Togo Religion

By | June 1, 2021


It is difficult to give concrete figures about religious affiliations. One of the reasons for this is that many Togoers do not see this question with the unequivocal exclusivity that we take for granted. For some of the believers it is not a contradiction in terms to additionally make sure of the traditional powers in certain critical situations.

A rule of thumb is that around 50% of the population belong to traditional African religions and cults, around 20% are Muslims and around 30% are Christians. Of these, about 20% are from the Catholic Church and the 10% of the Evangelical-Presbyterian Church in Togo, the Methodists and also various Pentecostal churches (e.g. Assemblées de Dieu, Eglise Pentacoste). There has been a small Baha’i community since 1954. The Islam occurs in West Africa in a different appearance than in the Arab countries. The Togo Muslims we meet (Sunnis) to the at Anoufo, Tem and Akaselem (Tchamba), and also in the Fiilbe, Hausa and Lebanese. Togo is also a member of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation. The chairman of the ‘Union Musulmane du Togo’ spoke at a conference of the imams in Loméfor a peaceful Islam and gave the radical and violent currents a clear rejection.

According to programingplease, during the economic recession of the past 20 years, many Togoans have evidently become more involved in religious life and a striking number of new churches and mosques (often financed by Arab states) were built. New Pentecostal and Charismatic churches and sects have achieved corresponding successes. The photographer Gaëtan Noussouglo published a photo series of various churches and sects with unusual names. Two years ago the l’Observatoire togolais des églises was founded, an authority to monitor the now around twelve thousand churches, the ‘wildly sprawling’ churches and the to observe false pastors and, if necessary, to discipline them. ‘King Ayi’ from Togo visited Israel where he met with some Jewish religious leaders and asked that his people be recognized by Israel as one of the lost tribes of Israel.

In May 2015, Pope Francis received the bishops of the Togolese Bishops’ Conference and sent a message to those in charge of the Catholic Church in Togo to get involved in the political reforms. A German pastor who has lived in northern Togo for ten years reports from his parish.

In addition to Bénin, the south of Togo is also one of the centers of the Voudou, a religion that we became more familiar with through trivial myths (Hollywood films). The essay Voodoo tries to unveil the term and portray a religion. REMID offers very good brief information about Voodoo and the Afro-American religions.

In 2006 the ‘Festival des divinités noires’ was founded in Aného, which took place in December 2013 for the 8th time. The American National Geographic shows a video clip about the New Year festival in Glidji, which is accompanied by many voudou ceremonies and in which an oracle is asked what the future holds in the coming year. In Lomé, the famous fetish market in the Akodésséwa district is frequented by both local residents and tourists.

The International Religious Freedom Report from the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor of the US Department of State reports on religious freedom for 2017.

Church in Aného Togo