The country has an area of 76,000 square miles and a population of 12.5 million. Islam is the predominant religion, practiced by approximately 94 percent of the population. Most citizens practice a syncretic form of Islam, combining Islamic practices with indigenous cultural beliefs and values. There also is an active Christian community (4 percent of the population) that includes Roman Catholics, Protestant denominations, and syncretistic Christian-animist groups. The remaining 2 percent practices exclusively indigenous religious beliefs or no religion.
The country is ethnically and religiously diverse. Although there is significant integration of all groups, Christians are concentrated in the west and south, while groups who practice indigenous religious beliefs live mainly in the east and south.