(51 COUNTRIES AND
has more than 500 million Christians, which makes it the region with the
third-largest number of Christians worldwide.11
Collectively, the region’s 51 countries and territories are home to nearly a
quarter of the world’s Christians (24%).
Together, the 10
countries with the largest number of Christians in sub-Saharan Africa have
about one-in-six of the world’s Christians.
The majority of
Christians in sub-Saharan Africa are Protestant (57%), as broadly defined in
this report; this includes members of African Independent Churches and
one-in-three Christians in the region (34%) are Catholic. Orthodox Christians
account for about 8% of the region’s Christians, and other Christians make up
the remaining 1%.
11 To see all the countries and territories
in Sub-Saharan Africa, see the Interactive Maps. (return to text)
12 African Independent Churches are
Christian churches in sub-Saharan Africa that developed and function outside
the control of Western missions or churches. Some AICs (also called African
Initiated, Indigenous or Instituted Churches) incorporate aspects of
traditional African religions, including revelatory dreams and visions, healing
practices and belief in a spirit world. For more information, see Pew Research
Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life, Tolerance and Tension: Islam and
Christianity in Sub-Saharan Africa, 2010. (return to text)