Religion in South Sudan
There are conflicting reports as to the religious beliefs in South Sudan, though all agree that the three main religions are traditional African religions, Christianity and Islam. The South Sudanese President Kiir, a Roman Catholic, while speaking at Saint Theresa Cathedral in Juba, South Sudan, stated that South Sudan would be a nation which respects freedom of religion. The reported estimated relative proportions of adherents of African Traditional Religion and Christianity have varied.
Christianity has a long history in the region that is now South Sudan. Ancient Nubia was reached by Coptic Christianity by the 2nd century. Missionary activity from Coptic Etiopia consolidates de Coptic church community in South Sudan. In 1920, the Church Missionary Society originated a Diocese which expanded to form Lui, South Sudan.
In the early 1990s, official records of Sudan as a whole (Sudan and South Sudan) showed that a large percentage adhered to African Traditional Religion (17%) and Christianity (8%) (though both located mainly in the south, some also at Khartoum). Among Christians, most are Catholic and Anglican, though other denominations are also active, and African Traditional Religion beliefs are often blended with Christian beliefs.
The most recent Pew Research Center on Religion and Public Life report from December 2012 estimated that in 2010, there were 6.990 million Christians (60.46%), 2.208 million followers of African Traditional Religion (19.1%), 2,312,539 Muslims (20%) and 50,000 unaffiliated (no known religion) of a total 11,562,695 people in South Sudan.
These figures are also disputed as the Pew Research Center on Religion and Public Life report cites 'The United Nations provided the Pew Forum with special estimates for Sudan and the new nation of South Sudan'. The UN does not have any official figures on ethnicity and religion outside National Census figures.
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