Numbers, Facts and Trends Shaping Your World

Christianity and Islam in Sub-Saharan Africa

Just a little more than a century ago, most Africans (76%) practiced traditional African religions. According to historical estimates from the World Religion Database, in 1900, just 14% of the people living in Sub-Saharan Africa practiced Christianity; even fewer were Muslim (9%). Today, however, Africa is overwhelmingly populated by followers of these two religions. The number of Christians has grown 70-fold, and now a majority of Sub-Saharan Africans are Christian (57%). The Muslim population has grown 20-fold, and now nearly three-in-ten (29%) Sub-Saharan Africans are Muslim. Just 13% are followers of traditional African religions. Sub-Saharan Africa now is home to about one-in-five of all Christians in the world (21%) and more than one-in-seven of the world’s Muslims (15%). Read More