As in many African countries, information on religious affiliation varies between sources, because Christianity and Islam have often been mixed with strong elements of traditional African religions: the proportion of Muslims is between 40 and 78 percent, the proportion of Christians is between 10 and 30 percent. A small part of the population (2-10 percent) professes to traditional religions.
It is not uncommon for a person to be both Christian and Muslim (according to the Economist magazine, they are called ChrisMus).
The Christians are mainly found in the capital Freetown, in the south and among the population group krio. Most of the Muslims belong to the majority Sunni.
There are also smaller groups that profess Hinduism, Judaism and Bahai.
Freedom of religion is guaranteed by the Constitution. Marriage across religious boundaries is common and most Sierra Leoneans celebrate both Muslim and Christian holidays.
- Countryaah: Population statistics for 2020 and next 30 years in Sierra Leone, covering demographics, population graphs, and official data for growth rates, population density, and death rates.
APC members lose seats in parliament
The Sierra Leone High Court ruled that ten members of the opposition party General People’s Congress (APC) are losing their seats in parliament. According to the court, the members have harassed their political opponents and used public funds in their election campaigns, which is contrary to the electoral law. The court’s ruling means that the seats instead go to the candidates who came second in the April 2018 elections, all belonging to the ruling Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP), which thus gets its own majority in the House, with a margin of mandate. APC supporters gather outside their party headquarters in Freetown to protest the decision.
The Korean government is suspected of embezzling $ 1 billion
Former Sierra Leone President Ernest Bai Koroma and his government are accused of embezzling more than a billion dollars during their time in power from 2007 to 2018. The Ministry of Finance publishes an audit report claiming to have found major deficiencies in the energy contracts, roads, telecommunications and pensions. The audit, which was funded by British aid, came about following allegations of widespread corruption in the years 2015 to 2018. Finance Minister Jusu Saffa says those who have been singled out for lost money must repay them by June 30, otherwise they will face correct.
Monthly stop for industrial fishing
Sierra Leone faces a month-long halt to all “industrial fishing” in its territorial waters. At the same time, all exports of fish are stopped during the same period. The purpose is to discourage fishing. The initiative is praised by environmental activists. According to Greenpeace, Sierra Leone, along with five other West African coastal countries, lost revenue of more than $ 2 billion over the period 2010 to 2016 due to illegal fishing.
“National disaster state” against sexual violence
The escalation of sexual violence has prompted President Julius Maada Bio to announce a “national disaster” to deal with the problems. According to it, persons committing sexual offenses against minors should be sentenced to life imprisonment, a special police unit will be created to investigate the crimes, and a special court will be set up to quickly handle cases involving sexual offenses. Victims of the abuse should also be prepared free care in hospitals. According to police statistics, more than 8,500 sexual and gender-based abuses were reported in 2018, which is almost twice as many as in 2017. In most cases, the victims are 20 years or younger, about every fourth case involving girls under 15. Few perpetrators are convicted of sexual crimes. In 2018, 26 people were sentenced.
New commission investigates corruption under Koroma’s rule
President Julius Maada Bio appoints a new commission to investigate corruption and abuse of power committed under Ernest Bai Koroma’s government. The Commission will formally start its work on 4 February.