National / Regional Profiles

Included Nations/Regions: Algeria [x], Northern Africa [x], The World [x]


Religion and State (RAS) Indexes1

Religion Indexes (Algeria)

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

Ranking: 68/253
Societal Discrimination of Minority Religions
Summary categories: None (0/3), Low (1/3), Medium (2/3), High (3/3)

Ranking: 60/253
State Regulation of Majority or All Religions
Summary categories: None (0/3), Low (1/3), Medium (2/3), High (3/3)

Ranking: 22/253
State Discrimination of Minority Religions
Summary categories: None (0/3), Low (1/3), Medium (2/3), High (3/3)

Ranking: 20/253
For details on how these indexes were constructed, click here

Algeria: 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, Christians, Jews.


Algeria: 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: Atheists, Catholics, Independents, Islamic schismatics, Mahayanists, Orthodox, Protestants, unaffiliated Christians.


Religious Adherents (World Religion Database 2020)2

Religion Algeria
[x]
Northern Africa
[x]
The World
[x]
Baha'is 0.01% 0.02% 0.11%
Buddhists 0.02% 0.01% 6.83%
--Mahayanists 0.02% 0.01% 4.89%
--Theravadins --- 0.01% 1.72%
--Lamaists --- --- 0.23%
Chinese folk-religionists 0.03% 0.01% 5.98%
Christians 0.29% 4.74% 32.16%
--unaffiliated Christians 0.00% 0.02% 1.46%
--Orthodox 0.00% 3.62% 3.75%
--Catholics 0.01% 0.58% 15.90%
--Protestants 0.03% 0.54% 7.51%
--Independents 0.25% 0.11% 5.00%
Daoists --- --- 0.11%
Confucianists --- --- 0.11%
Ethnic religionists --- 0.49% 3.65%
Hindus --- 0.00% 13.58%
--Vaishnavites --- 0.00% 5.15%
--Shaivites --- 0.00% 4.86%
--Saktists --- 0.00% 3.57%
Jains --- --- 0.08%
Jews 0.00% 0.00% 0.19%
Muslims 98.38% 94.00% 24.20%
--Sunnis 98.38% 93.62% 21.56%
--Shias --- 0.15% 2.44%
--Islamic schismatics 0.00% 0.22% 0.21%
New religionists --- --- 0.85%
Shintoists --- --- 0.04%
Sikhs --- 0.00% 0.34%
Spiritists --- --- 0.19%
Zoroastrians --- --- 0.00%
Non-Religious 1.27% 0.73% 11.57%
--Agnostics 1.25% 0.65% 9.65%
--Atheists 0.02% 0.07% 1.92%

Religious demographics (Algeria)3

The country has an area of 919,595 square miles and a population of 35 million. More than 99 percent of the population is Sunni Muslim. There is a small community of Ibadi Muslims in the province of Ghardaia. Official data on the number of Christian and Jewish citizens is not available; however, practitioners estimated their combined number at 50,000. The vast majority of Christians and Jews fled the country following independence from France in 1962. Many of those who remained emigrated in the 1990s due to acts of terrorism committed by Muslim extremists. According to Christian community leaders, evangelical Christians, mostly in the Kabylie region, account for the largest number of Christians, followed by Methodists and members of other Protestant denominations, Roman Catholics, and Seventh-day Adventists. A significant proportion of Christian foreign residents are students and illegal immigrants from sub-Saharan Africa seeking to reach Europe; their numbers are difficult to estimate.

For security reasons, due mainly to the civil conflict, Christians concentrated in the large cities of Algiers, Annaba, and Oran in the mid-1990s.

During the reporting period, the press frequently reported that Christian proselytizing had resulted in significant numbers of Muslims in the Kabylie region converting to Christianity. However, Christian sources reported those figures as exaggerated and the Government estimated the number of conversions that took place in 2007 at 140. Reporting suggests that citizens, not foreigners, make up the majority of those actively proselytizing in Kabylie.

Since 1994 the Jewish community has diminished to virtual nonexistence due to fears of terrorist violence. The Jewish community was not active, and the synagogues remained closed.

In Algiers church services are primarily attended by members of the diplomatic community, expatriate Western businesspersons, sub-Saharan African migrants, and a few local Christians.

Summary Information

Algeria
[x]
Northern Africa
[x]
The World
[x]
Region Northern Africa The World --
Total Population4 40,504,375 205,113,992 7,335,774,068
Area in square miles 919,595 3,291,406 196,939,900
Life Expectancy from birth, in years5 75.9 72.4 71.9
Gross National Income per capita, in current international dollars5 14,720.0 9,794.0 16,101.0
Description of Polity Score6 (anocratic) -- --
Judicial Independence Composite Score, as average of scores for higher and lower courts7 -1.3 0.0 0.8
Official Religion(s)8 Sunni Islam -- --

Algeria - Google Map


Religion and the State

Religion and State Collection (2014)

Algeria
[x]
Is proselytizing Legal?1 No
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 Active State Religion
The extent to which religious education is mandatory in public schools.1 Mandatory for all; the course must be in religion.
The extent to which funding is exclusive to one or a few religions.1 Government funding of religion goes primarily to one religion but at least some other religions receive some funds.
The extent to which there are religious requirements and oaths for holding office.1 Some government officials (other than head of state church and the like) must meet some form of religious requirements to hold office.

Constitutional Features [ View Excerpts]

Constitution

Algeria
[x]
Constitution Year10 1989
Last Amended10 2016
Source10 Constitute Project
Translation10 Source is an English translation.
Current as of10 September 7, 2018

Public Opinion (Algeria)

(Calculated by the ARDA from the World Values Survey)11
2002 2013
Religious Affiliation/Identification
Percent belonging to a religious denomination. --- 100
Percent identifying as a religious person. 59 84.2
Religious Behaviors
Percent attending religious services at least once a month. 50.1 53.5
Percent praying to God more than once per week. --- 81.8
Percent that meditate or pray. --- 3.1
Religious Beliefs
Percent believing in God. 99.8 100
Percent believing in heaven. 99.8 ---
Percent believing in hell. 98.8 99.6
Percent believing in life after death. 99.8 ---
Percent believing that there are clear guidelines on good and evil. 78.4 ---
Percent believing that politicians who do not believe in God are unfit for public office. 38.2 ---
Percent believing that religious leaders should not influence people's vote. 39.7 ---
Percent believing that things would be better if there are more people with strong religious beliefs. --- 64.7
Percent that think that religious faith is an important quality in children --- 37.4
Percent that agree: We depend too much on science and not enough on faith 97.6 ---
Percent believing church gives answers to people's spiritual needs. --- 85
Percent that do not trust people of other religions 89.7 ---
Percent believing church gives answers on family life problems. 90.6 ---
Percent believing churches give answers to moral problems. --- 37.4
Percent that often think about meaning and purpose of life 76.6 ---
Percent believing churches give answers to social problems. 32.4 ---
Percent believing that religious leaders should influence the government. 99.3 ---
Percent believing that people have a soul. --- 61.5
Percent believing in the concept of sin. --- 44.3
Percent believing religious services are important for deaths. --- 95.2
Percent believing religious services are important for births. --- 94.1
Percent believing religious services are important for marriages. --- 21.3
Percent believing in a personal God. --- 40.5
Percent believing in telepathy. --- 43.7
Religious Experiences
Percent finding comfort and strength from religion. 99 ---
Attitudes
Percent considering religion important. 99.1 97.9
Percent considering that God is not at all important in their life. 1 0.3
Percent confident in religious organizations. 89 72.6
Politics
Percent thinking that churches have an influence on national politics. 71.6 ---
Percent agreeing that the government protects personal freedom. --- 34.6

Socio-Economic Measures

Military Measures

Algeria
[x]
Northern Africa
[x]
The World
[x]
Composite Index of National Capability, in fraction of 118 0.004188 0.00383175 0.005162584
2012 Military expenditure (% of GDP)5 4.6 2.8 --

Other Measures on Religion, State, and Society


Constitution Clauses Related to Religion


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

Preamble

… from the time of the Numidian Kingdom and the epic of Islam …

… its values and the fundamental components of its identity which are Islam, Arab-ness and Amazighité, each of which the state seeks to promote and develop … … Algeria, land of Islam …

Article 2.

Islam shall be the religion of the State.

Article 10.

The institutions shall not indulge in:

practices contrary to Islamic morals …

Article 42.

The freedom of conscience and the freedom of opinion shall be inviolable.

The free exercise of worship shall be guaranteed under the respect of law.

Article 50.

Unrestricted publication of information, ideas, pictures and opinions shall be guaranteed within the framework of the law with the respect of the nation's principles and religious … values.

Article 52.

In accordance with the provisions of the present Constitution political parties may not be founded on a religious … basis.

Article 64.

The holdings of the religious (wakf) and other foundations shall be recognized. Their use for the established purposes shall be protected by the law.

Article 87.

To be eligible for the Presidency of the Republic, a candidate must:

be of Muslim faith;

Article 90.

The President of the Republic shall take the following oath: "… I swear by God All Mighty to respect and glorify the Islamic religion …"

Article 195.

A High Islamic Council shall be established under the auspices of the President of the Republic in order to:

• encourage and promote ijtihad;

• to provide its opinion on the matters submitted to it with regard to the religious rules;

• to present a periodic report of its activity to the President of the Republic.

Article 196.

The High Islamic Council shall be composed of fifteen (15) members, including the President, who shall be selected by the President of the Republic from among the national elites in the different sciences.

Article 212.

None of the following shall be the object of a constitutional amendment:

(3) the role of Islam as the religion of the State;

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 The World Values Survey is a worldwide investigation of socio-cultural and political change. It is conducted by a network of social scientists at leading universities around the world. Interviews have been carried out with nationally representative samples of the publics of more than 80 societies. A total of four waves have been carried out since 1981. The ARDA has averaged the weighted responses across the waves for each country surveyed. The average responses for all countries have been placed in a single file and can be previewed and downloaded here. See the World Values Survey website for further information and to download the original survey data: http://www.worldvaluessurvey.org/.

    12 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.

    13 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.

    14 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.

    15 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.

    16 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 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.

    18 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.

    19 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.

    20 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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