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Togo
Friday, 22 July 2011 21:31
Religious Freedom Ranking:
3 out of 5 stars: Needs Improvement

Togo

Togo has seen much political instability since France granted the country independence in 1960. Most recently, after the president died in 2005, military rule was instated and soon after elections were held which many people deemed un-democratic. Over 500 people were killed in political violence and thousands fled the country. Furthermore, the county’s human rights record has been called to question numerous times. The United Nations and the European Union have both had investigations into Togo’s human rights violations. Despite these problems, religious freedom is generally respected in the country.

The country has a population of 6.3 million people. Thirty-three percent of the population is estimated to practice traditional animism. Roman Catholics constitute 28 percent of the population, 14 percent are Sunni Muslim, ten percent are Protestant, ten percent belong to various other Christian denominations, and five percent do not practice any religion.

The Constitution provides for freedom of religion. The government generally respects this right in practice. Catholicism, Protestantism, and Islam are officially recognized. Other groups must register with the government. The main criteria of applicants are the authenticity of the religious leader’s diploma and the ethical behavior of the group, which must not cause breach of public order. Typically, groups are given temporary recognition and the full application process may take several years. Non-registered groups may practice their faith but have no legal standing.

The Constitution bans political parties based on religion and forbids parties from identifying with a particular religion.

Religion is not taught in public schools. However, there are several Catholic, Protestant, and Islamic schools that may teach religion and the government provides them with teachers and staff and pays their salaries.

 

2010 U.S. State Department International Religious Freedom Report on Togo

Togo - New World Encyclopedia

Togo Country Profile- BBC News

 

Last Updated on Tuesday, 15 November 2011 14:02