Chad - Religion

Religion

Main article: Religion in Chad

Chad is a religiously diverse country. The 1993 census found that 54% of Chadians were Muslim, 20% Roman Catholic, 14% Protestant, 10% animist, and 3% atheist. None of these religious traditions are monolithic. Animism includes a variety of ancestor and place-oriented religions whose expression is highly specific. Islam is expressed in diverse ways. Christianity arrived in Chad with the French and American missionaries; as with Chadian Islam, it syncretises aspects of pre-Christian religious beliefs. Muslims are largely concentrated in northern and eastern Chad, and animists and Christians live primarily in southern Chad and Guéra. The constitution provides for a secular state and guarantees religious freedom; different religious communities generally co-exist without problems.

Religion in Chad
religion percent
Islam 53%
Christianity 34%
Animism 10%
Atheism 3%

The vast majority of Muslims in the country are adherents of a moderate branch of mystical Islam (Sufism) known locally as Tijaniyah, which incorporates some local African religious elements. A small minority of the country's Muslims hold more fundamentalist practices, which, in some cases, may be associated with Saudi-oriented Salafi-movement.

Roman Catholics represent the largest Christian denomination in the country. Most Protestants, including the Nigeria-based "Winners Chapel," are affiliated with various evangelical Christian groups. Members of the Bahá'í and Jehovah's Witnesses religious communities also are present in the country. Both faiths were introduced after independence in 1960 and therefore are considered to be "new" religions in the country.

Chad is home to foreign missionaries representing both Christian and Islamic groups. Itinerant Muslim preachers primarily from Sudan, Saudi Arabia, and Pakistan, also visit. Saudi Arabian funding generally supports social and educational projects and extensive mosque construction.

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