Previously, religious marriage officers could only be legally designated as such "for the purpose of solemnising marriages according to Christian, Jewish or Mohammedan rites or the rites of any Indian religion" in accordance with the Marriage Act. Factbook > Countries > South Africa > Demographics. It is unclear when the first Hindus settled in parts of South Africa. The Dutch and the British introduced Christianity during the apartheid era. Non-Christian entities in the country include Islam, Hinduism, Judaism, and Buddhism. The Roman Catholic Church is the main Catholicism in South Africa and 7.1 of the population in the country are followers of this religion.The belief system is common among the Zulu, Xhosa, and Sotho. Christianity is now one of the most widely practiced religions in Africa along with Islam and is the largest religion in Sub-Saharan Africa. , A 2015 study estimated some 6,500 believers from a Muslim background have converted into Christianity and numbers have increased recently. Freedom of worship is guaranteed by the Constitution. Not everyone shares this view. It is mostly women advanced in age that are persecuted as witches by communities holding traditional beliefs. The investigation would focus on how … During apartheid, a number of Jews were prominent in the Anti-Apartheid Movement, while others were instrumental in promoting the extension of diplomatic military ties between Israel and the country's white government. The church's headquarters are at Zion City Moria in Limpopo Province, South Africa (Northern Transvaal). Even though the country prides itself on being a multi-dominion country, 15% of the population do not identify themselves with any religion, the second largest group after the Protestant Christians. The Auwal or Owal Mosque built in 1794, is a mosque in the Bo-Kaap neighbourhood of Cape Town, South Africa, it is recognised as the first mosque established in the country. This is a decline of 2 % (Lugo & By 180 AD the new religion had spread throughout the whole Roman Empire, into Persia (Iran), North Africa and India. It has grown in three phases. Most of those practising Buddhism are of Vietnamese, Chinese and Japanese ethnicity, due to the high number of immigrants from those three countries. Religion in Namibia is dominated by various branches of Christianity, with more than 90 percent of Namibian citizens identifying themselves as Christian.According to the United States DRL, in 2007 up to 75% were Protestant, including as much as 50% Lutheran.. , Christianity is the dominant religion in South Africa, with almost 80% of the population in 2001 professing to be Christian. However, it is less dominant in the black community who identify themselves with the Zion Christian faith. I believe that with the advent of Christianity in parts of Africa, there has been a huge change is the amount of superstition. Thus both religions have been on the continent of Africa for over 1,300 years. The Muslim population has grown 20-fold, and now nearly three-in-ten (29%) Sub-Saharan Africans are Muslim. Although the largest Buddhist population lives in South Africa, it only makes up between 0.2 to 0.3% of the population. The Dutch and the British introduced Christianity during the apartheid era. The Christian holidays of Christmas Day and Good Friday remained in post-apartheid South Africa's calendar of public holidays. , The Witchcraft Suppression Act of 1957 based on colonial witchcraft legislation criminalises claiming a knowledge of witchcraft, conducting specified practices associated with witchcraft including the use of charms and divination, and accusing others of practising witchcraft. Christianity is the primary belief system in South Africa, with Protestantism being the largest denomination. Below are the most notable Christian belief systems; Protestantism is the primary belief system in South Africa with 36% of the total population. Various legislative reforms have taken place or have been initiated since 1994 as a result of lobbying by disenfranchised groups. Dutch Reformed Church in South Africa (NGK) – 1.1 million Christian Evangelical Church in Minahasa – 0.7 million  United Church in Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands – … Christianity achieved a major thing in Africa: to teach the black Africans to forsake all their traditions … Some South African local governments banned temple building and property ownership by Hindus in 1910s. According to StatsSA, the provinces of Northern Cape (97.9%) and Free State (95.5%) have the … The most important thing is that in the new South … In accordance with section 5 of the Civil Union Act, any religious organisation may apply to the Department of Home Affairs for designation as a religious organisation and when designated as such must formally nominate suitable candidates from within their organisation to be designated by the Department of Home Affairs as religious marriage officers for the purpose of solemnising marriages according to the rites of that religious organisation. Christianity is the primary belief system in South Africa, with Protestantism being the largest denomination. Other major religious groups are Hindus, Muslims and Jews. It is not reported whether Bartolomeu Dias de Novaes took off his shoes when on 12 March 1488 he raised a padráo, dedicated to St Gregory, at Kwaaihoek on the East Coast and just west of the mouth of the Bushman’s River. The CRL Rights Commission stated that they would submit their recommendations to the Department of Home Affairs, the Department of Labour, various Portfolio Committees and the Office of the Presidency.. The second phase was the arrival of Indians as indentured laborers to work in the sugar-cane fields in Natal between 1860 and 1868, and again from 1874 to 1911. As we have seen above, religion of one kind or another has existed in South Africa for as long as there have been people living here. However, other religions are protected by the constitution. 25 Downloads; Abstract. In 1956, after members of various tribes in South Africa became Baháʼís, a regional Baháʼí Assembly which included South Africa was elected. Religious minority groups are Hindus (1%), Muslims (1%) and Jews (0.2%). However South Africa registered an almost 20% drop in religious affiliation over a seven year period from 2005 to 2012. No single denomination predominates, with mainstream Protestant churches, Pentecostal churches, African initiated churches, and the Catholic Church all having significant numbers of adherents. Sub-Saharan Africa now … Christianity is the dominant religion in South Africa, with almost 80% of the population in 2001 professing to be Christian. Traditional, animist religion saw humans as being subject to the whims of local gods. However, Jewish settlers only began to arrive in numbers from the 1820s. While Christ…  The Census 2011 form did not include any questions about religion due to low priority. This book is concerned with the role of religion and spirituality in individual identity and belief, as well as in the public spheres of governance and policy-making. Religion. The system is independent and indigenous taking a 23.7% of the black community and constitutes 11.1% of the whole population of the country. The proportion of Catholics among the predominantly Calvinist white Afrikaans speakers, or South African Asians who are mainly Hindus of Indian descent, is extremely small. This religious centre was built by Turkish businessman and philanthropist, Ali Katircioglu in 2012. The belief systems have the right to run under the wings of democracy and the right to worship. No single denomination predominates, with mainstream Protestant churches, Pentecostal churches, African initiated churches, and the Catholic Church all having significant numbers of adherents. Some would argue that both Islam and Christianity are indigenous African religions. The first phase brought the earliest Muslims as part of the involuntary migration of slaves, political prisoners and political exiles from Africa and Asia (mainly from the Indonesian archipelago) that lasted from about 1652 to the mid-1800s. Recent figures estimate the number as between 75,000 and 100,000. The Zion Faith is the religion of the black people in South Africa. Judaism in South Africa came about some time before the discovery of the Cape of Good Hope, by the participation of Jewish astronomers and cartographers in the Portuguese discovery of the sea-route to India. In the infant years, the church ran by the doctrines of the Christian Catholic Church based on Zion, Illinois. Religious groups in South Africa . The first Muslim believers were slaves, political prisoners, and exiles from Africa and Asia in the post-apartheid era. , The Association of Religion Data Archives (relying on World Christian Trends) estimated in 2010 that 82.0% of South Africans identified as Christian, 7.1% identified with indigenous religions, 5.4% identified as agnostic, 2.4% identified as Hindu, 1.7% identified as Muslim, 0.5% identified as Baháʼí, 0.3% each identified as Buddhist and atheist, 0.2% identified as Jewish, and less than 0.1% identified with each other group. Unfortunately, I have to limit myself to the constitutional position of just two of the many religions in the country, as space and time do not allow for more. However, it is less dominant in the black community who identify themselves with the Zion Christian faith. In 1996, there were approximately 3.3 million Catholics in South Africa making up 6% of the total South African population. Sadly, Christianity in much of North Africa virtually disappeared as Islam advanced in the following centuries.  A small population of Baháʼís remained until 1950 when large numbers of international Baháʼí pioneers settled in South Africa. , The Baháʼí Faith in South Africa began with the holding of Baháʼí meetings in the country in 1911. The belief was introduced in the early 1916 under the guidance of Engenas Lekganyane, a once evangelical student of the Anglican system. In 2005 Baháʼís were estimated at about 240,100 adherents. The belief system is similar to the Anglican faith and forms 6.7% of the total population in the country.  Many came from Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, and Bihar, and some from other states of India. Of the approximately 176,000 Indians of all faiths who were transported to the Natal province, almost 7-10% of the first shipment were Muslims. I seek, in this article, to contest the claim that the Christian faith, as one of the major religions in Africa, predominantly fosters negative effects (like conflicts, laziness, fear, lack of curiosity/creativity and violence), and argue that Christianity has been a contributor to progress and development and also a force for more peaceful societies in Africa and the world. , Post-apartheid South Africa's Constitution guarantees the right to freedom of religion, belief and opinion among other freedoms. Nearly 40% of the black colored South Africans are members of the African Independent Churches, commonly known as the Zionist Christian Churches, which include no less than 4,000 congregations. Today the church embraces the teachings embedded in the life and resurrection of Christ and 3.8% of the population in the country subscribe to this religion. The first symbols of Christianity in southern Africa were in the form of crosses planted along the coast by early Portuguese seafarers. The Civil Union Act, which came into effect on 30 November 2006, legalised same-sex marriage and also allowed for the legal designation of religious marriage officers without any religious restriction in accordance with the Constitution. , According to the World Values Survey, between 1981 and 2001, South Africa was one of only three societies to see an increase in religious participation, and it was the leader among these, with churchgoing increasing by 13% in that period, from 43% of people surveyed to 57% being churchgoers. Other notable Christian belief systems in South Africa include the Methodist Christian with a 6.8% of the population and the Charismatic Christians with a fascinating 8.2%. According to the Namibia Demographic and Health Surveys (2013), the proportions are: A minority of South African population does not belong to any of the major religions, but regard themselves as traditionalists or of no specific religious affiliation.  This is the largest concentration of Hindus in Africa after Mauritius. South Africa is a secular state with a diverse religious population. About 80% of South Africa's population describes themselves as being Christian. This is one of two main features of the early beginnings of Christianity in South Africa. Islam in South Africa is a minority religion, practiced by less than 1.5% of the total population, according to estimates[by whom?]. Early Hindu settlements in South Africa suffered discrimination, abuse and persecution. The Church of England came to South Africa in the early 17th century. This was reinforced by the arrival of the French Huguenots shortly thereafter.  Hindu Indians were among the people who were referred to as coolies, racially segregated, and their discrimination continued through the Apartheid era until 1994. It is believed that Mark the Evangelist brought Christianity from Jerusalem to Alexandria in the year 43 before becoming the first bishop to serve the Alexandria Orthodox Church. The system is independent and indigenous taking a 23.7% of the black community and constitutes 11.1% of the whole population of the country. Many religions are represented in the ethnic and regional diversity of the population. The San community maintains the African Traditional Religion up to today. By 1300 it had spread to Iceland, China and Russia, and from there to southern Africa, Asia and the Americas through … The vast majority of current Hindus in South African provinces are descendants of indentured laborers brought in by the British colonial government, from 1860 to 1919, to work in plantations and the mining operations owned by European settlers. Many others are Portuguese settlers who left Angola and Mozambique after they became independent in the 1970s, or their children. By Benjamin Elisha Sawe on April 25 2017 in Society. The community grew tenfold between 1880 and 1914, from 4,000 to over 40,000. Most white Catholics who are English Speaking are the descendants of the Irish immigrants. Religion in South Africa is dominated by various branches of Christianity. It is also believed that Sheikh Yusuf of Macassar was the first person to introduce the Quran in South Africa. Religious Pluralism and Christianity in South Africa. The major faiths practiced in South Africa are Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, traditional African religions and Judaism. Mark the Evangelist made history in the year 43 when he became the first bishop to serve in the Orthodox Church of Alexandria. Nizamiye is fashioned after the 16th-century Selimiye Mosque in Turkey, a building that showcases spectacular Ottoman design. Today the government endorses and protects all beliefs including the African religion. Currently, there are 3.8 million Catholics.  (More recent official statistics are unavailable, since the last South African Census – 2011 – did not ask any questions about religious affiliation.). The first Hindu temples were in operation in the 1870s. Non-Christian entities in the country include Islam, Hinduism, Judaism, and Buddhism. Importantly, there is significant and sustained syncretism with African Traditional Religionamong most of the self-professed Christians in South Africa. The number of Christians has grown 70-fold, and now a majority of Sub-Saharan Africans are Christian (57%). In 1995, after a prolonged period of growth and oppression during Apartheid and the homelands reuniting with South Africa, the Baháʼí National Spiritual Assembly of South Africa was formed. Today, the church embraces gay relationships and endorses them as full members of the Christian faith. The South African authorities have noticed this. This Supreme Being was the creator of the known world. Even though the country prides itself in being a multi-dominion country, 15% of the population do not identify themselves with any religion, the second largest group after the Protestant Christians. Islam was introduced by the Cape Malay slaves of the Dutch settlers, Hinduism was introduced by the indentured labourers imported from the Indian subcontinent, and Buddhism was introduced by both Indian and Chinese immigrants. This minority group forms less than 1% of the total population.e system faced repulsion from the colonial government and regarded as a sect. The belief is more common among the whites and colored South Africans, taking a total of 86%. The belief is more common among the whites and colored South Africans, taking a total of 86%. I will not argue that the Christian faith has not … , The history of the Jews in South Africa mainly began under the British Empire, following a general pattern of increased European settlement in the 19th century. Christianity found its way to Sudan in the 1st century as well, and the region's Nubian churches had links to those in Egypt. The San community maintains the African Traditional Religion up to today. Religion in South Africa (2016 Community Survey). Since then, Protestantism has been the predominant religion of the European settlers and today, of South Africa as a whole. The church was begun in Rustenburg after church members refused to sing hymns from a hymn book that they considered blasphemous. As of 2010, it had the world's ninth largest population of Baháʼís, with nearly 240,000 members. After the British occupations of the Cape in 1795 and 1806, this Christian tradition prevailed.  Modern South Africa has many Hindu temples, and its Hindu community observes major festivals of Hinduism such as Deepavali. The number, however, continues to grow each year. Economic immigrants from India and Pakistan also contributed to the Muslim community before the end of apartheid. The CRL Rights Commission held countrywide consultative public hearings in June and July 2012 to assess the need for a review of public holidays following the receipt of complaints from minority groups about unfair discrimination. The third phase, following the end of Apartheid, has been marked by the wave of African Muslims that have arrived on the shores and borders of South Africa.  The Baháʼí community decided to limit membership in its national assembly to black adherents when a mixed-race assembly was prohibited under Apartheid. Importantly, there is significant and sustained syncretism with African Traditional Religion among most of the self-professed Christians in South Africa. Coloured and white South Africans each account for roughly 300,000. The Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities (CRL Rights Commission) is a chapter nine institution established in 2004 to support democracy.. The charismatic churches have, therefore, become centers of power in their own right. Christianity arrived in Africa in the late 1st or early 2nd century AD, making these Christian communities some of the earliest in the world. The largest Protestant denomination in the country is Pentecostalism, followed by Methodism, Dutch Reformed and Anglicanism. This article is about the South African Constitution,1 the South African Charter of Religious Rights and Freedoms (South African Charter)2 and religions in South Africa. African traditional religions have been washed away, and especially with Christianity, they are viewed as pagan and heathen in nature. • Within the South African population, 89% is being raised in the Christian tradition, but only 87 % indicated in 2010 that they were Christians. All maps, graphics, flags, photos and original descriptions © 2020 worldatlas.com, South African Animals — Animals Native to South Africa, Types Of Crimes By Number Of Offenses In The US. The history of Protestantism in South Africa dates back to the initial European settlement on the Cape of Good Hope in 1652. The Catholic Church in South Africa is part of the universal Catholic Church composed of the Roman Rite and 22 Eastern Rites, of which the South African church is under the spiritual leadership of the Southern African Catholic Bishops Conference and the pope based in Vatican City. Kumar (2012), Hinduism in South Africa, in Elias Kifon Bongmba (Editor) - The Wiley Blackwell Companion to African Religions, Southern African Catholic Bishops Conference, Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities, "History of the Baháʼí Faith in South Africa", "QuickLists: Most Baha'i (sic) Nations (2010)", "Table: Census 2001 by province, gender, religion recode (derived) and population group", "Census 2011 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)", "Believers in Christ from a Muslim Background: A Global Census", http://ir.lib.uwo.ca/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1107&context=totem, "South Africa - Section I. The new Constitution did not result in immediate reform of discriminatory legislation infringing on the right to religious freedom. "Religion and spirituality are closely woven into the fabric of South African public and private life - though not always seamlessly or in matching thread. • Sixty per cent (60%) of South African Christians attend worship services on a weekly basis (Lugo & Cooperman 2010:27). Religions: Christian 86%, ancestral, tribal, animist, or other traditional African religions 5.4%, Muslim 1.9%, other 1.5%, nothing in particular 5.2% (2015 est.) Hinduism is found in various provinces of South Africa, but primarily in KwaZulu-Natal. Christianity, the faith of almost three-quarters of the diverse South African population, has long been pushed to the margins of historical writing on South Africa, yet for more than two centuries it has shaped South African society and its diverse subcultures. In the apartheid regime where traditional beliefs were mocked and rejected, the system faced repulsion from the colonial government and regarded as a sect. It is made up of 26 dioceses and archdioceses plus an apostolic vicariate.  Most white Catholics are English speaking. , The socially marginalized African Traditional Religion adherents have become more publicly visible and organised in a democratic post-apartheid South Africa and today number over 6 million, or approximately 15 percent of the population.. However, this very fact was disputed by the early Christian missionaries who made their way to the shores of Southern Africa.  Although, the majority of South African Muslims are Sunni, smaller numbers are Ahmadi, particularly in Cape Town.. Christianity spread from Israel, around the Mediterranean Sea, to Egypt, Syria and the rest of the world. Hindus comprised about 0.9% of the population of South Africa; however 3.3% of the population of KwaZulu-Natal are Hindus. According to the 1996 South African Census, the church numbered 3.87 million members. Other high populations of Buddhist are found in the Indian Ocean and Mauritius. Christian missionaries in Africa often thought the people served multiple Gods; in reality, all forms of African religion held a belief in one supreme God. They assisted Bartolomeu Dias and Vasco da Gama who first sailed around the Cape of Good Hope in 1488 and 1497 respectively. In August 2015 it was announced that the Commission for the Promotion and Protection of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities (known as CRL) was launching an investigation into South African religious bodies. One of the SALRC's other new projects, the review of witchcraft legislation, will support the constitutional guarantee to freedom of religion, but will also serve to protect vulnerable groups.  In 2007 the South African Law Reform Commission received submissions from the South African Pagan Rights Alliance and the Traditional Healers Organisation requesting the investigation of the constitutionality of the act and on 23 March 2010 the Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development approved a South African Law Reform Commission project to review witchcraft legislation.. Even though the country prides itself on being a multi-dominion country, 15% of the population do not identify themselves with any religion, the second largest group after the Protestant Christians. Located in Johannesburg, South Africa, Nizamiye is believed to be the biggest mosque complex in the Southern Hemisphere. South Africa’s religious composition was (and continues to be) deeply shaped by these early interactions. He also told them to baptise people in the name of the Trinity. Today the church, as opposed to the mainstream European churches, combines the aspects of African traditions with the values of Christianity. Since its introduction in 1652 by the settlers, the system has gained popularity and has majority following.  However, an Ipsos Mori Poll of 2017 showed 88% declare that religion was an important part of their lives.  Of the total national population of 44.8 million, 35.8 million or 79.8% identified as members of a Christian denomination.. READ ALSO: Causes of conflict in Africa European and other foreign settlers brought most of these religions. The Baháʼí Faith was introduced to South Africa in 1911. There were many taboos intended to influence such superstitious beliefs. Below are the most notable Christian belief systems; Protestantism is the primary belief system in South Africa with 36% of the total population.