Religion in Mauritius

Last updated

Religion in Mauritius (2015 census) [1]

   Hinduism (48.14%)
   Roman Catholic (27.23%)
   Protestantism (2.68%)
   Islam (17.54%)
  No religion or Unspecifed (3.98%)
  Other (0.43%)

Mauritius is a religiously diverse nation, with Hinduism being the most widely professed faith. [2] The people of Indian descent (Indo-Mauritian) follow mostly Hinduism and Islam. The Franco-Mauritians, Creoles and Sino-Mauritians follow Christianity. A minority of Sino-Mauritians also follow Buddhism and other Chinese-related religions. According to the 2011 census made by Statistics Mauritius, Hinduism is the major religion at 48.54%, followed by Christianity at 32.71% (with Catholicism as the largest Christian denomination at 26.26%), followed by Islam 17.30% and Buddhism 0.18% in terms of number of adherents. [2]

Contents

The constitution prohibits discrimination on religious grounds and provides for freedom to practice or change one's religion. The government provides money to the Roman Catholic Church, Church of England, Presbyterian Church of Mauritius, Seventh-day Adventists, Hindus, and Muslims according to their numbers in the census in addition to tax-exempt status. Other religious groups can register and be tax-exempt but receive no subsidy. [3] Religious public holidays are the Hindu festivals of Maha Shivaratree, Ougadi, Thaipoosam Cavadee, Ganesh Chaturthi, and Diwali; the Christian festivals of Assumption and Christmas; and the Muslim festival of Eid al-Fitr. [4]

Dharmic religions

Hinduism

Hinduism originally came to Mauritius mainly through Indians who worked as indentured labourers on the island following the abolition of slavery. [5] Today, Hinduism is a major religion in Mauritius, representing 48.54% of the total population of the country according to the 2011 census carried out by Statistics Mauritius. [2] [6] [7] This makes Mauritius the country having the highest percentage of Hindus in Africa and third highest percentage of Hindus in the world after Nepal and India, respectively.

One of the biggest festivals on the island is Mahasivaratri, or the 'Great Night of Siva'. During this annual Hindu celebration, which takes place in the months of February and March, four to nine days of ceremony and fasting lead up to an all-night vigil of Siva worship and Ganesha worship.

There is also a significant migrant population of Bhumihars in Mauritius who have made a mark for themselves in different fields; they are still in touch with their family members in India and there are instances of marital relations between them to keep their cultural identity intact. [8]

Buddhism

About 0.4% of the population of Mauritius adheres to Buddhism. [2] It is practiced by a significant minority of Sino-Mauritians.

Abrahamic religions

Sub-Tropical Rambles in the land of the Aphanapteryx, Port Louis Cathedral.jpg
Port Louis, Saint Louis Cathedral.jpg
Old and new images of St. Louis Cathedral, Port-Louis

Christianity

Catholics make up 83% of Mauritius's Christians (26% of the total population or 324,811). [2] The other recognized and subsidized religions include the Church of England which on the island is the Diocese of Mauritius in the Church of the Province of the Indian Ocean which has 2,788 members according to the census; the Presbyterian Church of Mauritius with 501 members, and the Seventh-day Adventists with 4,428 members. [2] Other Christian denominations include three Pentecostal groups Assembly of God with 8,692, Mission Salut et Guérison with 3,731, and Pentecotiste Church with 6,817. [2] About 47,774 just listed Christian on the census. [2] Jehovah's Witnesses have 2,173 members. [2] The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints reports 471 members in 2 congregations; [9] the census reports 40. [2]

Christianity came to Mauritius with the first inhabitants, the Dutch. However, the Dutch abandoned the island in 1710. [10] The French brought Christianity again when they arrived in 1715. From 1723, there was a law whereby all slaves coming to the island must be baptised Catholic. [11] This law does not seem to have been strictly adhered to. [11] After they had taken Mauritius from the French during the Napoleonic Wars, the British tried to turn Mauritius Protestant during the 1840s and 1850s. [11]

Franco-Mauritians, usually having the same religion and denomination as the Creoles, have sometimes emphasised their differences from the Creoles by practising more traditionally, for instance celebrating Mass in Latin. [12] Today Christianity is practiced by 31.7% of the total population. [2]

Islam

Jummah Mosque, Port Louis Mosquee - panoramio.jpg
Jummah Mosque, Port Louis

Islam is practiced by 17.3% of the Mauritian population. [2] Approximately 95 percent of these are Sunni Muslims, [13] having an understanding of the Urdu language. Within the Muslim community, there are three distinct ethnicities that exist, notably the Memons and the Surtees (who are rich merchants who came from Kutch and Surat province of Gujarat in India), then the "Hindi Calcattias" who came to Mauritius as indentured labourers from Bihar. Humeirah, a novel by Sabah Carrim, is a story about the Memons and the "Hindi Calcattias" set on the island of Mauritius.

Other languages include Bhojpuri, Gujarati, and Tamil. Among the Shi'a minority, some have their origins in different parts of South Asia, while others are adherents of the Shia Ismaili sect from East Africa. The majority of Shias are Ithnā‘ashariyyah with small Ismaili sect.

The first purpose-built mosque in Mauritius is the Camp des Lascars Mosque in around 1805. It is now officially known as the Al-Aqsa Mosque. The Jummah Mosque in Port Louis was built in the 1850s and is often described as one of the most beautiful religious building in Mauritius by the Ministry of Tourism's guide. There are many smaller mosques in the towns and villages. The highest concentration of Muslims is found in the capital Port Louis, predominantly in the Plaine Verte, Ward IV, Valle Pitot and Camp Yoloff neighborhood.

Most people of the Muslim community follows the Sunni belief. However, there are also the Shia and Tablighi Jamaat. According to the 2011 census, there were 1265 Ahmadis. [2] The Islamic Authority recognized by the Government is Jummah Mosque Port Louis.

Baháʼí Faith

The Baháʼí Faith was introduced to the Mauritius by Ottilie Rhein in 1953. [14] For opening a new territory to the Faith during the Ten Year Crusade, Ottilie Rhein was designated a Knight of Bahá'u'lláh by Shoghi Effendi, the Guardian of the Baháʼí Faith. According to the 2011 government census, there were 639 Baháʼís in Mauritius, [2] and the Association of Religion Data Archives (relying on World Christian Database) states there were 23,748 Baháʼís in Mauritius in 2010. [15]

Others

Confucianism and Taoism are also practiced by small number of Mauritian population. In 2011, there were only 43 Jews in Mauritius. [2]

See also

Related Research Articles

Demographics of Mauritius

This article is about the demographic features of the population of Mauritius, including population density, ethnicity, education level, health of the populace, economic status, religious affiliations and other aspects of the population.

Religion in Africa is multifaceted and has been a major influence on art, culture and philosophy. Today, the continent's various populations and individuals are mostly adherents of Christianity, Islam, and to a lesser extent several traditional African religions. In Christian or Islamic communities, religious beliefs are also sometimes characterized with syncretism with the beliefs and practices of traditional religions.

Islam in Mauritius

Muslims constitute over 17.3 per cent of Mauritius population. Muslims of Mauritius are mostly of Indian descent. Large numbers of Muslims arrived to Mauritius during the British regime starting in 1834 as part of the large scale indentured labor force from India.

Religion in Egypt Religion in Egypt

Religion in Egypt controls many aspects of social life and is endorsed by law. The state religion of Egypt is Islam. Although estimates vary greatly in the absence of official statistics. Since the 2006 census religion has been excluded, and thus available statistics are estimates made by religious and non-governmental agencies. The country is majority Sunni Muslim, with the next largest religious group being Coptic Orthodox Christians. The exact numbers are subject to controversy, with Christians alleging that they have been systemically under-counted in existing censuses.

Christianity is the largest religion in Northern Ireland. At the 2011 census, the prevalence rates for the main religions were: Catholic ; Presbyterian ; Church of Ireland ; Methodist ; Other Christian or Christian-related denominations ; other Religions and Philosophies and those declaring no religion or religion not stated 16.9%. The Catholic Church has seen a small growth in adherents, while the other Christian groups have seen a small decrease.

Indo-Mauritians or Indian Mauritians are Mauritians who trace their ethnic ancestry to India.

Religion in Afghanistan

Afghanistan is an Islamic republic, in which most citizens follow Islam. As much as 90% of the population follow Sunni Islam. According to The World Factbook Sunni Muslims constitute between 82.7 - 89.7% of the population, and Shia Muslims between 10 - 17%. 0.3% follow other minority religions.

Religion in Belize

Christianity is the dominant religion in Belize. The single largest denomination is the Roman Catholic Church with about 40.1% of the population, a reduction from 49.6% of the population in 2000, 57.7% in 1991 and 61.9% in 1980, although absolute numbers have still risen. Other major groups include Pentecostal with 8.4% of the population up from 7.4% in 2000 and 6.3% in 1991, Seventh-day Adventists with 5.4% of the population up from 5.2% in 2000 and 4.1% in 1991. The following of the Anglican Church has been steadily declining, with only 4.7% of the population in 2010 compared to 6.95% in 1991. About 12,000 Mennonites live mostly in the rural districts of Cayo and Orange Walk. People who declared they belong to no religion make up 15.5% of the population in 2010, more than double their 2000 census numbers. 11.2% adhere to other religions which include the Maya religion, Afro-American religions, Mormons, Hindus, Buddhists, Muslims, Baháʼís, Rastafarians and others.

Religion in South Africa

Religion in South Africa is dominated by various branches of Christianity. South Africa is a secular state with a diverse religious population. Its constitution guarantees freedom of religion. Many religions are represented in the ethnic and regional diversity of the population.

Zambia is officially a "Christian country" by constitution. Christianity is the state religion in Zambia according to the 1996 constitution, and the vast majority of Zambians (95.5%) are Christians of various denominations, but many other religious traditions are present. Traditional religious thought blends easily with Christian beliefs in many of the country's syncretic churches. Other religions include the Baháʼí Faith, Islam, Hinduism, Sikhism, and Judaism. Ismaili Muslim, Hindu and Sikh communities exist owing to the Indian and Pakistani diasporic community.

According to various polls, the majority of Kazakhstan's citizens, primarily ethnic Kazakhs, identify as non-denominational Muslims, while others incline towards Sunni of the Hanafi school, traditionally including ethnic Kazakhs, who constitute about 63.6% of the population, as well as ethnic Uzbeks, Uighurs, and Tatars. Less than 1% are part of the Shafi`i and Shi'a. There are a total of 2,300 mosques, all of them affiliated with the "Spiritual Association of Muslims of Kazakhstan", headed by a supreme mufti. The Eid al-Adha is recognized as a national holiday.

Religion in Kuwait

Islam is the official religion in Kuwait, and the majority of the citizen population are Muslim. There are also small native Christian and Baháʼí Faith populations. Most expatriates in Kuwait are Muslim, Hindu, Christian or Buddhist.

Religion is an important aspect of identity and society in Guyana. In 2012 the population was 63% Christian, 25% Hindu, 7% Muslim. Religions are reflected by East Indian, African, Chinese, and European ancestry, as well as a significant indigenous population. Members of all ethnic groups are well represented in all religious groups, with two exceptions: most Hindus are Indo-Guyanese, and nearly all Rastafarians are Afro-Guyanese people. Foreign missionaries from many religious groups are present. Christianity has historically been associated with Afro-Guyanese.

Islam is the most followed religion in Niger and is practiced by 99% of the population. According to Pew, roughly 59% of Muslims are Sunni of Maliki school of jurisprudence, whilst 20% are non-denominational Muslims, 7% are Shia Muslims and 6% are Ahmadiyya Muslims. Other religions practiced in Niger include Animism and Christianity.

Religion in Cameroon

Christianity is the predominant religion in Cameroon with significant minorities of the adherents of Islam and traditional faiths. Christian churches and Muslim centers of various denominations operate freely throughout Cameroon while the traditionalists operate in their shrines and temples, which are also becoming popular today. The predominant faith is Christianity, practised by about two-thirds of the population, while Islam is a significant minority faith, adhered to by about one-fifth. Turkish NGO IHH estimates Muslims account for 25-30% of the Cameroonian population/ The Christian population is divided between Roman Catholics, Protestants, and other Christian denominations 6 percent. The vast majority of the Muslims are Sunni belonging to Maliki school of jurisprudence, with approximately 12% Ahmadiyya and 3% Shia. Christians and Muslims are found in every region, although Christians are chiefly in the southern and western provinces and Muslims are the majority in the northern provinces.

Religion in Tonga

The overwhelming majority of people in Tonga consider themselves Christians, which is dominated by Methodists. The constitution of Tonga establishes the freedom of religion, which is respected in practice by both the government and general society, although there are some laws which restrict commerce and broadcast media in accordance with Christian religious norms.

Religion in Suriname

Religion in Suriname is characterized by a range of religious beliefs and practices due to its ethnic diversity. The government is vocally supportive of religious diversity and tolerance, and these attitudes are present in general society as well. According to the most recent census (2012), 48.4 percent of the population is Christian 22.3 percent is Hindu, 13.9 percent is Muslim, 1.8 percent follows Winti, and 0.8 percent is Javanist. In addition 2.1 percent of the population follows other faiths, 7.5 percent are atheist or agnostic, and 3.2 percent did not answer the question about their religion.

Christianity in Mauritius

Christianity is the religion adhered to by 32.7 per cent of the population of Mauritius. Of these, 80.3 per cent are Roman Catholics. The Mauritian Creole and Franco-Mauritian ethnic groups are mostly Christian and significant parts of the Sino-Mauritian ethnic group are also mainly Christian. Mauritius got independence in 1968 and there was no state religion in Mauritius defined in the constitution. The religious organizations present at the time of independence, namely, Roman Catholic Church, Church of England, Presbyterian Church, Seventh-day Adventist, Hindus and Muslims are recognized by parliamentary decree.

Nowadays, no one could still claim his pure race status. Ethnic, social and linguistic differences become each day more and more present and marked all over the world. Time, history and continuous population intermingling across boundaries led to create cosmopolitan beings, that is to say world citizens who, in spite of their singularity, manage to bring themselves together in order to create a unique and single nation. Among the nations most affected by this cross-fertilization is notably found Mauritius. The social and linguistic diversity of this country makes it unique and contribute to its wealth. It arouses curiosity, urges us to deepen our knowledge on the subject and is, to this extent, worth being studied.

Religion in Karachi

Religions in Karachi include Islam, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism, Buddhism, Zoroastrianism and others. According to a 1998 census of Pakistan, the religious breakdown of the city is as follows: Muslim (96.45%), Christian (2.42%), Hindu (0.86%), Ahmadis (0.17%) and other (0.10%). Other religious groups include Parsis, Sikhs, Baháʼí, Jews and Buddhists. Of the Muslims, approximately 66% are Sunnis and 34% are Shi'ites. The Sunnis follow Hanafi fiqh while Shi'ites are predominantly Ithnā‘Ashariyyah fiqh, with significant minority groups who follow Ismaili Fiqh, which is composed of Nizari, Mustaali, Dawoodi Bohra and Sulaymani fiqhs.

References

  1. https://www.thearda.com/internationalData/countries/Country_147_2.asp
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 "Resident population by religion and sex" (PDF). Statistics Mauritius. pp. 68, 71. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 16, 2013. Retrieved April 23, 2017.
  3. "International Religious Freedom Report for 2015". United States State Department. Retrieved 2016-11-25.
  4. "Public Holidays". Mauritius. 2016-02-04. Retrieved 2016-11-25.
  5. Malik, Rajiv (2003). "The Hindus of Mauritius". Hinduism Today. Himalayan Academy. Retrieved 2007-04-25.
  6. "Hinduism in Mauritius -as indentured servants of European settlers of the island. As of 2000, 48% of the country follows Hinduism". Mauritiusdelight.com. Retrieved 2016-06-21.
  7. "Mauritian culture – The main religions in Mauritius". Lemeilleurdelilemaurice.com. 2012-11-16. Retrieved 2016-06-21.
  8. Thapan (ed.), Meenakshi (2005). Transnational Migration and the Politics of Identity. SAGE. p. 320. ISBN   978-0-7619-3425-7.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
  9. "Mauritius". Newsroom. Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Retrieved 25 November 2016.
  10. "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on May 10, 2011. Retrieved January 28, 2010.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  11. 1 2 3 Watson, James L. (1980). Asian and African systems of slavery. University of California Press. pp. 158–159. ISBN   978-0-520-04031-1 . Retrieved 2010-01-28.
  12. Hylland Eriksen, Thomas (1998). Common denominators: ethnicity, nation-building and compromise in Mauritius. Berg Publishers. p. 82. ISBN   978-1-85973-959-4 . Retrieved 2010-01-28.
  13. "ISLAM IN MAURITIUS | Faisal Muhammad". Academia.edu. 1970-01-01. Archived from the original on 2014-07-09. Retrieved 2016-06-21.[ circular reference ]
  14. "History of Faith in Mauritius". The official website of the Baháʼís of Mauritius. Baháʼí Community of Mauritius. 2014. Retrieved April 23, 2017.
  15. "QuickLists: Most Baha'i (sic) Nations (2010)". Association of Religion Data Archives . 2010. Retrieved 2020-10-22.