chapter  2
State and Religion in South Africa: Open Issues and Recent Developments
Pages 16

Demographically, the religious affiliations of South Africa’s 79.02 per cent Black African, 8.91 per cent Coloured, 9.58 per cent White and 2.49 per cent Indian (or Asian) population look as follows:1 Protestant 51.7 per cent (including Pentecostal and charismatic churches), African Independent Churches 23 per cent, Catholic 7.1 per cent, Islam 1.5 per cent, Hindu 1.2 per cent, African traditional beliefs 0.3 per cent, Judaism 0.2 per cent, no affiliation or affiliation not stated (the majority probably adhering to traditional, indigenous religions) 15 per cent. A considerable majority of the population indicates religious affiliations and most South Africans are Christians of some sort, spread over 34 groupings and several thousand denominations. The more than 4,000 African Independent Churches hold a majority position among the Christian denominations. This picture of decided religious diversity is not uniquely South African. Nor is the patent presence of minority religions, susceptible to ‘sidelining’ or ‘othering’ – if not marginalization – vis-à-vis mainstream religions.