Burundi - Religions

About 60% of the population are Roman Catholic, 5% are Protestant, and about 10% are Muslim. The remainder practices indigenous religions or has no religious affiliation.

The Bagaza government regarded the Catholic Church as pro-Hutu and restricted Masses, prohibited religious gatherings without prior approval, nationalized Catholic schools, banned the Catholic youth movement, and shut down the Catholic radio station and newspaper. The Jehovah's Witnesses and Seventh-Day Adventists were banned in 1986. Following Bagaza's ouster in September 1987, however, Maj. Pierre Buyoya, the new president (a Catholic), ended all restrictions on the Catholic Church. Currently, the religious holidays which are officially observed are primarily Catholic. In 2002, the Jehovah's Witnesses and Seventh Day Adventists were once again reported as accepted missionary groups. Freedom of religion has been constitutional established. Diplomatic status is granted to the heads of major religious groups.

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