religions in Southern sudan


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Religion
Religions followed by the South Sudanese include traditional indigenous religions, Christianity and Islam. The last census to mention the religion of southerners dates back to 1956 where a majority followed traditional beliefs while the rest were classified as either Christian or Muslim. Scholarly and U.S. Department of State sources state that a majority of southern Sudanese maintain traditional indigenous (sometimes referred to as Animist) beliefs with those following Christianity in a minority (albeit an influential one). According to the Federal Research Division of the US Library of Congress: "in the early 1990s possibly no more than 10 percent of southern Sudan's population was Christian". In the early 1990s, official records of Sudan claimed that from population of what then included South Sudan, 25% of people followed traditional religions and 5% were Christians. However, some news reports claim a Christian majority, and the US Episcopal Church claims the existence of large numbers of Anglican adherents from the Episcopal Church of the Sudan: 2 million members in 2005. Likewise, according to the World Christian Encyclopedia, the Catholic Church is the largest single Christian body in Sudan since 1995, with 2.7 million Catholics mainly concentrated in South Sudan.
Speaking at Saint Theresa Cathedral in Juba, South Sudanese President Kiir, a Roman Catholic, stated that South Sudan would be a nation which respects the freedom of religion. Amongst Christians, most are Catholic and Anglican, though other denominations are also active, and animist beliefs are often blended with Christian beliefs.