Religion in Madagascar

Fast Facts and Religious Adherent Statistics
Population 27,534,354 (#53 in world) (2021 est.)
Demonym noun: Malagasy (singular and plural)
adjective: Malagasy
Ethnic Groups Malayo-Indonesian (Merina and related Betsileo), Cotiers (mixed African, Malayo-Indonesian, and Arab ancestry - Betsimisaraka, Tsimihety, Antaisaka, Sakalava), French, Indian, Creole, Comoran
Religions indigenous 50%, Christianity 45% (primarily Roman Catholics, Lutherans, Anglicans, and Presbyterian), Islam 20-25% (many individuals hold a combination of indigenous and Christian or Muslim beliefs) (2019 est.)
Indigenous Religion 50% (2019 est.)
Christianity 47% (2019 est.)
Islam 20% (2019 est.)


  1. Madagascar.” CIA World Factbook. "Christian, indigenous, Muslim"
  2. Madagascar.” Pew-Templeton Global Religious Futures Project. "Christians 85.3, folk religions 4.5, Muslims 3%, unaffiliated 6.9% (2010)"
  3. Madagascar.” Encyclopaedia Britannica Online. "Some two-fifths of the population practices traditional religion, which is based upon ancestor worship.... Almost half of the population is Christian, with more than one-fourth of the population adherent to Protestantism and about one-fifth to Roman Catholicism. Conversion to Christianity has not eliminated the observation of traditional religious rites, however, particularly those involving the dead. A community of Sunni Muslims is found in the northwest. [As of 2005:] traditional beliefs 42%, Protestant (significantly Lutheran) 27%, Roman Catholic 20%, Sunni Muslim 2%, other 9%"
  4. 2019 Report on International Religious Freedom: Madagascar.” U.S. Department of State. "According to the national census in 1993, 52 percent adheres to indigenous beliefs, 41 percent is Christian, and 7 percent is Muslim. It is common to alternate between religious identities or to mix traditions, and many individuals hold a combination of indigenous and Christian or Muslim beliefs. Muslim leaders and local scholars estimate Muslims currently constitute between 20 and 25 percent of the population.... Local religious groups state nearly half of the population is Christian. The four principal Christian groups are Roman Catholics, Lutherans, Anglicans, and the Presbyterian Church of Jesus Christ in Madagascar (FJKM Church)."

Article Info

Title Religion in Madagascar
Last UpdatedFebruary 14, 2021
MLA Citation “Religion in Madagascar.” 14 Feb. 2021. Web. Accessed 22 Jan. 2022. <>