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Sao Tome and Principe
Sunday, 07 August 2011 00:00
Religious Freedom Ranking:
4 out of 5 stars: Good


Sao Tome and Principe, one of Africa’s smallest countries consisting of two islands and a number of smaller islets, has a population of about 164,000. Many people of the country are of Portuguese origins because Portugal used the island as a place to settle convicts in the 1400’s. They achieved independence in 1974. The country’s 1990 Constitution made the nation a multi-party democracy and it achieved full autonomy in 1995.

It is a Christian country with a diversity of Christian faiths practiced. The only official religious based holidays are Christian. No other religion has a significant number of adherents. A large majority of the population, 85 percent, is Roman Catholic. Twelve percent of the country is Protestant and two percent are Muslim. The Protestant population has been growing recently due to an increase in missionary activity. Also, the Muslim population has been growing because of an influx of immigrants coming from Nigeria and Cameroon. Some of the people in the country combine indigenous beliefs with Christianity or Islam.

The Constitution provides for religious freedom, and the government respects this right in practice. There are no restrictions on the activities of foreign clergy. All religious organizations are required to register with the government and there are no known reports that any group has been denied registration. Unregistered groups have also been allowed to operate freely in the country.


2010 U.S. State Department International Religious Freedom Report on Sao Tome and Principe

Sao Tome and Principe - New World Encyclopedia

Sao Tome and Principe Country Profile- BBC News

Last Updated on Friday, 21 October 2011 15:32