Society

Religious Beliefs In Burkina Faso

Sunni Muslims are the religious majority in Burkina Faso, while Roman Catholics comprise a significant religious minority.

Burkina Faso is a country in the western part of Africa covering an area of 105,900 square kilometers with a general population of 17.3 million. Being a landlocked country, it is surrounded by six countries, Mali, Niger, Benin, Togo, Ivory Coast, and Ghana. It was colonized by the French until 1960 when they gained independence thus is a francophone country as French is its official language. There are ten large cities, and more than fifty other towns in the country hence is an urbanized country though not fully. We are going to take a look at the various religious groups in the country.

Religious Beliefs In Burkina Faso

Islam

In the 11th century, the Mossi kingdoms had occupied the Upper Volta (also Burkina Faso) protected their religious and traditional beliefs from external influences, especially from the northwestern Muslims. This practise changed in the 15th century when the Upper Volta region opened trading centers like Akan gold field which enabled the merchants to trade in gold, kola nuts, and salt. As a result of these changes and developments, it attracted the Muslim merchants who established their settlements there and intermarriages between them, and local women took place hence a transformation of the locals. The Muslims were considered part of the Mossi Kingdom, and Islam spread through the entire Upper Volta region, Ivory Coast, and Guinea and it was promoted through the construction of Mosques, Muslim festivals, and the media. The Muslims in the country constitute 61.1% of the entire population

Roman Catholic Christianity

Roman Catholicism developed in the Upper Volta (Burkina Faso) with the arrival of the French Colonialists in 1896. A missionary assisted in the establishment of Catholicism firmly in the country and between 1900 and 1901 catholic missions had already been established. Roman Catholic Church in the country is part of the worldwide Catholicism mainly based in Rome, and they constitute 19% of the entire country’s population.

Traditional African Religions and Folk Beliefs

The traditional African beliefs majorly are the various traditional religion and beliefs like the belief in spirits and a supreme creator, veneration of the dead, traditional medicine among others. With the arrival of the Muslims and the colonialists in the now Burkina Faso led to the amalgamation of either Christianity or Islam alongside these beliefs. Even though there has been an adherence and a general acceptance of the beliefs, the traditional African believers constitute 11.3% of the entire population.

Protestant Christianity

Protestant Christianity in Burkina Faso is the minority religion as it constitutes only 5.5% of the entire population. Protestants are generally against the teaching of the Roman Catholic teachings and majorly based in either Ouagadougou as well as Bobo-Dioulasso.

Atheism or Agnosticism

Atheism is general sense is the rejection of existing deities or religious beliefs, and often the criticism of religion. Atheists always argue from the Philosophical, Social, and Historical approaches of lack of substantial evidence to the existence of a god. They constitute 1% of the population and many times are considered non-existent.

Traditional Religious Beliefs In Burkina Faso

2.1% of Burkina Faso’s population have beliefs in other supreme beings of their own and acceptance of all these various religions have been widely seen. The country’s constitution promotes all forms of religion and respects each citizen’s form of worship as long as it does not interfere with others.

Religious Beliefs In Burkina Faso

RankBelief SystemShare of Population in Burkina Faso
1Islam61.1%
2Roman Catholic Christianity19.0%
3Traditional African Religions and/or Folk Beliefs11.3%
4Protestant Christianity5.5%
5Atheism or Agnosticism1.0%

Other Beliefs2.1%

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