Religion in Tanzania

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Religion in Tanzania (2014)
Indigenous beliefs
Source: CIA World Factbook[1]

Current statistics on religion in Tanzania are unavailable because religious surveys were eliminated from government census reports since 1967. Religious leaders and sociologists estimate that Muslim and Christian communities are approximately equal in size, each accounting for 30 to 40 percent of the population, with the remainder consisting of practitioners of other faiths, indigenous religions, and people of no religion.[2]


Great Mosque of Kilwa, one of the earliest mosques in East Africa
Church in Njombe

According to recent estimates, 40% of the population is Muslim, 35.1% Christian, 19.6% practice Animism, while 5.4% of the population is unaffiliated or follow other religions.[3][4]

Zanzibar is about 99 percent Muslim. There are also active communities of other religious groups, primarily on the mainland, such as Bahá'ís, Buddhists, Hindus, and Sikhs.[5]



On the mainland, Muslim communities are concentrated in coastal areas, with some large Muslim majorities also in inland urban areas especially and along the former caravan routes. Between 80 and 90 percent of the country's Muslim population is Sunni; the remainder consists of several Shia subgroups, mostly of Asian descent.[2]


The Christian population is mostly composed of Roman Catholics. Among Protestants, the large number of Lutherans and Moravians point to the German past of the country while the number of Anglicans point to the British history of Tanganyika. All of them have had some influence in varying degrees from the Walokole movement (East African Revival), which has also been fertile ground for the spread of charismatic and Pentecostal groups.[citation needed]

Bahai Faith[edit]


A Swaminarayan Temple




Religion and society[edit]

Gaddafi Mosque in the capital Dodoma is one of the largest mosques in East Africa

The Constitution provides for freedom of religion, and the Government generally respects this right in practice. There have been cases of increased tension between secular and fundamentalist Muslims as the latter have called for Muslims to adopt a stricter interpretation of Islam in their daily lives.[2]

Notable places of worship[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "The World Fact Book: Tanzania". Retrieved 26 January 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c International Religious Freedom Report 2007: Tanzania. United States Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor (September 14, 2007). This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  3. ^ German Spiegel Wissen online about Tanzania: 40 percent Muslim, 40 percent Christian
  4. ^ Country information on Tanzania by French Foreign Office (French): 35 percent Muslim, 30 percent Christian, 35 percent other
  5. ^ "U.S. Department of State". Retrieved 2010-04-25.