About 99% of the population adheres to Islam, the state religion. Except for a small minority of Kharijites (Ibadhis) in the Mzab region, most Muslims are adherents of the Maliki rite of the Sunni sect, with a few Hanafi adherents. The law prohibits assembling for purposes of practicing any faith other than Islam. However, there are Roman Catholic churches that conduct services without government interference. Non-Muslims usually congregate in private homes for worship services. Proselytizing of non-Muslim faiths is illegal. Foreigners who practice non-Muslim faiths are generally shown a greater degree of social tolerance than non-Muslim citizens.
Many citizens who practice non-Muslim faiths have fled the country because of the civil war. The number of Christians and Jews is thus significantly lower than in the early 1990s. The small Christian community, which is mostly Roman Catholic, has approximately 25,000 members, and the Jewish community numbers fewer than 100.