Freedom of religion in Africa by country

Overview about the freedom of religion in Africa by country / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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The status of religious freedom in Africa varies from country to country. States can differ based on whether or not they guarantee equal treatment under law for followers of different religions, whether they establish a state religion (and the legal implications that this has for both practitioners and non-practitioners), the extent to which religious organizations operating within the country are policed, and the extent to which religious law is used as a basis for the country's legal code.

There are further discrepancies between some countries' self-proclaimed stances of religious freedom in law and the actual practice of authority bodies within those countries: a country's establishment of religious equality in their constitution or laws does not necessarily translate into freedom of practice for residents of the country. Additionally, similar practices (such as having citizens identify their religious preference to the government or on identification cards) can have different consequences depending on other sociopolitical circumstances specific to the countries in question. Most countries in Africa legally establish that freedom of religion is a right conferred to all individuals. The extent to which this is enforced in practice varies greatly from country to country. Several countries have anti-discrimination laws which prohibit religious discrimination. Several countries, particularly in West Africa and Southern Africa, have a high degree of religious tolerance, both as enforced by the government, and as reflected by societal attitudes.[1][2][3] Others, however, have significant levels of religious discrimination, either practiced by government apparatuses or by the general public.[4][5] Groups facing significant levels of legal discrimination in Africa include Muslims (in majority Christian countries), Christians (in majority Muslim countries),[6] Baháʼí Faith practitioners,[7] Ahmadiyya Muslims (in Muslim countries),[8] and Rastafarians.[9] Additionally, some countries have significant levels of societal animosity against atheists.[10] Some countries ban witchcraft.[11][12] Several countries establish Islam as a state religion,[13][14][15] and some countries with significant Muslim populations also have significant government oversight of Islamic practice in the country, up to and including the establishment of religious Islamic courts, which are most commonly used for family law.[14][16] These courts are usually present in addition to secular courts,[17][18] and typically have a subordinate role, although this is not always the case.[19]

Several countries require that religious organizations register with the government,[20][21] and some ban the establishment of religious political parties.[22] Several countries provide funding for religious institutions and/or pilgrimages.[23]

Religiously motivated violence is present in some countries, particularly ones that have a high level of political instability or active insurgencies.[24][25]

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