Section I. Religious Demography
The U.S. government estimates the population at 19.1 million (midyear 2021). According to Zambia Statistics Agency (ZamStats) estimates, 95.5 percent of the country’s population is Christian. Of these, 75.3 percent identify as Protestant, and 20.2 percent as Roman Catholic. Protestant groups with the largest numbers of adherents include the Anglican Church, evangelical Christians, and Pentecostal groups. According to ZamStats, approximately 2.7 percent of the population is Muslim, with smaller numbers of Hindus, Baha’is, Buddhists, Jews, and Sikhs. Even smaller numbers adhere to other belief systems, including indigenous religions and witchcraft, or hold no religious beliefs. Many persons combine Christianity and indigenous beliefs.
The Muslim community is predominantly Sunni, with small groups of Ismaili and Shia Muslims. According to the Lusaka Muslim Society, there are approximately 100,000 Muslims in the country, including Congolese and Somali refugees. Both Sunni and Shia Muslims are primarily concentrated in Lusaka, Eastern, and Copperbelt Provinces. Many are immigrants or the children of immigrants from South Asia, Somalia, and the Middle East who have acquired citizenship. Hindus, mostly of South Asian descent, are located largely in the Eastern, Copperbelt, and Lusaka Provinces and estimate the size of their community at 10,000 as of 2019. There are small numbers of Jews, mostly in Lusaka and Northern Province.