A U.S. government source estimates the population is 3.9 million. According to the 2008 National Population and Housing Census, the population is 85.6 percent Christian, 12.2 percent Muslim, 0.6 percent adherents of indigenous religious beliefs, 1.5 percent persons who claim no religion, and less than 1 percent members of other religious groups, including Bahais, Hindus, Sikhs, and Buddhists. The estimated percentage of the Muslim population is a source of contention. Unofficial reports and surveys estimate Muslims constitute between 10 and 20 percent of the population. Many members of religious groups incorporate elements of indigenous beliefs into their religious practices. Christian groups include Lutherans, Baptists, Episcopalians, Presbyterians, Roman Catholics, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons), Seventh-Day Adventists, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and members of the United Methodist, African Methodist Episcopal (AME), AME Zion, and a variety of Pentecostal churches.
Christians reside throughout the country. Muslims belong mainly to the Mandingo ethnic group, which resides throughout the country, and the Vai ethnic group, which lives predominantly in the west. There is also a predominantly Muslim Fula community throughout the country. The Fula people are referred to as a community not by location, but as a tribal segment of society. Ethnic groups in most regions participate in the indigenous religious practices of secret societies.