Freedom of conscience and freedom of religion are guaranteed by the constitution. The Fulani people in the north are mainly Muslim, as are the Bamoun group of the western provinces. Christian missionaries (Protestants since 1845 and Roman Catholics since 1890) have been particularly active in other areas, with the English-speaking citizens of provinces of the western region being primarily Protestant and the French-speaking citizens in provinces of the southern and western regions being predominantly Catholic.
Social discrimination by Muslims against those of indigenous religions is fairly widespread. In the northern region, the tension between the Fulani and Kirdi groups is based in part on such past religious differences. The Fulani have been traditionally Muslim while the Kirdi have traditionally practiced indigenous religions. Many of the Kirdi are now Muslim, yet they remain economically, socially, and educationally disadvantaged in this region.
About 40% of the population are at least nominally Christian, of whom approximately half are Roman Catholics and half are affiliated with Protestant denominations. As many as 20% are at least nominally Muslim and about 40% practice traditional indigenous religions or no religion at all. Many of the indigenous religions are local religions practiced primarily in rural areas.
The practice of witchcraft is considered a criminal offense, however, prosecution is generally applied only in conjunction with other criminal actions, such as murder.