In 1998, an estimated 54% of the people were Muslims, 33% were Christians, and the remainder were followers of indigenous religions, mostly animism. Most of the people of northern Chad are Muslims. Islam, brought both from Sudan and from northern Nigeria, spread through the area around Lake Chad long before the coming of Europeans. Protestant and Catholic missionaries have been in the territory only in this century. A majority of the nation's Muslims are of the mystical Tidjani sect (also known as Sufism). Some indigenous religions elements are also incorporated into this Muslim practice. About 5% to 10% of the nation's Muslims are considered fundamentalists. Most of the people of southern Chad are Christian, with a majority of Roman Catholics. Protestants tend to be affiliated with evangelical groups. Followers of two minority religions, the Baha'i and Jehovah's Witnesses, also have small communities in the country. The people of the south, particularly those living in the valleys of the Chari and Logone rivers, follow African traditional religions.
Though there is no state religion, a majority of the senior government officials are Muslim. Certain Muslim and Christian holidays are officially observed.