Major Religions

Religion in Zimbabwe‘s 2012 estimate of religious identity in Zimbabwe is:

Christianity (including syncretic forms): 85%, about 10,200,000

(Apostolic 33%, Pentecostal 17%, Protestant 16%, Roman Catholic 10%, Other Christian 8%)

African traditional religions: 3%, about 320,000

Islam and Other religions: less than 1%, about 80,000

A mosque in Kwekwe

Non-religious: 12%, about 1,400,000

Percentages are based mainly on the 2010-11 demographic survey.  The government does not require registration of religious groups. These affiliations assume a population of 12 million. Due to emigration during the recent years of crisis, estimates of the nation’s current population vary between 11 and 13 million.

Estimates particularly vary about how much of the population is syncretic (mixing Christian beliefs with indigenous beliefs). There are few Zimbabweans who have not encountered Christianity in some form, but many Christians also associate themselves with traditional practices on occasion.  Some Christians have multiple membership.

The major Christian communities and movements in Zimbabwe are:

 

Organizations that gather the major Protestant Churches are:

– the Zimbabwe Council of Churches (ZCC), founded in 1964, is the national affiliate of the World Council of Churches and includes the historic Protestant churches among others. RelZim.org articles about the Zimbabwe Council of Churches.

– the Evangelical Fellowship of Zimbabwe (EFZ), founded in 1962, represents denominations, churches, Para-church movements and individual Christians of the Evangelical persuasion. EFZ counts among its members over 100 churches and over 2,000,000 faithful. RelZim.org articles about the Evangelical Fellowship of Zimbabwe.

– the Zimbabwe Christian Alliance (ZCA) is a faith-based organization whose mission is to bring about social transformation in Zimbabwe through prophetic action. 

The Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops Conference (ZCBC), the ZCC and EFZ sometimes issue statements together under the title of “Heads of  Christian Denominations in Zimbabwe”. RelZim.org articles about ZCBC.

In western part of Zimbabwe, there is an umbrella organization called “Churches of Bulawayo” that operates under the leadership of Elphas Mpofu.

A recent survey of Christian groups can be found in Munetsi Ruzivo, “A Mapping of the Church Groups in Zimbabwe”, The Role of the Church in the Struggle for Democratic Change in Zimbabwe (2008), 4-14. (pdf).