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Since 1967, statistics on religion are not collected during government census reports in the United Republic of Tanzania. However, sociologists estimate that the populations of Christians and Muslims in the country are roughly equal, at 35-40% each, with the balance spread between indigenous African religions and other faiths.

However, a Pew Research Center poll conducted in 2010 determined that 74.2% of the Tanzanian population was Christian, 19.8% Muslim, and 3.2% adhering to traditional African religions.

In the island of Zanzibar, off the coast of the mainland, nearly all of the population follows Islam, possibly as many as 99%. There is less tolerance for Christians on the island than throughout the mainland. Nevertheless, the Anglican Diocese of Zanzibar, created in 1892, was restored in 2016, having fallen into poor condition, and reopened. The Islamic Zanzibari government helped to pay the cost. The Roman Catholic Diocese of Zanzibar was created in 1980.

All but the smallest of towns in Tanzania have a church, a mosque, or both, and most Tanzanians identify with some religion. Muslims are concentrated along the coast, and in inland towns that are situated along the old caravan routes. Most of Tanzania's Muslims are Sunni Muslims, of the Shafi school, although other sects are represented.

The most common Christian denominations are Roman Catholic, Lutheran, and Anglican, in that order, but other denominations and sects can be found within the country. The highest area of Christian concentration is in the northeast, around Moshi, which has long been a center for missionary activity.

Most of the remainder of the population follows traditional indigenous African religions, often centered on ancestor worship. A possible answer to the discrepancy between the religious distribution in Tanzania is that it is common for African people to mingle traditional religious practices with Christianity, or to identify as Christian while practicing religions based on animism or ancestor worship.

The Constitution of the United Republic of Tanzania guarantees the right of freedom of religion, and the Tanzanian government has respected this right. Religion has not proven to be a significant factor in Tanzanian politics. Historically, there have been tensions between the country's Muslim and Christian populations, but at a much lower level than in many other African countries. Religious frictions have been minimal, with Christians and Muslims living together peacefully.

 

 

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