Section I. Religious Demography
The U.S. government estimates the total population at 14.5 million (midyear 2020 estimate). According to the 2015 nationwide Demographic and Health Survey conducted by the government statistics agency, 86 percent of the population is Christian, 11 percent reports no religious affiliation, less than 2 percent adheres uniquely to traditional beliefs, and less than 1 percent is Muslim. According to the survey, of the total population, 37 percent is Apostolic, 21 percent Pentecostal, 16 percent other Protestant, 7 percent Roman Catholic, and 5 percent other Christian.
While there are no reliable statistics regarding the percentage of the Christian population that is syncretic, many Christians also associate themselves with traditional practices, and religious leaders reported a continued increase in syncretism.
Most of the Muslim population lives in rural areas and some high-density suburbs, with smaller numbers living in other suburban neighborhoods. There are also small numbers of Greek Orthodox, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, and Baha’is.
Section IV. U.S. Government Policy and Engagement
To underscore the importance of religious tolerance, the Ambassador met with leaders of the country’s main Apostolic coalitions throughout the year, the Apostolic Nuncio in March, and ZCC leadership in August. Embassy officials met with Catholic, evangelical, and other Protestant, Apostolic, and Muslim religious leaders and faith-based NGOs to discuss the status of religious freedom in the country and the role of religious leaders in political reconciliation. These meetings took place in person from January through March and virtually thereafter due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Embassy representatives maintained regular contact with religious leaders via email, telephone, and social messaging applications. The embassy’s social media platforms promoted religious freedom, celebrated major religious holidays, and encouraged respectful engagement on religious topics.