Freedom of religion in the Central African Republic

The Constitution provides for freedom of religion, although it prohibits what the Government considers to be religious fundamentalism or intolerance and establishes fixed legal conditions based on group registration with the Ministry of Interior. The Government generally respected the right to religious freedom in practice; however, witchcraft is a criminal offense under the penal code. Private actors continued to abuse and discriminate against those accused of witchcraft.

Religious demography

The country has an area of approximately 242,000 square miles (630,000 km2) and a population of 4,369,000. According to a 2005 census report, Protestants compose 51 percent of the population, Catholics 29 percent, and Muslims 10 percent. The remainder of the population practices traditional beliefs (animism), although many traditional beliefs are also incorporated into Christian and Islamic practice throughout the country.

In general, immigrants and foreign nationals in the country who practice a particular religion characterize themselves as Catholic, Protestant, or Muslim.

There were many foreign missionary groups operating in the country. Many missionaries who left the country due to fighting between rebel and government forces in 2002 and 2003 returned to the country and resumed their activities.