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Religious Beliefs and Spirituality in Chad

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Chad has no state religion. It is a religiously diverse republic but majority of its senior government officials are said to be Muslims who belong to Islam, one of the three religious traditions that co-exist in the country. The other two are the Classical African religion and Christianity. The Classical African religion includes different ancestor or place-oriented faiths with specific expressions. Islam is characterized by an orthodox set of beliefs and observances, and Christianity, which arrived only recently in the country, by certain beliefs and religious practices.

With 54% of the population mostly in the eastern and northern Chad, Islam had already spread around Lake Chad before the Europeans came. It was brought from Sudan and northern Nigeria. Through the years, some indigenous religious elements became part of Muslim practices. Currently the religion is established in major towns and where Arab populations are found in the country.

The followers of Christianity are divided into Roman Catholics and Protestants. The Roman Catholics consist of 20% of the population, compared to the Protestants with 14%.The Roman Catholics represent the biggest Christian denomination in the country and has greater influence on the life of the Chadians than the Protestants even if the latter, who are affiliated with various evangelical Christian groups, arrived in the country as far back as 1920. The Baha’I Faith and Jehovah’s Witnesses are said to have a small number of followers in the country.

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