World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Religion in Kenya

Article Id: WHEBN0013025961
Reproduction Date:

Title: Religion in Kenya  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Public holidays in Kenya, Media of Kenya, Cinema of Kenya, Languages of Kenya, Religion in Africa
Collection: Religion in Kenya
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Religion in Kenya

Religion in Kenya[1]
religion percent
No religion

The predominant Religion in Kenya is Christianity, which is adhered to by an estimated 82.5% of the total population. Islam is the second largest religion in Kenya, practiced by about 11.1% of the total population. Other faiths practiced in Kenya are Baha'i, Hinduism and traditional religions.


  • Abrahamic religions 1
    • Baha'í Faith 1.1
    • Christianity 1.2
    • Islam 1.3
  • Others 2
    • Hinduism 2.1
    • No Religion 2.2
    • Traditional African religions 2.3
  • References 3

Abrahamic religions

Baha'í Faith

Present in Kenya from 1945, the religion grew to an estimated of 308,000 in 2005[2] or about 1% of the population.[3][4] In the 1990s the Bahá'ís in Kenya participated in a nation-wide community health project including vaccinations, maintaining latrines and developing clean water sources.[5]


Gospel Revival Centre Church, Ruiru, Kenya

Roman Catholicism was first brought to Kenya in the fifteenth century by the Portuguese, and was spread rapidly during the 20th century by colonists. Today, the main Christian denominations in Kenya are Protestant confessions, which make up about 47.4% of the country's religious composition.[1] They include the Anglican Church of Kenya, and the Presbyterian, Reformed, Methodist, Baptist, Lutheran, and Pentecostal churches. The Roman Catholic Church represents 23.3% of the population.[1]

Other statistically significant non-Catholic and non-Protestant movements include the Eastern Orthodox Church, New Apostolic Church, Seventh-day Adventist Church, Jehovah's Witnesses, United Pentecostal Church International, and Branhamism. The non-Protestant and non-Catholic groups make up about 11.8 % of the population.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has more than 10,000 members in 39 congregations in Kenya.[6] They also have 2 family history centres in Kenya, and an employment resource center in Nairobi.[7]


A mosque in Lamu Island.

  • International Religious Freedom Report 2006 – Kenya, US State Department, 2006-09-15, accessed on 2007-08-31
  • History of the World's Religions (12th Edition), Noss S. David: ISBN 978-0-13-614984-2
  1. ^ a b c d e [1]
  2. ^ Year 2000 Estimated Baha'i statistics from: David Barrett, World Christian Encyclopedia, 2000; Total population statistics, mid-2000 from Population Reference Bureau [2]
  3. ^ "WCC > Member churches > Regions > Africa > Kenya". World Council of Churches. World Council of Churches. 2008. Retrieved 2008-04-06. 
  4. ^ US State Department (2007). "Background Note: Kenya". The Office of Electronic Information, Bureau of Public Affair. Retrieved 2008-04-06. 
  5. ^ Community health workers in Kenya stir broad changes Volume 7, Issue 4 March – January 1996
  6. ^ "Facts and Statistics", Newsroom (LDS Church), 1 January 2012, retrieved 2013-03-09 
  7. ^ LDS Meetinghouse Locator.Latter Day Saint Facilities.
  8. ^
  9. ^ "The World's Muslims: Unity and Diversity". Pew Forum on Religious & Public life. August 9, 2012. Retrieved April 2, 2014. 
  10. ^ "The rise of atheism in modern Kenya".  
  11. ^ "Why We Don't Believe In God".  
  12. ^ "GLOBAL INDEX OF RELIGION AND ATHEISM". Retrieved 10 October 2013. 


The Maasai, Turkana, Samburu and Pokot tribes also have significant numbers of persons adhering exclusively to traditional African religions.

Followers of traditional Kikuyu religion believe Ngai resides on Mt. Kenya and say their prayers facing the mountain. Followers of traditional Mijikenda religion have their holy shrines in the forests where they offer sacrifices and pray.

African religions are typically based on natural phenomena and reverence to ancestors. The dead are presumed to merely transform into another state of being and capable of bringing good fortune or calamity to the living. Most religious rites are therefore centred on appeasing the dead through sacrifices and proper burial rites. The dead's wishes must also be followed to the letter.

Traditional African religions

In the 2009 Census, 922,128 people reported themselves as having "no religion."[1] This is 2.4% of the total, making this group larger than the groups reporting themselves as traditionalists, Hindu or other religion. 61,233, 0.2%, reported that they did not know their religion. There is a stigma against people who are atheists in Kenya.[10][11] A Gallup poll conducted in 2012 found that 88% of Kenyans considered themselves "a religious person", 9% consider themselves "a non religious person", while 2% define themselves as "a convinced atheist", placing Kenya in top 10 religious populations in the world.[12]

No Religion

There is a significant number of Hindus living in Kenya. The numbers are estimated to be around 0.14% of the population. They are mainly located in the capital of Kenya, Nairobi, and other urban areas such as Mombasa, Eldoret, Thika and Kisumu.



Religious Shari'ah courts, called Kadhi courts, are given jurisdiction over certain civil matters such as divorce and inheritance under the constitution of Kenya. Muslims have complained that they are targeted and discriminated against by the government, particularly since the 1998 United States embassy bombings in Nairobi and elsewhere. The religions subsiding in Kenya do not display the distinctions between the 42 cultures. They mainly display the traditions of the larger "umbrella" cultures.

Muslims. South Asian and Arab, Somali), in the Western Province, and smaller numbers of Malindi and Lamu, Mombasa Muslims on the coast (most notably in Swahili has several mosques and a notable Muslim population. There are large and historically significant populations of Nairobi. North Eastern Regions and Coastal Muslims are concentrated mainly in the [9] Muslims.Ahmadi and about 4% identify themselves as Shia rite. Approximately 7% percent identify themselves as Shafii, mostly of the Sunni Most Muslims in Kenya are [8]

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.