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Canada

Section I. Religious Demography

The U.S. government estimates the total population at 37.9 million (midyear 2021).  According to the 2011 census, which has the most recent data available on religion, approximately 67 percent of the population self-identifies as Christian.  Roman Catholics constitute the largest Christian group (38 percent of the total population), followed by the United Church of Canada (6 percent), Anglicans (5 percent), Baptists (1.9 percent), and Christian Orthodox (1.7 percent).  Presbyterian, Lutheran, and Pentecostal groups each constitute less than 2 percent of the population.  The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints estimates its membership at 199,000.  The Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (FLDS Church) estimates its membership at 1,000.  The Hutterites, or Hutterite Brethren, which number approximately 35,000, are an Anabaptist ethnoreligious group living primarily in Alberta, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan Provinces.  Approximately 3 percent of the population is Muslim, and 1 percent Jewish.  Buddhists, Hindus, Sikhs, Scientologists, Baha’is, and adherents of Shintoism, Taoism, and aboriginal spirituality together constitute less than 4 percent of the population.  Approximately 24 percent of the population list no religious affiliation.

China (Includes Tibet, Xinjiang, Hong Kong, and Macau)

Section I. Religious Demography

The U.S. government estimates the total population at 1.4 billion (midyear 2021).  According to the State Council Information Office (SCIO) report Seeking Happiness for People:  70 Years of Progress on Human Rights in China, published in September 2019, there are more than 200 million religious adherents in the country.  An SCIO April 2018 white paper on religion in the country states there are approximately 5,500 religious groups.

Local and regional figures for the number of religious followers, including those belonging to the five officially recognized religions, are unclear.  Local governments do not release these statistics, and even official religious organizations do not have accurate numbers.  The Pew Research Center and other observers say the numbers of adherents of many religious groups often are underreported.  The U.S. government estimates that Buddhists comprise 18.2 percent of the country’s total population, Christians 5.1 percent, Muslims 1.8 percent, followers of folk religions 21.9 percent, and atheists or unaffiliated persons 52.2 percent, with Hindus, Jews, and Taoists comprising less than 1 percent.  According to a February 2017 estimate by the U.S.-based NGO Freedom House, there are more than 350 million religious adherents in the country, including 185 to 250 million Buddhists, 60 to 80 million Protestants, 21 to 23 million Muslims, seven to 20 million Falun Gong practitioners, 12 million Roman Catholics, six to eight million Tibetan Buddhists, and hundreds of millions who follow various folk traditions.  According to Boston University’s 2020 World Religion Database, there are 499 million folk and ethnic religionists (34 percent), 474 million agnostics (33 percent), 228 million Buddhists (16 percent), 106 million Christians (7.4 percent), 100 million atheists (7 percent), 23.7 million Muslims (1.7 percent), and other religions adherents who together constitute less than 1 percent of the population, including 5.9 million Taoists, 1.8 million Confucians, 20,500 Sikhs, and 2,900 Jews.  According to the Christian advocacy NGO Open Doors USA’s World Watch List 2022 report, there are 96.7 million Christians.  According to 2015 data from the World Jewish Congress, the country’s Jewish population is 2,500, concentrated in Beijing, Shanghai, and Kaifeng.

The SCIO’s April 2018 white paper found the number of Protestants to be 38 million.  Among these, there are 20 million Protestants affiliated with the Three-Self Patriotic Movement (TSPM), the state-sanctioned umbrella organization for all officially recognized Protestant churches, according to information on TSPM’s website in March 2017.  The SCIO report states there are six million Catholics, although media and international NGO estimates suggest there are 10-12 million, approximately half of whom practice in churches not affiliated with the CCPA.  Accurate estimates on the numbers of Catholics and Protestants, as well as other faiths, are difficult to calculate because many adherents practice exclusively at home or in churches that are not state sanctioned.

According to the 2018 SCIO white paper, there are 10 ethnic minority groups totaling more than 20 million persons for whom Islam is the majority religion.  Other sources indicate almost all Muslims are Sunni.  The two largest Muslim ethnic minorities are Hui and Uyghur, with Hui Muslims concentrated primarily in the Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region and in Qinghai, Gansu, and Yunnan Provinces.  The SARA, also referred to as the National Religious Affairs Administration, estimates the Muslim Hui population at 10.6 million.  A June report on the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (Xinjiang) issued by the Department of Population and Employment Statistics of the PRC’s National Bureau of Statistics estimates the total population in Xinjiang is 26 million.  The report states Uyghurs, along with ethnic Kazakh, Hui, Kyrgyz, and members of other predominantly Muslim ethnic minority groups, number approximately 15 million residents, or 58 percent of the total population there.

While there is no reliable government breakdown of the Buddhist population by school, the vast majority of Buddhists are adherents of Mahayana Buddhism, according to the Pew Research Center.  Most ethnic Tibetans practice Tibetan Buddhism, although a sizeable minority practices Bon, a pre-Buddhist indigenous religion.

Prior to the government’s 1999 ban on Falun Gong, the government estimated there were 70 million adherents.  Falun Gong sources estimate tens of millions continue to practice privately, and Freedom House estimates there are seven to 20 million practitioners.

Some ethnic minorities follow traditional religions, such as Dongba among the Naxi people in Yunnan Province and Buluotuo among the Zhuang in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.  The central government classifies worship of Mazu, a folk deity with Taoist roots, as an expression of “cultural heritage” rather than a religious practice.

Czech Republic

Section I. Religious Demography

The U.S. government estimates the total population at 10.7 million (midyear 2021).  According to the 2021 census, of the 70 percent of citizens who responded to the question about their religious beliefs, approximately 48 percent held none, 10 percent were Roman Catholic, 13 percent listed no specific religion, and 9 percent identified with a variety of religious faiths, including the Evangelical Church of Czech Brethren, the Czechoslovak Hussite Church, other Christian churches, Judaism, Islam, and Buddhism.  Academics estimate there are 10,000 Jews, while the FJC estimates there are 15,000 to 20,000.  Leaders of the Muslim community estimate there are 10,000 Muslims, most of whom are immigrants.  According to a 2018 report by the Pew Research Center based on a 2015 survey of 1,490 adults, 72 percent of persons do not identify with a religious group, 21 percent identify as Catholic, 3 percent as Protestant, 1 percent as Orthodox Christian, and 3 percent as other or did not know or refused to answer.

Egypt

Section I. Religious Demography

The U.S. government estimates the population at 106.4 million (midyear 2021).  Most experts and media sources estimate that approximately 90 percent of the population is Sunni Muslim and 10 percent is Christian.  Approximately 90 percent of Christians belong to the Coptic Orthodox Church, according to Christian leaders.

Other Christian communities together constitute less than 2 percent of the population.  These include Anglican/Episcopalian, Armenian Apostolic, Catholic (Armenian, Chaldean, Melkite, Maronite, Latin, and Syrian), and Orthodox (Greek and Syrian) Churches.  Most Protestant denominations are members of the umbrella group known as the Protestant Churches of Egypt, also known as the General Evangelical Council.  These include the Apostolic Grace, Apostolic, Assemblies of God, Baptists, Brethren, Christian Model Church (al-Mithaal al-Masihi), Church of Christ, Faith (al-Eyman), Gospel Missionary (al-Kiraaza bil-Ingil), First Grace (al-Ni’ma al-Oula), Second Grace (al-Ni’ma al-Thaneya), Independent Baptist, Message Church of Holland (ar-Risaala), Open Brethren, Pentecostal, Presbyterian, Revival of Holiness (Nahdat al-Qadaasa), and Seventh-day Adventists.  There are an estimated 1,000 to 1,500 Jehovah’s Witnesses and fewer than 100 members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Church of Jesus Christ), the vast majority of whom are expatriates.  Christians reside throughout the country.

Scholars estimate that Shia Muslims comprise approximately 1 percent of the population.  Baha’i representatives estimate the size of their community to be between 1,000 and 2,000 persons.  There are very small numbers of Dawoodi Bohra Muslims and Ahmadi Muslims as well as expatriate members of various other religious groups.

According to a local Jewish NGO, there are six to 10 Jews in the country.

There are no reliable estimates of the number of atheists; in 2020, local media sources quoted a former Minister of Culture and a scholar at al-Azhar University estimating numbers of atheists at “several million” and “four million,” respectively.

Estonia

Section I. Religious Demography

The U.S. government estimates the total population at 1.2 million (midyear 2021).  According to the 2011 census (the most recent data available), 29 percent of the population is religiously affiliated, 54 percent do not identify with any religion, and 17 percent do not state an affiliation.  According to Estonian Council of Churches data from December 2020, 13 percent of the population belong to the Estonian Evangelical Lutheran Church, while 13.9 percent belong to the Estonian Orthodox Church of Moscow Patriarchate (EOCMP), and 2.3 percent belong to the Estonian Apostolic Orthodox Church.  The Union of Free Evangelical and Baptist Churches of Estonia and the Roman Catholic Church together comprise 1 percent of the population.  Other Christian groups, including Jehovah’s Witnesses, Pentecostals, Methodists, Seventh-day Adventists, and Russian Old Believers, collectively constitute 1.1 percent of the population.  According to the 2011 census, there are small Jewish and Muslim communities of 2,500 members and 1,500 members, respectively.  Most religious adherents among the Russian-speaking population belong to the EOCMP and reside mainly in the capital or the northeastern part of the country.  According to 2011 census data, most of the country’s community of Russian Old Believers live along the west bank of Lake Peipsi in the eastern part of the country.

Hong Kong

Section I. Religious Demography

The U.S. government estimates the total population at 7.3 million (midyear 2021).  According to SAR government statistics, there are more than one million followers of Taoism and approximately one million followers of Buddhism; 800,000 Protestants; 404,000 Catholics; 300,000 Muslims; 100,000 Hindus; and 12,000 Sikhs.  The Catholic Diocese of Hong Kong, which recognizes the Pope and maintains links to the Vatican, reported approximately 621,000 followers (404,000 local residents and 217,000 residents with other nationalities).  The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints reported it has approximately 25,100 members.  According to the World Jewish Congress, there are approximately 2,500 Jews, primarily expatriates.  Small communities of Baha’is and Zoroastrians also reside in the SAR.  Confucianism is widespread, and in some cases, elements of Confucianism are practiced in conjunction with other belief systems.  The Falun Dafa Association estimates there are approximately 500 Falun Gong practitioners.

There are numerous Protestant denominations, including Baptist, Christian and Missionary Alliance, Lutheran, Methodist, Anglican, the Church of Christ in China, Seventh-day Adventist, and Pentecostal.

Israel, West Bank and Gaza

Section I. Religious Demography

The U.S. government estimates the total population at 8.8 million (midyear 2021).  According to the country’s Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) classification system (2020 data), approximately 73 percent of the population is Jewish, 18 percent Muslim, 2 percent Christian, and 1.6 percent Druze.  The remaining 5 percent consists of those the CBS classifies as “other.”  This includes those who identify as Jewish but do not satisfy the Orthodox Jewish definition of “Jewish” that the government uses for civil procedures, such as many immigrants from the former Soviet Union.  There are also relatively small communities of Samaritans, Karaite Jews, Messianic Jews, Seventh-day Adventists, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and members of the Baha’i Faith.  The majority of non-Jewish citizens are of Arab/Palestinian origin.  This includes approximately 77 percent of the country’s 182,000 Christians, according to the CBS as of December.  Non-Arab/Palestinian Christians are mainly those who emigrated from the former Soviet Union in the 1990s as descendants of Jews or alongside Jewish family members and their descendants.

According to the annual religion and state poll conducted by religious freedom NGO Hiddush, 57 percent of Jewish citizens do not affiliate with any religious group, 19 percent are “Zionist Orthodox,” 11 percent “ultra-Orthodox,” 6 percent “Reform,” 5 percent “Conservative,” and 2 percent “National Orthodox.”

The Arab/Palestinian Muslim, Druze, and Christian communities are located throughout the country.  In the Galilee region, some communities are homogenous, while others feature a mix of these groups.  There are dozens of Muslim-majority communities in the Negev.  In addition to an Alawite community in Ghajar, there are several Druze communities in the Golan Heights.

In 2019, the most recent year for which results are available, the CBS and the Jerusalem Institute estimated 563,200 Jews, 345,800 Muslims, and 16,150 Christians lived in the current municipal boundaries of Jerusalem, accounting for approximately 99 percent of the city’s total population of 936,400 as of 2019.

According to government and NGO data, there are approximately 330,000 foreign workers in the country, including 97,000 documented Palestinian workers; 31,000 undocumented Palestinian workers; 98,000 migrant workers with permits, 77,000 non-Palestinian undocumented workers (either migrant workers without a permit or tourists who overstayed their visa); and 31,000 asylum seekers, of whom an unknown number work.  Foreign workers and asylum seekers include Protestants, Roman Catholics, members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Seventh-day Adventists, Orthodox Christians, Buddhists, Hindus, and Muslims.  According to the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem, Catholics among the foreign worker population include 19,000 Filipinos, 15,000 Indians, 5,655 Sri Lankans, 2,500 Colombians, and 1,100 individuals from other South American countries.

Italy

Section I. Religious Demography

The U.S. government estimates the total population at 62.4 million (midyear 2021).  A 2020 study by the independent research center The Center for Studies of New Religions (CESNUR) estimates 67 percent of the population is Catholic, 24 percent atheist or agnostic, 5 percent non-Catholic Christian, 4 percent Muslim, and 1 percent followers of other religions.  Non-Catholic Christian groups include Eastern Orthodox, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Assemblies of God, the Methodist and Waldensian Churches, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Church of Jesus Christ), the Union of Pentecostal Churches, and several other smaller Protestant groups, including other evangelical Christian groups.  According to the national branch of the Church of Jesus Christ, there are approximately 26,000 adherents in the country.  CESNUR also estimates that non-Christian religious groups that together account for less than 10 percent of the population include Muslims, Jews, Hindus, Baha’is, Buddhists, Sikhs, the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, and Ananda Marga Pracaraka Samgha, an Indian spiritual movement.  According to a 2020 study conducted by SWG, an independent research center, 50 percent of the population identifies as Catholic, 25 percent identifies as atheist or agnostic, 17 percent other religious groups and 8 percent unaffiliated.

The UCEI estimates that the Jewish population numbers 28,000.  According to the legal counsel of the Italian Federation of Progressive Judaism, the organization has between 500 and 600 members.

According to CESNUR, approximately 1.76 million foreign Muslims and 500,000 Italian Muslims – almost 4 percent of the population – live in the country.  According to the Ministry of Interior (MOI) and the National Agency for Statistics (ISTAT), most growth in the Muslim population comes from large numbers of immigrants from Eastern Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and South Asia, the majority of whom live in the north.  Muslims with Moroccan and Albanian roots make up the largest established groups, while Tunisia and Bangladesh are increasingly prominent sources of Muslims arriving as seaborne migrants.  The MOI reports Muslims in the country are overwhelmingly Sunni.

Japan

Section I. Religious Demography

The U.S. government estimates the total population at 124.7 million (midyear 2021).  A report by the Agency for Cultural Affairs (ACA) indicates that membership in religious groups totaled 183 million as of December 31, 2019.  This number, substantially more than the country’s population, reflects many citizens’ affiliation with multiple religions.  For example, it is common for followers of Buddhism to participate in religious ceremonies and events of other religions, such as Shinto, and vice versa.  According to the ACA, the definition of follower and the method of counting followers vary with each religious organization.  Religious affiliation includes 88.9 million Shinto followers (48.6 percent), 84.8 million Buddhists (46.3 percent), 1.9 million Christians (1 percent), and 7.4 million adherents of other religious groups (4 percent).  The category of “other” and nonregistered religious groups includes Islam, the Baha’i Faith, Hinduism, and Judaism.

Most immigrants and foreign workers practice religions other than Buddhism or Shinto, according to an NGO in close contact with foreign workers.  A scholar estimates that at the end of 2019, there were approximately 230,000 Muslims in the country, including up to 50,000 Japanese converts.  Most of the approximately 350 Rohingya Muslims in the country live in Gunma Prefecture, north of Tokyo, with some residing in Saitama, Chiba, and Tokyo, according to Burmese Rohingya Association in Japan (BRAJ) President Zaw Min Htut.  Ilham Mahmut, the JUA honorary chairman and World Uyghur Congress Representative for East Asia and the Pacific, said most of the nearly 2,000 Uyghur Muslims in the country reside in Tokyo or its surrounding prefectures of Chiba, Saitama, and Kanagawa.  He states that of the nearly 2,000 Uyghur Muslims, approximately 700 are naturalized Japanese citizens.  The Jewish population is approximately 3,000 to 4,000, according to a long-term member of the Jewish community.

Latvia

Section I. Religious Demography

The U.S. government estimates the total population at 1.9 million (midyear 2021).  According to the Annual Report of Religious Organizations and their Activities published by the Ministry of Justice (MOJ), based on 2019 data, the largest religious groups are Lutheran (37 percent), Roman Catholic (18 percent), and Latvian Orthodox Christian (13 percent), the latter being predominantly native Russian speakers.  Thirty-one percent of the population is unaffiliated with any religious group.  The Latvian Orthodox Church is a self-governing Eastern Orthodox Church under the jurisdiction of the Moscow Patriarchate.  The Central Statistical Bureau reports there are 4,372 persons who identify as Jewish, and the Council of Jewish Communities believes there are approximately 10,000 persons with Jewish heritage.  The Muslim community reports approximately 1,000 Muslims resident in the country, while the MOJ’s report of religious organizations lists 176 active members in eight Muslim congregations.  Separately, there is a small Ahmadi Muslim community.  Other religious groups that together constitute less than 5 percent of the population include Baptists, Pentecostals, Seventh-day Adventists, Old Believers, evangelical Christians, Methodists, Calvinists, and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Lebanon

Section I. Religious Demography

The U.S. government estimates the total population at 5.3 million (midyear 2021).  The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and other organizations estimate the total population includes 4.5 million citizens and an estimated 1.5 million refugees fleeing the conflicts in Syria and Iraq, the vast majority of whom are Syrian, as well as a Palestinian refugee population present in the country for more than 70 years.  The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East estimates there are more than 180,000 Palestinian refugees in the country.

Lebanon has not conducted an official census of its population since 1932.  However, Statistics Lebanon, an independent firm, estimates 64.9 percent of the citizen population is Muslim (32 percent Sunni, 31.3 percent Shia, and 1.6 percent Alawites and Ismailis combined).  Statistics Lebanon further estimates 32 percent of the population is Christian.  Maronite Catholics are the largest Christian group (with 52.5 percent of the Christian population), followed by Greek Orthodox (25 percent of the Christian population).  Other Christian groups include Greek Catholics (Melkites), Armenian Orthodox, Armenian Catholics, Syriac Orthodox, Syriac Catholics, Assyrians, Chaldean Catholics, Copts, Protestants (including Presbyterians, Baptists, and Seventh-day Adventists), Roman (Latin) Catholics, and members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Church of Jesus Christ).  According to Statistics Lebanon, 3.1 percent of the population is Druze, concentrated in the rural, mountainous areas east and south of Beirut.  There are also small numbers of Jews, Baha’is, Buddhists, and Hindus.  The Jewish Community Council, which represents the country’s Jewish community, estimates 70 Jews reside in the country.

UNHCR reports that the Syrian refugees in the country are mainly Sunni Muslims, but also Shia Muslims, Christians, and Druze.  Palestinians live in the country as UN-registered refugees in 12 camps and surrounding areas.  They are mostly the descendants of refugees who entered the country in the 1940s and 1950s.  Most are Sunni Muslims, but some are Christians.

UNHCR states there are approximately 10,300 UNHCR-registered Iraqi refugees in the country.  Refugees and foreign migrants from Iraq include mostly Sunni Kurds, Sunni and Shia Muslims, and Chaldean Catholics.  There are also Coptic Christians from Egypt and Sudan.  According to the secretary-general of the Syriac League, a nongovernmental organization (NGO) that advocates for Syriac Christians in the country, approximately 4,000 Iraqi Christians of all denominations and 3,000 to 4,000 Coptic Christians reside in the country.  According to the Syriac League, the majority of Iraqi Christian refugees are not registered with UNHCR and so are not included in its count.  The Syriac League said that the population of Iraqi Christians had decreased by 70 percent since 2019, largely because of emigration driven by the country’s economic crisis.

Persons from all religious groups continued to emigrate from the country during the year, in large part due to the country’s deteriorating economic situation.  There is anecdotal evidence that Christians constituted a significant portion of those who left the country, especially following the August 2020 Beirut Port explosion, with some citing fears for their security and potential treatment in an unpredictable political environment as a reason for their departure.

Lithuania

Section I. Religious Demography

The U.S. government estimates the total population at 2.7 million (midyear 2021).  According to the 2011 census, of the 90 percent of the population that responded to a question regarding religious affiliation, 86 percent identify as Roman Catholic, and 7 percent do not identify with any religious group.  Religious groups that together constitute less than 5 percent of the population include Russian Orthodox, Old Believers, Lutherans, Evangelical Reformed, Jews, Muslims, Greek Catholics, Karaite Jews, Jehovah’s Witnesses, members of the Full Gospel Word of Faith Movement, Pentecostals/Charismatics, Old Baltic faith communities, Baptists, Seventh-day Adventists, Methodists, and members of the New Apostolic Church and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

In the 2011 census, approximately 5,100 persons identified as followers of Romuva, a neopagan religion practiced in the Baltic region since before the introduction of Christianity.  According to the census, the Jewish population is predominately concentrated in larger cities and is estimated at 3,300, of whom approximately 250 are Karaite Jews, who traditionally live in Trakai and in the greater Vilnius region.  The Sunni Muslim population numbers approximately 2,800, the majority of whom are Tatars, a community living primarily in Vilnius and Kaunas.  The Muslim community also includes recent converts, migrants, refugees, and temporary workers from the Middle East and Africa, most of whom are Sunni.

Macau

Section I. Religious Demography

The U.S. government estimates the total population at 630,000 (midyear 2021).  According to a 2015 estimate by the research group Association of Religion Data Archives, 48.1 percent of the population are folk religionists, 17.3 percent Buddhist, 11 percent Taoist, 4.5 percent Catholic, 2.5 percent other Christian, 1.2 percent other religious groups (including Hindus, Muslims, and Jews), and 15.4 percent nonreligious.  The SAR Government Information Bureau 2021 yearbook states the majority of the population practices Buddhism or Chinese folk religions.  The yearbook does not provide an estimate for Buddhists, but it states they are numerous and individuals often practice a mixture of Buddhism, Confucianism, and Chinese folk religions.  The SAR Government Information Bureau estimates 4.5 percent of the population is Roman Catholic, of whom almost half are foreign domestic workers and other expatriates, and 2.5 percent of the population is Protestant.  Protestant denominations include the Anglican, Baptist, Lutheran, Methodist, Pentecostal, and Presbyterian Churches.  Evangelical Christian and independent local nondenominational churches, some of which are affiliated with officially recognized mainland churches, are also present.  Various reports estimate the Muslim population at 5,000 to 10,000.  Smaller religious groups include Baha’is, who estimate their membership at more than 2,000, and Falun Gong practitioners, who estimate their numbers at 20 to 50 persons.

Mongolia

Section I. Religious Demography

The U.S. government estimates the total population at 3.3 million (midyear 2021).  The most recent national census conducted in 2020 reports that 59.4 percent of individuals who are 15 and older identify as religious, while 40.6 percent state they have no religious identity.  Of those who expressed a religious identity, 87.1 percent identify as Buddhist, 5.4 percent as Muslim, 4.2 percent as Shamanist, 2.2 percent as Christian, and 1.1 percent as followers of other religions.  The majority of Buddhists are Mahayana Buddhists.  Many individuals practice elements of shamanism in combination with other religions, particularly Buddhism.  The majority of Christians are Protestant.  Other Christian groups in the country include The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Church of Jesus Christ), the Roman Catholic Church, Jehovah’s Witnesses, the Russian Orthodox Church, and the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification (Unification Church).  Other religious groups, including the Baha’i Faith, also have a presence.  The ethnic Kazakh community, located primarily in the far west, is majority Muslim.

Netherlands

Section I. Religious Demography

The Netherlands, along with the Dutch Caribbean islands of Aruba, Curacao, and Sint Maarten, form the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

The U.S. government estimates the total population of the Netherlands at 17.3 million (midyear 2021).  In a 2019 survey (the most recent available), Statistics Netherlands, the official source for government statistics, reported that 54 percent of the population age 15 or older in the Netherlands declared no religious affiliation, 20 percent identified as Roman Catholic, 15 percent as Protestant (6 percent Reformed, 2.9 percent Calvinist, and 5.6 percent unspecified Protestant), 5 percent as Muslim, and 6 percent as “other,” including Hindus, Jews, Buddhists, and Baha’is.

The U.S. government estimates the total population of Curacao at 151,900 (midyear 2021).  According to 2011 census data, 72.8 percent of the population in Curacao identified as Roman Catholic, 18.4 percent another denomination of Christianity, 2.3 percent another religion (including Jehovah’s Witness, Muslim, Jewish, and “other”), and 6.0 percent not religious.

The U.S. government estimates the total population of Aruba at 121,000 (midyear 2021).  According to 2010 census data, 75.3 percent of the population in Aruba identified as Roman Catholic, 4.9 percent Protestant, 1.7 percent Jehovah’s Witness, 12 percent “other,” 5.5 percent “none,” and 0.5 percent “unspecified.”

The U.S. government estimates the total population of Sint Maarten at 44,500 (midyear 2021).  According to 2011 census data, 41.9 percent of the population in Sint Maarten identified as Protestant, 33.1 percent Roman Catholic, 5.2 percent Hindu, 4.1 percent another denomination of Christianity, 1.7 percent Jehovah’s Witness, 1.7 percent Evangelical, 1.4 percent Muslim or Jewish, 1.3 percent “other,” 7.9 percent “none,” and 2.4 percent “no response.”

Most Muslims in the Netherlands live in urban areas and are of Turkish, Moroccan, or Surinamese descent.  The Muslim population also includes recent immigrants and asylum seekers from other countries, including Iran, Iraq, Somalia, Syria, Afghanistan, Albania, and Bosnia and Herzegovina.  While there are no official estimates, most Muslims are believed to be Sunni.  The Reform Jewish Congregation, the largest Jewish community in the country, estimates there are 40,000-50,000 Jews.  A Statistics Netherlands study from 2015 (the most recent available) estimates the number of Hindus at 10,000, of whom approximately 85 percent are of Surinamese descent and 10 percent of Indian descent.  The Buddhist community has approximately 17,000 members, according to a 2007 report by the Netherlands Institute for Social Research, the most recent Dutch estimate available.  Boston University’s World Religion Database estimates there are 207,000 Buddhists in the country (1.2 percent of the population.)

Russia

Section I. Religious Demography

The U.S. government estimates the total population at 142.3 million (midyear 2021).  A poll conducted in 2020 by the independent Levada Center found that 63 percent of the population identified as Orthodox Christian and 7 percent as Muslim, while 26 percent reported having no religious faith.  Religious groups each constituting approximately 1 percent or less of the population include Buddhists, Protestants, Roman Catholics, Jews, members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Hindus, Baha’is, members of the International Society of Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), pagans, Tengrists, members of the Church of Scientology, and Falun Gong practitioners.  The 2010 census, the most recent for which data is available, estimates the number of Jews at 150,000.  The Russian Jewish Congress (RJC) estimates the Jewish population is 172,500.  According to Mufti Ravil Gaynutdin, chairman of the Religious Board of Muslims of the Russian Federation, there were 25 million Muslims in 2018, approximately 18 percent of the population.  Immigrants and migrant workers from Central Asia, which experts estimate at six to seven million, are mostly Muslim.  Most Muslims live in the Volga-Ural Region and the North Caucasus.  Moscow, St. Petersburg, and parts of Siberia also have sizable Muslim populations.

Saudi Arabia

Section I. Religious Demography

The U.S. government estimates the total population at 34.8 million (midyear 2021).  In 2019, the UN estimated that approximately 38.3 percent of the country’s residents are foreigners.  Between 85 and 90 percent of the approximately 21 million Saudi citizens are Sunni Muslims.

Shia Muslims constitute 10 to 12 percent of the citizen population and an estimated 25 to 30 percent of the Eastern Province’s population.

According to Boston University’s 2020 World Religions Database, the population includes approximately 31.5 million Muslims, 2.1 million Christians, 708,000 Hindus, 242,000 atheists or agnostics, 114,000 Buddhists, and 67,00 Sikhs.

South Korea

Section I. Religious Demography

The U.S. government estimates the total population at 51.7 million (midyear 2021).  According to a 2015 census conducted by the Korea Statistical Information Service, of the 44 percent of the population espousing a religion, 45 percent are Protestant, 35 percent Buddhist, 18 percent Roman Catholic, and 2 percent “other” (including Won Buddhism, Confucianism, Jeongsando, Cheondogyo, Daejonggyo, Daesun Jinrihoe, and Islam).  The census counted members of the Jehovah’s Witnesses, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the Seventh-day Adventist Church, and the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification (Unification Church) as Protestants.  According to one of the two rabbis in the country, there is a small Jewish population of approximately 1,000, almost all expatriates.  The Korean Muslim Federation estimates the Muslim population at 150,000, of which approximately 120,000 are migrant workers, mainly from Uzbekistan, Bangladesh, Indonesia, and Pakistan, and 30,000 are expatriate students and businesspeople.

Thailand

Section I. Religious Demography

The U.S. government estimates the country’s total population at 69.5 million (midyear 2021).  The 2010 population census, the most recent available, indicated 93 percent of the population is Theravada Buddhist and 5 percent Muslim.  NGOs, academics, and religious groups state that 85 to 95 percent of the population is Theravada Buddhist and 5 to 10 percent Muslim.  Other groups, including animists, Christians, Confucians, Hindus, Jews, Sikhs, and Taoists, constitute the remainder of the population.

Most Buddhists incorporate Hindu and animist practices into their worship.  The Buddhist clergy (sangha) consists of two main schools of Theravada Buddhism:  Mahanikaya and Dhammayuttika.  The former is older and more prevalent within the monastic community.

Islam is the dominant religion in three of the four southernmost provinces (Narathiwat, Yala, and Pattani) near the Malaysian border.  The majority of Muslims there are ethnic Malay, but the Muslim population nationwide also includes descendants of immigrants from South Asia, China, Cambodia, and Indonesia, as well as ethnic Thai.  Statistics provided by the Religious Affairs Department (RAD) of the Ministry of Culture indicate that 99 percent of Muslims are Sunni.

The majority of ethnic Chinese and Vietnamese practice either Mahayana or Theravada Buddhism.  Many ethnic Chinese, as well as members of the Mien hill tribe, also practice forms of Taoism.  The majority of Christians are ethnic Chinese and are also represented among ethnic tribal groups in the north.  More than half of the Christian community is Roman Catholic.

Tibet

Section I. Religious Demography

According to official data from the 2020 estimate of the National Bureau of Statistics of China, the total population of the TAR is approximately 3,648,000, of which Tibetans make up approximately 90 percent.  Han Chinese make up approximately 8 percent.  Other ethnicities comprise the remainder.  Some experts, however, believe the number of Han Chinese and other non-Tibetans living there is significantly underreported.  The majority of ethnic Tibetans in the PRC live in the TAR, in Tibetan autonomous prefectures (TAPs), and in counties in Qinghai, Sichuan, Gansu, and Yunnan Provinces.  Official census data show Tibetans constitute approximately 24.4 percent of the total population in Qinghai Province, 2.1 percent in Sichuan Province, 1.8 percent in Gansu Province, and 0.3 percent in Yunnan Province, although the percentage of Tibetans is much higher within prefectures and counties of these provinces designated as autonomous for Tibetans.

Most ethnic Tibetans practice Tibetan Buddhism, although a sizeable minority practices Bon, a pre-Buddhist indigenous religion.  Small minorities practice Islam, Catholicism, or Protestantism.  Some scholars estimate there are as many as 400,000 Bon followers across the Tibetan Plateau, most of whom also follow the Dalai Lama and consider themselves to be Tibetan Buddhists.  Scholars estimate there are up to 5,000 Tibetan Muslims and 700 Tibetan Catholics in the TAR.  Other residents of traditionally Tibetan areas include Han Chinese, many of whom practice Buddhism (including Tibetan Buddhism), Taoism, Confucianism, or traditional folk religions, or profess atheism, as well as Hui Muslims and non-Tibetan Catholics and Protestants.

Turkey

Section I. Religious Demography

The U.S. government estimates the total population at 82.5 million (midyear 2021).  According to the Turkish government, 99 percent of the population is Muslim, approximately 78 percent of which is Hanafi Sunni.  Representatives of other religious groups estimate their members are 0.2 percent of the population, while the most recent public opinion surveys published in January 2019 by Turkish research and polling firm KONDA Research and Consultancy suggest approximately 3 percent of the population self-identifies as atheist and 2 percent as nonbelievers.

Leaders of Alevi foundations estimate Alevi Muslims comprise 25 to 31 percent of the population.  KONDA Research and Consultancy estimates the Alevi community at approximately 6 percent of the population, almost 5 million individuals.  The Shia Jafari community estimates its members make up 4 percent of the population.

Non-Muslim religious groups are mostly concentrated in Istanbul and other large cities, as well as in the southeast.  Exact figures are not available; however, these groups self-report approximately 90,000 Armenian Apostolic Orthodox Christians (including migrants from Armenia), 25,000 Roman Catholics (including migrants from Africa and the Philippines), and 12,000-16,000 Jews.  There are also approximately 25,000 Syrian Orthodox Christians (also known as Syriacs), 15,000 Russian Orthodox Christians (mostly immigrants from Russia who hold residence permits), and 10,000 Baha’is.

Estimates of other groups include 7,000-10,000 members of Protestant and evangelical Christian denominations, 5,000 Jehovah’s Witnesses, fewer than 3,000 Chaldean Christians, fewer than 2,500 Greek Orthodox Christians, and fewer than 1,000 Yezidis.  There also are small, undetermined numbers of Bulgarian Orthodox, Nestorian, Georgian Orthodox, Ukrainian Orthodox, Syriac Catholic, Armenian Catholic, Chaldean Catholic, and Maronite Christians.  The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Church of Jesus Christ) estimates its membership at 300 individuals.

United Arab Emirates

Section I. Religious Demography

The U.S. government estimates the total population at 9.9 million (midyear 2021).  Approximately 11 percent are citizens, of whom more than 85 percent are Sunni Muslims, according to media reports.  The vast majority of the remainder are Shia Muslims, who are concentrated in the Emirates of Dubai and Sharjah.

Of the estimated 89 percent of noncitizen residents, the majority comes from South and Southeast Asia.  Although no official statistics are available on the percentage of the noncitizen population who are Muslim or the breakdown between Sunni and Shia Muslims, media estimates suggest less than 20 percent of the noncitizen Muslim population is Shia.

Of the total population (both citizen and noncitizen), the 2005 census, the most recent, found 76 percent of the population to be Muslim, 9 percent Christian, and 15 percent from other noncitizen religious groups, comprising mainly Hindus and Buddhists and including Parsis, Baha’is, Druze, Sikhs, and Jews.  Ahmadi Muslims, Ismaili Muslims, and Dawoodi Bohra Muslims together constitute less than 5 percent of the total population and are almost entirely noncitizens.  The Pew Research Center estimated that in 2010, 76.9 percent of the total population was Muslim, 12.6 percent Christian, 6.6 percent Hindu, and 2 percent Buddhist, with the remainder belonging to other faith traditions.  According to Boston University’s 2020 World Religions Database, the population includes approximately 125,000 atheists or agnostics, 72,000 Sikhs, and 49,000 Baha’is.

United Kingdom

Section I. Religious Demography

The U.S. government estimates the total population at 66.1 million (midyear 2021).  National census figures from 2011, the most recent, indicate 59.3 percent of the population in England and Wales is Christian.  Of the remaining population, 4.8 percent identify as Muslim; 1.5 percent Hindu; 0.8 percent Sikh; 0.5 percent Jewish; and 0.4 Buddhist.  Approximately 25 percent of the population reported no religious affiliation, and 7 percent chose not to answer.  The Baha’i Faith community estimates it has more than 7,000 members.

According to the 2019 British Social Attitudes survey, a survey conducted by the independent National Center for Social Research, 52 percent of those surveyed described themselves as having no religion, 12 percent as Anglican, 7 percent as Catholic, 19 percent as belonging to other Christian groups, and 10 percent as belonging to non-Christian religious groups, of which 6 percent identified as Muslim and 4 percent as other non-Christian, including less than 0.5 percent as Jews.  Jehovah’s Witnesses estimate there are 137,000 members in the country.

According to the Boston University 2020 World Religions Database, 67 percent of the country is Christian, 23 percent atheist or agnostic, 6 percent Muslim, 1 percent Sikh, and 1 percent Hindu.  Other religious groups together comprise 2 percent, including approximately 278,000 Jews, 200,000 Buddhists, 39,000 Baha’is, 24,000 Jains, and 5,000 Zoroastrians.

The Muslim community in England and Wales is predominantly of South Asian origin, but also includes individuals from the Arabian Peninsula, the Levant, Africa, and Southeast Asia, as well as a growing number of converts of British and other European descent.  Hindus, Sikhs, Jews, and Buddhists are concentrated in London and other large urban areas, primarily in England.

Census figures for Scotland in 2011 (the most recent) indicate 54 percent of the population is Christian, comprising the Church of Scotland (32 percent), Roman Catholic Church (16 percent), and other Christian groups (6 percent).  The Muslim community constitutes 1.4 percent of the population.  Other religious groups, which together make up less than 1 percent of the population, include Hindus, Sikhs, Jews, and Buddhists.  Persons not belonging to any religious group make up 36.7 percent of the population, and the remainder did not provide information on religious affiliation.

A 2017 Scottish Social Attitudes Survey found 58 percent of those surveyed did not identify with any religion, 18 percent identified as belonging to the Church of Scotland, 10 percent as Roman Catholic, 11 percent as other Christian, and 2 percent as non-Christian.

Census figures from Northern Ireland in 2011 indicated 41.5 percent of the population is Protestant – consisting of the Presbyterian Church of Ireland (19 percent), Church of Ireland (14 percent), Methodist Church in Ireland (3 percent), and other Protestant groups (6 percent) – and 41 percent Roman Catholic.  Less than 1 percent of the population belongs to non-Christian religious groups, and approximately 10 percent professes no religion; 7 percent did not indicate a religious affiliation.

Research conducted at Ulster University in 2019 stated there is a “clear statistical trend towards a change in the religious minority-majority structure of Northern Ireland.”  The university’s statistics showed a consistent decline of Protestants in all 26 district council areas of Northern Ireland since 2001, contrasted with an increased Catholic population in 19 of 26 council areas in the same period.  Analysis of 2011 census figures conducted at Ulster University also illustrates this trend is likely to continue.  Census figures show a Protestant majority in the over-60 age bracket and a Catholic majority in the under-20 age bracket.

Census figures from Bermuda in 2010 cited 22 religious groups in the population of 71,000; 78 percent identifies as Christian, including 16 percent Anglican, 15 percent Roman Catholic, 9 percent African Methodist Episcopal, and 7 percent Seventh-day Adventist.  Approximately 2 percent identifies with other religious groups, including approximately 600 Muslims, 200 Rastafarians, and 120 Jews.  Approximately 20 percent did not identify with or state a religious affiliation.

West Bank and Gaza

Section I. Religious Demography

The U.S. government estimates the total Palestinian population at 2.9 million in the West Bank and 2 million in the Gaza Strip (midyear 2021).  According to the U.S. government and other sources, Palestinian residents of these territories are predominantly Sunni Muslims, with small Shia and Ahmadi Muslim communities.  The Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics reports an estimated 441,600 Jewish Israelis reside in Israeli settlements in the West Bank.  Israeli statistics do not count settlements in East Jerusalem as part of the West Bank.  Palestinian officials use the figure of 751,000 Jewish residents in the West Bank which includes settlements in the suburbs of Jerusalem.  According to various estimates, 50,000 Christian Palestinians reside in the West Bank and Jerusalem, and according to media reports and religious communities, there are approximately 1,300 Christians residing in Gaza.  Local Christian leaders state Palestinian Christian emigration has continued at rapid rates.  A majority of Christians are Greek Orthodox; the remainder includes Roman Catholics, Melkite Greek Catholics, Syrian Orthodox, Armenian Orthodox, Armenian Catholics, Coptic Orthodox, Maronites, Ethiopian Orthodox, Syrian Catholics, Anglicans, Lutherans, other Protestant denominations, including evangelical Christians, and small numbers of members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Church of Jesus Christ) and Jehovah’s Witnesses.  Christians are concentrated primarily in Bethlehem, Ramallah, and Nablus; smaller communities exist elsewhere.  Approximately 360 Samaritans (practitioners of Samaritanism, which is related to but distinct from Judaism) reside in the West Bank, primarily in the Nablus area.

The Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics estimates 569,900 Jews, 349,600 Muslims, and 12,900 Christians live in Jerusalem, accounting for the vast majority of the city’s total population of 952,000, as of 2020.

Xinjiang

Section I. Religious Demography

A June report on the XUAR issued by the Department of Population and Employment Statistics of the National Bureau of Statistics estimates the total population is 26 million.  The report states Uyghurs, along with Kazakh, Hui, Kyrgyz, and members of other predominantly Muslim ethnic minority groups constitute approximately 15 million residents in Xinjiang, or approximately 58 percent of the total population.  According to the report, of these, 12 million are Uyghurs.  The largest segment of the remaining population is Han Chinese (11 million, approximately 42 percent), with additional groups including Mongols, Tibetans, and others constituting less than 1 percent.  Uyghurs are overwhelmingly Sunni Muslims.  The Globe and Mail reported in September 2019 that according to sources in the region, Uyghur and Han Chinese Christians likely number in the thousands.

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