POPULATION48,810,427 (July 2012 est.)
GDP PER CAPITA$11,100 (2011 est.)
RELIGIONSProtestant 36.6% (Zionist Christian 11.1%, Pentecostal/Charismatic 8.2%, Methodist 6.8%, Dutch Reformed 6.7%, Anglican 3.8%), Catholic 7.1%, Muslim 1.5%, other Christian 36%, other 2.3%, unspecified 1.4%, none 15.1% (2001 census)
ALSO IN SUB-SAHARAN AFRICANigeria
AT THE CENTER
Deborah Posel Compares the Social Responses to Sexual Violence in India and South Africa (Full Screen)
Religion has significantly contributed to the development of diverse communities in modern South Africa. Before the arrival of Christianity, indigenous inhabitants developed spiritual traditions that remain influential today. Starting in the 17th century, the Dutch Reformed Church provided crucial support for the emergence of a distinct Afrikaner identity among the descendants of early Dutch settlers. New forms of Protestantism, particularly Anglicanism, arrived with the British in the 19th century, and by the turn of the 20th century, most of the indigenous population had adopted forms of Christianity that blended local religious traditions. After the formation of the Union of South Africa in 1910, many Afrikaners resisted racial integration, establishing a policy of apartheid, or “separateness”, through which the government segregated communities based on race and severely restricted the rights of the black population. Several religious leaders played important roles in the struggle against apartheid, leading to its gradual repeal in the early 1990s. The 1996 Constitution provides strong guarantees for religious freedom and strict bans on religious discrimination.