Burundi Religion

Burundi is a secular country without state religion. The religious communities have relatively good relations with the state. There are no abrasions between the different communities.

A large majority of the residents are Christians, of whom the vast majority are Catholics. There is also a small group of Sunni Muslims. More than a third of Burundians practice traditional African religions. Many Christian Burundians also practice traditional indigenous religions, making statistics unreliable.

Burundi Population Pyramid 2020

  • Countryaah: Population statistics for 2020 and next 30 years in Burundi, covering demographics, population graphs, and official data for growth rates, population density, and death rates.



U-turn in the corona strategy

July 1st

President Ndayishimiye explains the corona virus as Burundi’s “worst enemy”. This means a reversal in the country’s approach to the pandemic. President Nkurunzizia greatly denied the danger of the virus, saying that God had saved Burundi from the corona. Ndayishimiye says that the Ministry of Health will now provide residents with continuous information on how to stop the spread of infection. An anonymous source at the Ministry of Health tells AFP the news agency that the U-turn came after the World Bank donated $ 5 million to the government in support of the fight against corona. Officially, Burundi has 170 confirmed cases of covid-19 and one death.


New government dominated by hawks

June 28

The new president Ndayishimiye presents his government, which consists of only 15 ministers. The government is dominated by hardy so-called hawks within the ruling party. There is much to indicate that President Nkurunziza’s tough Hut-dominated policy will continue. Prime Minister Bunyoni is a former police chief and security minister to whom the United States has sanctioned because of his role in political repression around Nkurunziza’s criticized reelection in 2015. New Interior Minister becomes Gervais Ndirakobuca, head of the country’s dreaded intelligence service. Against him, the United States, the EU and France have imposed sanctions for his participation in the violence against the opposition in 2015. Burundi UN Ambassador Albert Shingiro gets the post of Foreign Minister.

Nkurunziza is buried

June 26

Thousands of white-clad people gather in Gitega to attend the late President Pierre Nkurunziza’s state funeral. The majority of the public did not wear mouthguards or respect the social distance guidelines. The cause of death is reported to be cardiac arrest, but speculation has been extensive that Nkurunziza died as a result of covid-19. His wife had been treated for covid-19 in Nairobi, Kenya a few weeks earlier. The president was reported to have complained about breathing problems.

Controversial new head of government

June 23rd

President Ndayishimiye nominates Alain-Guillaume Bunyoni as new Prime Minister. The election is approved by Parliament with the numbers 92-2. Bunyoni is a member of the Hawks in the ruling elite and is one of the Burundians facing the United States for his role in political repression and violence against civilians since 2015. He has previously been chief of police and security minister.

Ndayishimiye takes office early

June 18

After negotiations with the government, the Constitutional Court decides that the presidential election winner Evariste Ndayishimiye may take early office, which will take place on June 18. According to the constitution, he would have sworn the presidency in August. According to the constitution, the Speaker of Parliament succeeds the President if he dies on the post.

President Nkurunziza dies

June 9

The Burundian government announces that President Nkurunziza has died quickly due to a cardiac arrest. The 55-year-old was taken to hospital three days earlier after feeling ill, but he felt better already a day later. A couple of days later, he suffered a cardiac arrest that took his life. According to the constitution, the President of the National Assembly, currently Pascal Nyabenda, is to step down as a replacement when the president dies. Evariste Ndayishimiye, who won the presidential election in May, will take office in August. Talks are ongoing between the government and the Constitutional Court about who should now swear the presidential order.


Evariste Ndayishimye wins the presidential election

May 20

Presidential, parliamentary and local elections are being held in the midst of the ongoing corona pandemic. In the presidential election, seven candidates are running. General Evariste Ndayishimye from the ruling CNDD-FDD wins by a clear margin and receives almost 69 percent of the vote, ahead of Agathon Rwasa from the opposition CNL who receives just over 24 percent of the vote. At the same time, the CNDD-FDD becomes the largest party in the parliamentary elections with 68 percent of the votes and 72 of the electoral seats, while CNL becomes the second largest party with just over 22 percent of the votes and 27 seats. Opposition candidate Agathon Rwasa accuses the government side of electoral fraud. Social media such as Twitter, Whatsapp and Facebook are shut down by the authorities an hour before the election begins. The electoral movement has been riddled with reprisals against the opposition and arbitrary arrests of government opponents. Eligible Burundians abroad cannot vote because of the corona pandemic. Among them, many regime opponents are in exile. According to the Election Commission, the election is monitored by 53 international observers from Tanzania, Egypt, China, Kenya, South Africa, Congo-Kinshasa, Nigeria, Russia and the AU. The turnout is almost 88 percent.

Burundi expels WHO

May 13th

The Nkurunziza government throws WHO experts out of the country. The World Health Organization representative and three of its experts are declared to be persona non grata. Burundi is one of the few countries in the world that has chosen not to follow the WHO’s advice on social distancing to reduce the spread of the corona pandemic.

Two dead in grenade attack

May 10

Two people are killed and about ten injured in a grenade attack against a bar in Bujumbura. According to witnesses, the bar is owned by Imbonerakure, which is the ruling CNDD-FDD’s youth militia, and is said to be a meeting place for militia members. Who or who throws the grenade is not known.


The election movement begins, reports of violence

April 27

The election campaign for the presidential, parliamentary and municipal elections on May 20 will begin. In the presidential election, seven candidates are running. Tens of thousands of people gather for elections despite the corona pandemic. There are reports of violence directed at the opposition. The UN and the AU express concern over how supporters of rival parties are gathering in the streets during the electoral movement. The two organizations appeal to all parties to refrain from acts of violence.


Get action against pandemic

April 10

The Nkurunziza government is one of the few in the world to take almost no action against the spread of the new corona virus, which has caused a pandemic. The president tells the people that they have God’s protection. The presidential election on May 20 will be held according to plans. Everything from restaurants and bars to churches and mosques are kept open as usual. Square shopping is in full swing and people gather for weddings and funerals and more. Football matches and other events are conducted in the usual order. However, the authorities have closed the border to Rwanda and Congo-Kinshasa while keeping the transitions to Tanzania open. Critics say the government is deciding on the corona pandemic on political grounds, not medical, and that it is about winning the election in May.


Thousands of mass graves discovered

February 16th

The Burundi Truth and Reconciliation Commission reports that it has found over 4,000 mass graves in connection with the investigation of the internal conflicts that have plagued the country since independence in 1962.

CNL leader Rwasa challenges Ndayishimiye

February 16th

The opposition party National Freedom Council (CNL) elects party leader Agathon Rwasa as its candidate in the presidential election in May. He then meets the ruling CNDD-FDD’s candidate Evariste Ndayishimiye, army general and close ally of President Nkurunziza who himself does not stand for re-election.


Presidential CNDD FDD candidate

January 26

The CNDD-FDD government party appoints party chairman Evariste Ndayishimiye as its candidate in the presidential election on May 20, 2019. Ndayishimiye is a general and has previously been Minister of the Interior and Security. He belongs to Burundi’s absolute power elite and is close to President Nkurunziza. Nkurunziza has chosen not to run for re-election. Instead, he gets a newly built luxury villa, a severance bonus of $ 550,000 and a monthly salary.

Burundi Religion