Religious Beliefs and Spirituality in Benin
Based on a survey, as of 2002 almost 30% of the population are Roman Catholic, followed by Muslims (17.3%), Vodun (17.3%), Celestial Christian (5%), and Methodist (3.2%). There are also minor groups practicing other Christian and traditional religious groups.
It was in the late 17th century when Christianity was introduced in Benin. More than half of the Christian population in the country belongs to the Roman Catholic Church. Other Christian denominations include the Baptists, Pentecostals, Methodist, Assemblies of God, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons), Seventh-day Adventist, Celestial Christians, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and Unification Church. Islam was brought to the country by Arab, Hausa, and Songhai-Dendi merchants. Small groups of Muslims also observe traditional local religious beliefs.
The Beninese government protects the freedom of religion as mandated in the Constitution. Government officials have respect to religious leaders and usually attend induction ceremonies, funerals, and other religious celebrations. National holidays that are in connection to religious practices and observations are the Islamic holy days of Ramadan, All Saints’ Day, Tabaski, Christmas Day, Assumption Day, and the Birth of the Prophet Muhammad.