Religion in Cameroon (2020)[1]

  Christianity (59.7%)
  Islam (20.2%)
  Traditional faiths (19.0%)
  Others / None (1.1%)
Our Lady of Victories Cathedral in the capital Yaoundé

Christianity is the majority religion in Cameroon, with significant minorities of the adherents of Islam and traditional faiths.

Cameroon is officially a secular country. Christian churches and Muslim centers of various denominations operate freely throughout Cameroon, while the traditionalists operate in their shrines and temples, which are also becoming popular today.[2] The northern region of Cameroon has been the site of Islamist insurgency leading to the displacement of tens of thousands of civilians.[3]

Main religions

Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul, Douala

The predominant faith is Christianity, practised by 60% of the population, while Islam is a significant minority faith, adhered to by about one-fifth.[4][2] Turkish NGO IHH estimates Muslims account for 25-30% of the Cameroonian population.[5] The Christian population is divided between Roman Catholics (26.5% of the total population), Protestants (22.5%), and other Christian denominations (including Jehovah's Witnesses) 6%.[4][2]

The vast majority of Muslims in the country are Sunni belonging to Maliki school of jurisprudence, with approximately 2% Ahmadiyya and 3% Shia.[6] Christians and Muslims are found in every region, although Christians are chiefly in the southern and western provinces and Muslims are the majority in the northern provinces.


The two Anglophone provinces of the western region are largely Protestant, and the Francophone provinces of the southern and western regions are largely Catholic and Evangelicals.[7][2] In the northern provinces, the locally dominant Fulani (Fula: Fulɓe; French: Peul or Peuhl) ethnic group is virtually Muslim, but the overall population is fairly evenly mixed between Muslims, Christians, each often living in its own community.[7][2] The Bamoun ethnic group of the West Province is largely Muslim.[7][2] Apart from the Fulani who are the most dominant in numbers and politics, there are many more Islam-based ethnicities in the northern region. The Islamization of the northern regions by the Fulani extended to several ethnic groups, the majority of which are adherents of Islam such as the Musgum and Mafa. Other ethnic groups such as Kanuri were introduced to Islam through the Borno Empire. Several Islamic-based ethnic groups in the Far North Region most notably the Fulani and Kanuri who live in rural settlements do not have birth certifications or identity cards and are not included in the religion census statistics. Christianity is a minority in the northern regions with ethnic groups such as Tupuri whose population are majority followers of Christianity. Traditional indigenous religious beliefs are practiced in rural areas throughout the country but rarely are practiced publicly in cities, in part because many indigenous religious groups are intrinsically local in character.[7][2] There are also 200,000 Orthodox Christians (or 0.75%),[8] with a constant and significant growth, especially in the north of the country.[8][9]

Other faiths

By 2001, the Baháʼí National Spiritual Assembly was registered with the Government of Cameroon as one of the few non-Christian foreign religions.[10] As of 2020, there were almost 70,000 adherents of the Baháʼí Faith in the country.[4]

There is a tiny population of Jews in Cameroon who have established ties with the wider global Jewish community. In 2010, a community of approximately 50 people practiced some form of Judaism in the country.[11] Hinduism is the faith practiced by some South Asian migrants.

Religious freedom

The Constitution provides for a secular state with freedom of religion in Cameroon.[12][2] In 2023, the country was scored 2 out of 4 for religious freedom.[13]

See also


  1. ^ "ARDA National Profiles 2020".
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h Wayi E. Mico (2016), A social analysis of the Religious situation in Cameroon.
  3. ^ "Cameroon's Large-Scale Boko Haram Attacks Leave Thousands Homeless". 19 April 2023.
  4. ^ a b c World Religion Database on the ARDA website, Retrieved 2023-08-01
  5. ^ "Cameroon Muslims". Archived from the original on 2018-08-20.
  6. ^ "The World's Muslims: Unity and Diversity" (PDF). Pew Forum on Religious & Public life. August 9, 2012. Retrieved April 6, 2014.
  7. ^ a b c d July-December, 2010 International Religious Freedom Report : Cameroon. United States Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor (2010) This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  8. ^ a b "Metropolis of Cameroon - Η ΜΗΤΡΟΠΟΛΙΣ". Archived from the original on 2018-06-15.
  9. ^ "Multiple Baptisms in Cameroon on feast of the Cross".
  10. ^ Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor (2001-10-26), Cameroon - International Religious Freedom Report, U.S. State Department((citation)): CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  11. ^ "Keeping the faith in Cameroon as Staten Island rabbi visits African nation". 2010. Retrieved 2021-03-11.
  12. ^ US State Dept 2022 report
  13. ^ Freedom House website, Retrieved 2023-08-01