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Tanzania Religion – Interesting Facts/Brief Details

Brief Details About Tanzania Religion -Top  20 Interesting Facts

Within the African Great Lakes, lies the largest country in the Eastern part of Africa, Tanzania, where it has the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, and Burundi to the West; Malawi, Zambia, and Mozambique to the South; The Indian Ocean to the East and finally to the North, it has Kenya and Uganda. { Brief details about Tanzania religion }.

The country serves as a tourist center, as it housed the highest mountain in Africa named Mountain Kilimanjaro. Within the country are also located the spice islands of Zanzibar, Pemba, and Mafia with over 120 ethnic groups. Linguistically, Tanzania is the most diverse country in East Africa as a result of the vast numbers of languages that the Tanzanians speak. As a result of this, the country did not have a well-defined official language even though the national language is Swahili which was actually introduced into the country by the Arabs.

Tanzania Religion

Tanzania Religion

The conventional language- English is used for communication during international trading, in diplomacy, in higher courts and in Secondary and Tertiary Institution. Whereas the Swahili language is used in parliamentary debates, in lower courts, and in primary schools. And do not be surprised to hear that the Tanzania Government is actually planning on how to discontinue the use of English as a medium of passing instructions in their schools.

Maybe because the country is located in a more forest-like environment, the country has also been praised on different occasions for having the highest concentration of wildlife animals per square kilometer as more than 4 million wild animals with a representative from about 430 species and subspecies have been known. In line with this, the government has decided to allocate 38% of the land mass to the conservation of wildlife through the creation of various conservation area including Gombe Stream National Park, Ngorongoro Conservation Area and many more. With Zimbabwe and South Africa, Tanzania shared its National Anthem, titled Mungu Ibariki Afrika (God Bless Africa), which was composed by Enock Sontonga.

Regionally, the country is divided into 26 with 21 on the Mainland and 3 on the Zanzibar Island. The remaining two are been housed in the Pemba Island. Also, the largest crab in the world named Coconut Crab is homed by Tanzania, specifically on the Chumbe Island of Zanzibar.

Tanzania Religion

In 2007, religious leaders and sociologists estimated that both the Muslims and the Christians population are of equal size with each accounting for 30-40% of the population. The other portion of the population was occupied by practitioners of other faiths, indigenous religions, and individuals of ‘No religion’.

However, in 2014,

  • 35.2% of the population were Muslims
  • 61.4% were Christians
  • 1.8% were practitioners of traditional African religions
  • 1.4% were those unaffiliated with any religion
  • 0.2% are followers of other religions

Out Of The Muslim Population:

  • 16% are Ahmadiyya,
  • 20% are Non-denominational Muslims,
  • 40% are Sunnis,
  • 20% are Shiites
  • and the remaining 4% are Sufis.

The Christian Population is composed largely of Roman Catholics and Protestants. Pentecostals and Adventists are also present in the country because of missionary activity.

The Tanzania Government has also made all necessary arrangement for the proper practice of the religion depending on the faith of the Tanzanian concerned as they have enshrined it in their constitution the freedom of religion. The Tanzanian Economy is managed through Agricultural processing like sugar, beer, cigarettes etc. in the industry, Agriculture e.g. Coffee, sisal, tea, cotton etc. and exports like Gold Coffee Cashew nuts etc.

20 Interesting Facts About Tanzania Religion

  • Christians make up about 60% of the total population of Tanzanians
  • The Roman Catholics, out of the 60%, are 31.3% of the Tanzanians population
  • The First Catholic Evangelists to arrive in Tanzania were missionaries from Portugal and they arrived together with Catholic missionaries around the 19th century.
  • The second Catholic Evangelists were led by three dignitaries- The Holy Ghost Father, The Benedictine Monks, and the White Fathers as a result of the encounter with the Arabs leading to failure of the first Catholic mission.
  • The Protestants arrived in Tanzania together with the Catholic Missionaries and they account for about 27% of the Tanzanians population.
  • The Protestants were involved in competition with the Catholic Missionaries in evangelizing the locals during the colonial era.
  • 99% of residents of Zanzibar Island are Muslims and Muslim account for 35.1% of the Tanzanians Population.
  • The Arab Traders that settled in Zanzibar in the 13th Century were actually the ones who introduce Islam into Tanzania.
  • In the 15th and 19th century, there was an encounter between the Arab Muslims and the Christians Missionaries for the first and second times respectively.
  • The Missionaries are anti-slavery as they protested against it in the 15th Century and they see to the abolishment of the slaver.
  • Despite these encounters, the relationship between the Muslims and Christians looks more friendly.
  • Islam is mainly practiced in Pemba and Zanzibar Island
  • The Sunnis are the dominant of the sects of Islam in Tanzania. Other sects include Shia, Sufi, Ahmadiyya Islam and non-denominational Islam.
  • There are people without religion in Tanzania and they are termed ‘People of No Religion’
  • There are also the followers of Indigenous Spirituality that believe in ancestral worship.
  • Religious Holidays e.g. Easter, Idd-ul-Fitr and many more are all given equal emphasis in Tanzania.
  • The Christians help the economy by providing education and healthcare to Tanzanians.
  • The Arab Muslims are the ones that brought the main language in Tanzania as at now, Swahili
  • The Constitution of Tanzania provides for the freedom of religion
  • The Protestants are also of various types including Lutherans and Moravians.


Tanzania Religion wise, this country is one of the most religious countries in the world with Christianity at the top of the country’s pyramid of religion. Other religion after Christianity is Islam and those termed ‘Irreligious or Other Beliefs’. The irreligious are about 1.7% of the population and 56.3% of the population are Christians.

That’s all about Brief Details About Tanzania Religion -Top  20 Interesting Facts.


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Updated: March 27, 2018 — 7:09 am

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