Religion in the Republic of the Congo by the World Religion Database (2020 estimate)[1]

  Christian (89.32%)
  Muslim (1.24%)
  None (2.97%)
  Other (0.97%)
St. Peter's Cathedral in Pointe-Noire.

Christianity is the predominant religion in the Republic of the Congo, with Catholicism being its largest denomination.

Different sources give varying population figures for various denominations. The 2012 census reported 55% of the native-born population is Catholic, 32% Protestant, and 2% Muslim.[2] However a government survey of the same year had 32% as Catholic, 55% Protestant, 2% Muslim, 9% other religions, and 2% atheist or unaffiliated.[2] However many people in the country many of whom are Muslim are not native-born and not included in government statistics.[2] According to the CIA World Factbook, in 2007 the people of the Republic of the Congo were largely a mix of Catholics (33.1%), Awakening/Revival churches (22.3%), Protestants (19.9%), and none (11.3%). Smaller groups include Salutiste 2.2% and Kimbanguiste (1.5%). Followers of Islam made up 1.6%, primarily due to an influx of foreign workers into the urban centers.[3]

Most Muslim workers in urban centers are immigrants from West Africa and Lebanon, with some also from North Africa. The West African immigrants arrived mostly from Mali, Benin, Togo, Mauritania, and Senegal. The Lebanese are primarily Sunni Muslims. There are also 6,0000 followers of the Ahmadiyya school of Islam in the country.[4]

A small minority practice Kimbanguism, a syncretistic movement that originated in the neighboring Democratic Republic of the Congo. While retaining many elements of Christianity, Kimbanguism also recognizes its founder (Simon Kimbangu) as a prophet and incorporates African traditional beliefs, such as ancestor worship.

Freedom of religion

In 2023, the country scored 3 out of 4 for religious freedom.[5] Though religions mostly act with freedom in the country at present, the government's attempt to implement socialist reforms in the 1970s led to the nationalisation of many religious institutions, such as schools, as well as restrictions on religious activities. This is a reality from which the Catholic Church, for example, has not yet fully recovered, operating a lower proportion of schools (10%) than in neighbouring countries.[6]

See also


  1. ^ Johnson, Todd M.; Grim, Brian J., eds. (2022). World Religion Database. Brill. Retrieved 3 January 2024. As published at ARDA
  2. ^ a b c "2021 Report on International Religious Freedom: Republic of the Congo". United States State Department. Retrieved 29 April 2024.
  3. ^ "Congo, Republic of the". The World Factbook. Central Intelligence Agency. 2023-12-06. Retrieved 2024-01-03.
  4. ^ "The World's Muslims: Unity and Diversity" (PDF). Pew Forum on Religious & Public life. August 9, 2012. Retrieved February 22, 2014.
  5. ^ Freedom House website, retrieved 2023-08-01
  6. ^ "Congo-Brazzaville: A forgotten Church". ACN International. Aid to the Church in Need. 15 April 2024. Retrieved 2024-04-29.