RELIGION LIBRARY

Gambia, The

COUNTRY PROFILE

Map of Gambia, The

The country has an area of 4,361 square miles and a population of 1.8 million. Sunni Muslims constitute more than 90 percent of the population. The vast majority are Malikite Sufis, of which the main orders represented are Tijaniyah, Qadiriyah, and Muridiyah. Sufi orders pray together at common mosques. Members of the Ahmadiyya order are also represented, while a small percentage of Muslims, predominantly immigrants from South Asia, do not ascribe to any traditional Islamic school of thought.
An estimated 9 percent of the population is Christian, and less than 1 percent practices indigenous animist religious beliefs. The Christian community, situated mostly in the west and south, is predominantly Roman Catholic; there are also Anglicans, Methodists, Baptists, Seventh-day Adventists, Jehovah's Witnesses, and members of various evangelical denominations. There is a small group of Baha'is, and a small community of Hindus among South Asian immigrants.
Intermarriage between Muslims and Christians is very common. In some areas, Islam and Christianity are syncretized with animism.

Population Population (2009 est.) 1,782,893
Religious Demographics Muslim 90%, Christian 8%, indigenous beliefs 2%
Ethnic Groups Ethnic Groups African 99% (Mandinka 42%, Fula 18%, Wolof 16%, Jola 10%, Serahuli 9%, other 4%), non-African 1% (2003 census)
Languages Languages English (official), Mandinka, Wolof, Fula, other indigenous vernaculars
Country Flag Flag of Gambia, The