Is South Sudan a Muslim country?

Is South Sudan a Muslim country?

Welcome to our article discussing the religious landscape of South Sudan. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the question of whether South Sudan can be considered a Muslim country. We will delve into the historical, cultural, and demographic aspects to provide you with an insightful and well-rounded understanding of the topic. Whether you are curious about the religious composition of South Sudan or seeking accurate information for research purposes, this article aims to shed light on this intriguing subject.

History of South Sudan

Colonial era

South Sudan was under British colonial rule for several decades. In the late 19th century, the region was part of the Egyptian Sudan, which was jointly governed by Britain and Egypt. The British established their presence in the area, primarily for economic interests and to control the flow of the Nile River. During this time, the British administration introduced various infrastructural developments, such as roads, railways, and administrative institutions.

Independence from Sudan

After years of struggle and conflict, South Sudan gained its independence from Sudan on July 9, 2011. The independence was the result of a referendum held in January 2011, in which an overwhelming majority of South Sudanese voted in favor of secession. This historic event marked the birth of the world’s newest nation.

The push for independence was driven by several factors, including political, cultural, and religious differences between the predominantly Muslim North and the predominantly Christian and traditionalist South. South Sudan had been marginalized and faced oppression under Sudan’s successive governments, which reinforced the desire for self-determination among the South Sudanese people.

The independence of South Sudan brought hope for a brighter future, as the country aimed to establish its own governance, institutions, and economic development. However, the path to stability and prosperity has been challenging, with ongoing conflicts and internal struggles hindering progress.

Despite the complexities and hardships, South Sudan continues to strive for a peaceful and prosperous future, building upon its rich history and diverse cultural heritage.

Religious Composition of South Sudan


Christianity is the predominant religion in South Sudan, with a significant majority of the population identifying as Christians. The arrival of Christian missionaries in the late 19th century played a crucial role in the spread of Christianity throughout the region. Today, various Christian denominations are present in South Sudan, including Catholicism, Anglicanism, and various Protestant denominations.

Christianity has deeply influenced the cultural and social fabric of South Sudan. Churches serve as important community centers and play a vital role in providing education, healthcare, and social support to the local population. Christian festivals and holidays, such as Christmas and Easter, hold significant importance and are widely celebrated across the country.

Indigenous Beliefs

Alongside Christianity, South Sudan is also home to diverse indigenous beliefs and traditional religions. These indigenous beliefs vary among different ethnic groups and tribes in the country. Many indigenous South Sudanese people maintain a strong connection to their ancestral traditions and continue to follow ancient rituals and practices.

Indigenous beliefs in South Sudan often revolve around the veneration of ancestors, spirits, and natural elements. These beliefs emphasize the interconnectedness between humans and the natural world, with rituals and ceremonies conducted to ensure harmony and balance. Despite the influence of Christianity, many South Sudanese individuals still integrate elements of indigenous beliefs into their daily lives and celebrations.


While Christianity remains the dominant religion in South Sudan, Islam also has a presence within the country. The Muslim population in South Sudan primarily consists of individuals from Arab and Nubian ethnic backgrounds, as well as those who have converted to Islam over the years.

Muslim communities in South Sudan can be found in regions bordering Sudan, where Islam has a more significant presence. Mosques act as important religious and community centers for Muslims, providing a space for prayer, education, and social gatherings.

It is important to note that South Sudan’s religious composition is diverse, and the coexistence of Christianity, indigenous beliefs, and Islam contributes to the country’s rich cultural tapestry. The freedom of religious expression and tolerance among different faiths is an essential aspect of South Sudan’s society, fostering unity and harmony among its people.

Muslim Population in South Sudan

South Sudan, the youngest country in the world, is home to a diverse population comprising various ethnic and religious groups. While the majority of South Sudanese follow traditional African religions or Christianity, there is a significant Muslim population in the country.

Distribution of Muslims

Muslims in South Sudan are predominantly found in certain regions and have a notable presence in urban centers. The main areas with a higher concentration of Muslims include the states of Western Equatoria, Western Bahr el Ghazal, and Unity. These regions have historically had more interaction with Arab traders and neighboring Muslim-majority countries.

In cities such as Juba, the capital of South Sudan, and Wau, Muslims can be found practicing their faith and contributing to the cultural fabric of the country. Mosques stand as places of worship and community gathering, providing a sense of identity and shared values for the Muslim population.

Muslim Minority in South Sudan

While the Muslim population in South Sudan is significant, it is important to note that they constitute a minority compared to other religious groups. The majority of South Sudanese adhere to traditional beliefs or Christianity, which have deeper historical roots in the region.

Despite being a minority, Muslims in South Sudan enjoy constitutional protection of their religious rights. The government recognizes the importance of religious diversity and promotes the freedom to practice one’s faith without discrimination.

South Sudan’s Muslim minority plays a vital role in fostering religious tolerance and diversity within the country. They contribute to the cultural mosaic of South Sudan, enriching the nation with their unique traditions, customs, and perspectives.

In conclusion, while South Sudan is not predominantly a Muslim country, it is home to a significant Muslim population. Muslims are distributed across specific regions, with notable presence in urban centers. The Muslim minority in South Sudan is respected and protected, contributing to the country’s religious diversity and cultural heritage.


In conclusion, South Sudan is a country that is predominantly Christian. While it is true that there is a significant Muslim minority in the country, the majority of the population identifies as Christian. This religious diversity has played a role in shaping the cultural landscape of South Sudan. It is important to acknowledge and respect the religious beliefs and practices of all individuals within the country, as it contributes to the overall unity and harmony of the nation.

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