A 1996 amendment to the constitution declared the country a Christian nation while providing for freedom of religion in practice. The government requires registration of all religious groups; however, all applications reportedly are approved without discrimination. An estimated 85% of the population professes some form of Christianity. Another 5% are Muslim; 5% subscribe to other faiths, including Hinduism, Baha'ism, and traditional indigenous religions; and 5% are atheist.
The majority of Christians are either Roman Catholics or Protestants. Currently, there is also a surge in new Pentecostal churches, which have attracted many young followers. Muslims tend to be concentrated in parts of the country where Asians have settled—along the railroad line from Lusaka to Livingstone, in Chipata, and in the eastern province. Some members of the Muslim community have complained of discrimination since the country was declared a Christian nation. They claim they cannot freely teach and practice Islam; however, other Muslim organizations state they have not experienced any restrictions on their activities.