According to the 2001 census the overwhelming majority of South Africans, or 79.8%, are Christian. The independent African Zion Christian churches predominate, being the faith of 15.3% of the total population, and 19.2% of all Christians.
Roughly 15% of the population have no religion, and 1.4% are undetermined about their faith. Islam is the religion of 1.5% of South Africans, Hinduism that of 1.2%, African traditional belief 0.3%, Judaism 0.2% and other beliefs 0.6%.
In terms of population groups, Christianity is most common among white and coloured South Africans, being the faith of 86.8% of the people in both groups. It’s slightly less dominant among black South Africans, among whom it falls in line with the national average, being the religion of 79.9% of black people. Roughly a quarter (24.4%) of the Indian population are Christian.
The predominant form of Christianity among black South Africans is the independent and indigenous Zion Christian faith, the religion of 23.7% of black Christians. Black people also have the highest rate of unbelief, with 17.5% saying they have no religion, and 1.3% being undetermined.
Most white South African Christians (42.8%) belong to the Reformed churches, such as the Dutch Reformed Church. Some 9.2% of white Christians are Methodist, 7.8% Pentecostal or Charismatic, 7.7% Apostolic and 7.6% Catholic. White people have the second-highest rate of unbelief, with 8.8% saying they have no religion and 2% being undetermined. Judaism is most common in this community, being the religion of 1.4% of white South Africans.
Predominant churches among coloured Christians are Apostolic (18.6%), Pentecostal or Charismatic (14.2%), Anglican (10.4%) and Catholic (10.2%). Of the other religions, Islam predominates, being the faith of 7.4% of all coloured South Africans. Only 3.8% of the coloured population say they have no religion, and 1.3% are undetermined.
Hinduism is the most common religion (47.3%) in the Indian/Asian population group, followed by Islam (24.7%) and Christianity (24.2%). There is a fairly even spread of churches among Indian and Asian Christians. This group is most certain of their faith, with only 2.3% reporting that they have no religion, and 0.94% being undecided.
|RELIGION – ALL SOUTH AFRICANS|
|Christianity||35 750 641||79.8%|
|Other beliefs||283 815||0.6%|
|No religion||6 767 165||15%|
|Total||44 819 774||100%|