2,057,731 60,635,054 7,335,774,068
Area in square miles 224,607 1,031,985 196,939,900
Life Expectancy from birth, in years5 65.8 60.4 71.9
Gross National Income per capita, in current international dollars5 16,380.0 10,232.0 16,101.0
Description of Polity Score6 (democratic) -- --
Judicial Independence Composite Score, as average of scores for higher and lower courts7 1.0 1.1 0.8
Official Religion(s)8 None -- --

Religion and the State

Religion and State Collection (2014)

Botswana
[x]
Is proselytizing Legal?1 Yes
Is religious registration someties denied?1 Registration is required but sometimes denied
What are the consequences of registration?1 Groups are officially required to register, and the government enforces this and discriminates against unregistered groups.
Official Support: The formal relationship between religion and state.1 Accommodation
The extent to which religious education is mandatory in public schools.1 Mandatory, but upon specific request, a student may opt out of the course.
The extent to which funding is exclusive to one or a few religions.1 The government does not fund religion.
The extent to which there are religious requirements and oaths for holding office.1 There are no religious requirements or oaths necessary in order to hold office.

Constitutional Features [ View Excerpts]

Constitution

Botswana
[x]
Constitution Year10 1966
Last Amended10 2005
Source10 Constitute Project
Translation10 Original was written in English.
Current as of10 August 27, 2018

Socio-Economic Measures

Military Measures

Botswana
[x]
Southern Africa
[x]
The World
[x]
Composite Index of National Capability, in fraction of 117 0.0001817 0.00149238 0.005162584
2012 Military expenditure (% of GDP)5 2.3 1.4 --

Other Measures on Religion, State, and Society


Constitution Clauses Related to Religion


Constitution Excerpts (clauses that reference religion) (Botswana)10

Section 3. Fundamental rights and freedoms of the individual.

Whereas every person in Botswana is entitled to the fundamental rights and freedoms of the individual, that is to say, the right, whatever his or her … creed …, but subject to respect for the rights and freedoms of others and for the public interest to each and all of the following, namely—

[Here follow enumerated rights, including:]

(b) freedom of conscience …

Section 11. Protection of freedom of conscience.

(1) Except with his or her own consent, no person shall be hindered in the enjoyment of his or her freedom of conscience, and for the purposes of this section the said freedom includes freedom of thought and of religion, freedom to change his or her religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others, and both in public and in private, to manifest and propagate his or her religion or belief in worship, teaching, practice and observance.

(2) Every religious community shall be entitled, at its own expense, to establish and maintain places of education and to manage any place of education which it wholly maintains; and no such community shall be prevented from providing religious instruction for persons of that community in the course of any education provided at any place of education which it wholly maintains or in the course of any education which it otherwise provides.

(3) Except with his or her own consent (or, if he or she is a minor, the consent of his or her guardian) no person attending any place of education shall be required to receive religious instruction or to take part in or attend any religious ceremony or observance if that instruction, ceremony or observance relates to a religion other than his or her own.

(4) No person shall be compelled to take any oath which is contrary to his or her religion or belief or to take any oath in a manner which is contrary to his or her religion or belief.

(5) Nothing contained in or done under the authority of any law shall be held to be inconsistent with or in contravention of this section to the extent that the law in question makes provision which is reasonably required—

(a) in the interests of defence, public safety, public order, public morality or public health; or

(b) for the purpose of protecting the rights and freedoms of other persons, including the right to observe and practise any religion without the unsolicited intervention of members of any other religion, and except so far as that provision or, as the case may be, the thing done under the authority thereof is shown not to be reasonably justifiable in a democratic society.

Section 15. Protection from discrimination on the grounds of race, etc.

[Prohibits discriminatory legislation or treatment]

(3) In this section, the expression "discriminatory" means affording different treatment to different persons, attributable wholly or mainly to their respective descriptions by … creed … whereby persons of one such description are subjected to disabilities or restrictions to which persons of another such description are not made subject or are accorded privileges or advantages which are not accorded to persons of another such description.

(4) Subsection (1) of this section shall not apply to any law so far as that law makes provision—

(c) with respect to adoption, marriage, divorce, burial, devolution of property on death or other matters of personal law;

(d) for the application in the case of members of a particular … community or tribe of customary law with respect to any matter whether to the exclusion of any law in respect to that matter which is applicable in the case of other persons or not; …

Variable Details

  • For more details on State Funding of Religion (FUN_4CAT) see this document.
  • For more details on Societal Discrimination of Minority Religions (SOC_4CAT) see this document.
  • For more details on State Regulation of Majority or All Religions (NXX_4CAT) see this document.
  • For more details on State Discrimination of Minority Religions (MXX_4CAT) see this document.
  • Sources

    1 The Religion and State (RAS) Project is a university-based project located at Bar Ilan University in Ramat Gan, Israel and is directed by Jonathan Fox. Round 3 of the RAS includes all countries with populations of 250,000 or more as well as a sampling of smaller states and offers annual measures from 1990 to 2014. The methods used for conducting the RAS3 collection and the complete codebook can be reviewed online. Or, the codebook and data file can be downloaded free of charge here. For details on how the RAS indexes reported on the ARDA’s National Profiles were coded, constructed, and placed into categories, click here.

    2 Todd M. Johnson and Brian J. Grim, eds. World Religion Database (Leiden/Boston: Brill, 2022).

    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.

    4 The Religious Characteristics of States Dataset Project: Demographics reports the estimates of religious demographics, both country by country and region by region. The RCS was created to fulfill the unmet need for a dataset on the religious dimensions of countries of the world, with the state-year as the unit of observation. It estimates populations and percentages of adherents of 100 religious denominations including second level subdivision 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 co-principal investigator of the World Religion Database.

    5 Relying on agencies from each country, as well as a synthesis of data from United Nations divisions, Eurostate Demographic statistics, the U.S. Census international database, and its own data collection, the World Bank's Open Data site offers free and open access to data about development in countries around the globe.

    6 The Center for Systemic Peace (CSP) is engaged in innovative research on the problem of political violence within the structural context of the dynamic global system. The Center supports scientific research and quantitative analysis in many issue areas related to the fundamental problems of violence in both human relations and societal-systemic development processes. The Center continually monitors political behavior in each of the world's major states and reports on emerging issues and persisting conditions related to the problems of political violence and "state failure." A dataset with these and other international measures can be downloaded from here. Used with permission. *Note: Polity Scores range from -10 to 10 and include the following categories: -10 to -9: strongly autocratic, -8 to -7 autocratic, -6 to -4 weakly autocratic, -3 to +3 anocratic, +4 to +6 weakly democratic, +7 to +8 democratic, +9 to +10 strongly democratic.

    7 Varieties of Democracy (V-Dem) is a new approach to conceptualizing and measuring democracy. V-Dem provides a multidimensional and disaggregated dataset that reflects the complexity of the concept of democracy as a system of rule that goes beyond simple presence of elections. The V-Dem project distinguishes between seven high-level principles of democracy: electoral, liberal, participatory, deliberative, egalitarian, majoritarian, and consensual, and collects data to measure these principles. A dataset with these and other international measures can be downloaded from here. Used with permission.

    8 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.

    9 Data under the "Features of Constitution" heading are drawn from coding of the U.S. State Department's 2008 International Religious Freedom Reports conducted by researchers at the Association of Religion Data Archives. The article by Brian Grim and Roger Finke describes the coding of the International Religious Freedom reports. A dataset with these and the other international measures highlighted on the country pages can be downloaded from this website. Used with permission.

    10 Text from country constitutions was copied from primary documents obtained online using a variety of sources, including the Constitute Project, World Constitutions Illustrated, and government sources. When the text was in a language other than English, it was translated to English by ARDA staff or with web-based translation utilities such as Google Translate. Emphases were added to the text by ARDA staff to differentiate religious content from non-religious content. Text is current to the date listed in the "Current as of" field shown above. Please contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you are aware of any incorrect information provided on this page.

    11 Freedom House is an independent non-governmental organization that offers measures of the extent to which governments are accountable to their own people; the rule of law prevails; and freedoms of expression, association, belief and respect for the rights of minorities and women are guaranteed. A dataset with these and the other international measures highlighted on the country pages can be downloaded from this website. Used with permission.

    12 The CIA's World Factbook was created as an annual summary and update to the now defunct National Intelligence Survey (NIS) studies. The first classified Factbook was published in August 1962, and the first unclassified version was published in June 1971. The NIS program was terminated in 1973 except for the Factbook, map, and gazetteer components. The 1975 Factbook was the first to be made available to the public with sales through the US Government Printing Office (GPO). The year 2010 marks the 67th year of the World Factbook and its predecessor programs. The maps and flags are also from the World Factbook, which is an open source.

    13 Relying on agencies from each country, as well as a synthesis of data from United Nations divisions, Eurostate Demographic statistics, the U.S. Census international database, and its own data collection, the World Bank's Open Data site offers free and open access to data about development in countries around the globe.

    14 The Heritage Foundation/Wall Street Journal Index of Economic Freedom is a systematic, empirical measurement of economic freedom in countries throughout the world. A set of objective economic criteria are used to study and grade various countries for the annual publication of the Index of Economic Freedom. A dataset with these and the other international measures highlighted on the country pages can be downloaded from this website. Used with permission.

    15 The United Nations Human Development Reports provide data and statistical analysis in various areas of human development. The Human Development Report (HDR) presents two types of statistics: the human development indicator tables, which provide a global assessment of country achievements in different areas of human development, and thematic statistical analysis. A dataset with these and the other international measures highlighted on the country pages can be downloaded from this website. Used with permission.

    16 The 2013 Gender Inequality Index is a composite measure reflecting inequality in achievements between women and men in three dimensions: reproductive health, empowerment and the labor market. It varies between zero (when women and men fare equally) and one (when men or women fare poorly compared to the other in all dimensions). The health dimension is measured by two indicators: maternal mortality ratio and the adolescent fertility rate. The empowerment dimension is also measured by two indicators: the share of parliamentary seats held by each sex and by secondary and higher education attainment levels. The labor dimension is measured by women’s participation in the work force. Source: The United Nations Human Development Reports provide data and statistical analysis in various areas of human development. The Human Development Report (HDR) presents two types of statistics: the human development indicator tables, which provide a global assessment of country achievements in different areas of human development, and thematic statistical analysis. A dataset with these and the other international measures highlighted on the country pages can be downloaded from this website. Used with permission.

    17 Military data is drawn from the National Material Capabilities (v4.0) dataset, which is a component of and hosted by the Correlates of War Project. The Correlates of War Project seeks to facilitate the collection, dissemination, and use of accurate and reliable quantitative data in international relations. Correlates of War data may be accessed through the above link. Used with permission.

    18 The article by Brian Grim and Roger Finke describes the coding of the U.S. State Department's International Religious Freedom reports. The 2003, 2005, and 2008 reports were coded by researchers at the Association of Religion Data Archives. The GRI, GFI and SRI values reported on the National Profiles are averages from the 2003, 2005, and 2008 International Religious Freedom reports, while the Religious Persecution measure is an average from the 2005 and 2008 reports. All other measures derived from the International Religious Freedom reports were coded from the reports 2008. A data file with all of the 2008 coding, as well as data files with other cross national collections are available for preview and download from the data archive on this site. Used with permission.

    19 The Cingranelli-Richards (CIRI) Human Rights Dataset contains standards-based quantitative information on government respect for 15 internationally recognized human rights for 202 countries, annually from 1981-2011. It is designed for use by scholars and students who seek to test theories about the causes and consequences of human rights violations, as well as policy makers and analysts who seek to estimate the human rights effects of a wide variety of institutional changes and public policies including democratization, economic aid, military aid, structural adjustment, and humanitarian intervention. The full CIRI Human Rights Dataset can be accessed through the above link. Used with permission.

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