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The official religion of Zambia is Christianity, according to its 1996 constitution. Most Zambians adhere to one form of Christianity or another, but traditional African religious practices are often mingled with Christianity in Zambia's syncretic churches.

Between 80% and 90% of Zambians identify as Christians, a little more than 10% adhere to various indigenous African religions, 1% to 2% as Bahá'í, and just over 1% as Muslim, with smaller numbers of Hindus. Although not a large part of the population as a whole, Zambia has the largest group of Jehovah's Witnesses in Africa, numbering about 250,000. There is also a small population of Ashkenazi Jews, some of whom have held political office in Zambia.

Christianity was introduced to Zambia by African explorers and Christian missionaries in the mid-1800s, the most famous of which was David Livingstone, who inspired anti-abolitionists and missionaries who came into the region. He died at Ilala, southeast of Lake Bangweulu, in what is now Zambia. His heart is buried under a tree in Zambia, now known as the Livingstone Memorial.

Today, several Christian denominations are active within Zambia. These include the Presbyterians, Roman Catholics, Anglicans, Pentecostals, the New Apostolic Church, Lutherans, Seventh-day Adventists, Mormons, and other evangelical and independent denominations and fellowships. Although Christianity was introduced by European missionaries, today most missionary roles have been assumed by local African believers.

The Bahá'í' faith was introduced to Zambia in 1952 by Eric Manton, who came from Britain in 1952, and made his first convert in 1954. Currently, there are from 150,000 to 225,000 Bahá'í' in the country, making it the third largest religion in Zambia, after Christianity and indigenous African religions.

The traditional beliefs of the ethnic African people of Zambia are diverse. Generally, they believe in a supreme creator, and also hold a belief in spirits, ancestor worship, magic, and traditional medicine. Also common among traditional African religions is animism, which is a belief that certain places, creatures, objects, rivers, and the weather, are alive and animated, given to spiritual essence.

It is difficult to determine the popularity or extent of traditional African religions in Zambia, or elsewhere in Africa, because practitioners of traditional religion often identify as Christian, blending Christian and traditional religious practices and beliefs.

Islam was introduced in Zambia by Muslim slave merchants in the mid-1700s. Arab slave traders came into Zambia from their bases in Tanzania, Malawi, and Mozambique, and it is estimated that more than four million slaves were taken from Zambia and surrounding countries, and exported to India and Arabia through Swahili ports. During this time, several Muslims came into the region, establishing themselves and making converts along the railway tracks in central Zambia. Today, Islam accounts for less than one percent of the population of Zambia, the majority of them Sunni Muslims.

Several Jewish families came into the region when it was known as Northern Rhodesia, settling initially in Livingstone and Broken Hill, and becoming prominent in cattle production and copper mining. Others came before and after the Holocaust, at which time Zambia's Jewish population peaked at 1,200. By the mid-1950s, the largest concentration of Jews was in Lusaka, Zambia's Copperbelt center. Prior to Zambia's independence in 1968, Jews were prominent in Zambian politics. Many Jews immigrated to other countries during the 1960s and 1970s, and there are only about thirty-five Jews in Zambia today.

The number of Hindus in Zambia is uncertain, as their numbers are estimated between 5,000 and 25,000. The Hindu Association of Zambia has branches in all of the major towns in Zambia, and there are four Hindu temples in the country. There are approximately 12,000 Indians in Zambia, of British or Zambian citizenship, and Hinduism is strongest among their population. The Zambian government has been friendly towards the Indian community.

The government and people of Zambia are generally tolerant of religious beliefs.



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