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Religious worship

Côte d'Ivoire has considerable religious diversity. Many Ivoirians practice local religions, which are sometimes infused with elements of Christianity or Islam, or both.  Religious communities generally coexist peacefully. No world religion has been embraced by a majority of people. Conversions have been an individual matter in most cases, and many families include Muslims and Christians living together. Religious tolerance is also part of government policy.


The Constitution calls for a secular state, although this is not interpreted as strict separation of church and state. Officials often attend religious ceremonies as representatives of the state, and some mission schools receive government aid.


Islam is the dominant religion in Côte d'Ivoire, with Sunni Muslims being the majority. It is estimated that 35 to 40% of Ivorians are Muslims. The late President Félix Houphouët-Boigny, who, was a Catholic, kept Côte d'Ivoire's borders open to workers from neighboring countries, the majority of whom were Muslims. In addition to indigenous Ivorian Muslims and Muslim guest workers from nearby countries, a Lebanese Muslim community of about 50,000 has been living in Côte d'Ivoire since before World War II. 


Christianity is the second-largest religion in the country with about 30% of the population. Christian groups include:

·         Roman Catholics,

·         Jehovah’s Witnesses,

·         Seventh-day  Adventists,

·         Methodists,

·         Presbyterians,

·         Harrists,

·         The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons),

·         Southern Baptists,

·         Copts, and

·         Members of the Assemblies of God.


Other religious groups include:

·         Buddhists,

·         Bahais,

·         adherents of the Celestial  Church of Christ,

·         Followers of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness,  and

·         Bossonists, who follow traditions of the Akan ethnic group. 


Methodist, Baptist, and a number of smaller mission churches also exist. Many indigenous religions are also practiced in the country.


Traditionally, the north is associated with Islam and the south with Christianity,  although practitioners of both religions live throughout the country. The government observes the following religious holidays as national holidays:  Mawlid al-Nabi, Easter Monday, Ascension Day, Pentecost Monday, Assumption,  Laylat al-Qadr, Eid al-Fitr, Eid al-Adha, All Saints’ Day, and Christmas.