Freedom of religion in Burkina Faso

The Constitution of Burkina Faso provides for freedom of religion, and the Government generally respects this right in practice. Government policy contributes to the generally free practice of religion. There were no reports of societal abuses or discrimination based on religious belief or practice; however, at times community members forced old women falsely accused of being witches to flee their villages.[1]

Religious demography

While exact statistics on religious affiliation are not available and vary widely, the Government estimated in its most recent census (1996) that approximately 60 percent of the population practice Islam, and that the majority of this group belong to the Sunni branch. The Government also estimated that 24 percent of the population maintains traditional indigenous beliefs, 17 percent practices Roman Catholicism, and 3 percent are members of various Protestant denominations. Statistics on religious affiliation are approximate because incorporating traditional indigenous beliefs and practices is widespread among both Christians and Muslims.

Muslims reside largely around the northern, eastern, and western borders, while Christians live in the center of the country. People practice traditional indigenous religious beliefs throughout the country, especially in rural communities. Most ethnic groups are religiously heterogeneous, although the Fulani and Dioula communities are overwhelmingly Muslim.