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Eritrea Muslim Population Article



1.  Eritrea country profile
By U.S. Library Of Congress]

Religion: No reliable figures on religious affiliation are available, but approximately half of the Eritrean population is Sunni Muslim, and some 40 percent, Orthodox Christian. The remainder includes Eastern Rite and Roman Catholics, Protestants, smaller numbers of Seventh Day Adventists and Jehovah's Witnesses, and a few Baha’is. Approximately 2 percent of the population practices traditional indigenous religions. Muslims are the majority in the eastern and western lowlands, whereas Orthodox Christians predominate in the highlands. The government recognizes five religious groups—Orthodox Christians, Muslims, Catholics, Seventh Day Adventists, and the Evangelical Church of Eritrea (affiliated with the Lutheran World Federation), and since May 2002 has attempted to proscribe all other forms of religious practice.


2.  Eritrea Islam [By Ismael  Mukhtar]
The history of Islam in Eritrea can be traced back to the early days of the emergence of Islam in Arabia. Eritrea’s proximity to Mecca made it a natural early recipient of the message of Islam. Islam has shaped Eritrean culture, history, social norms in a very profound way. Islam has deep roots in Eritrea. Its history there evolved over several centuries with various milestones and pivotal historic moments. This article explores the history for Islam in Eritrea by examining five selected milestones that contributed profoundly to shaping Islam in Eritrea. Migration of the companions of Prophet Mohamed (PBU) from Mecca to Abyssinia


3.  Religion in Eritrea
There are two major religions in Eritrea, Christianity and Islam, however, the number of adherents is subject to debate. Eritrea: Religious Distribution (2002) indicates that Christianity makes up 63% of the population with Islam making up 37%.[1] According to the Pew Research Center (2010), 62.9% are Christian, mostly followers of Oriental Orthodoxy, and to a lesser extent, Roman Catholicism, whilst the remaining 36.5% of the population are Muslim.[2][3] In 2010 the United States Department of State (USDoS) estimated that 50% of the population was Muslim (Sunni) and around 48% Christian.[4] Eritrea along with its southern neighbour Ethiopia was one of the first Christian countries in the world having officially adopted Christianity as the state religion in the 4th century. At the same time, it was also one of the first Muslim settlements in Africa, where a group of Muslims facing persecution in Mecca migrated to Abyssinia, (now Ethiopia) through modern day Eritrea.

4.  Eritrea and Ethiopia: The Winter Of Islam And The Spring To Come
Muslims Want Peace and Security

War and chaos have continued on the African continent for scores of years, their ferocity tragically undiminished. After the colonial powers such as Britain, France and the Netherlands withdrew in the 1950s and '60s, most African countries fell into the hands of communist or fascist dictatorships. Most of these post-colonial regimes followed a policy of systematic intimidation of Muslims, and indeed are still doing so. One of the countries where war and chaos have reigned uninterrupted for many years due to such policies is Eritrea, which spent nearly two centuries under Ottoman rule from the middle of the sixteenth century.