Religion in Burkina Faso


“62% of the population is Muslim, 34% of the population is Christian. 28-30 is Christian, and 100% are traditional believers. What I mean by that is, despite the fact that they are Christians, they go to church on Sunday, when they have a bad dream, they wake up in the morning, they go see a charm man and ask them to read their dream for them. ‘This was my dream last night. What is it supposed to mean?’ ‘Oh, this is good news. Your wife is gonna have a baby in the next year or so. Go back home, relax, find a white rooster, cut the throat, spread the blood on your family rock, put the feathers on it and eat the meat. Don’t worry, it’s good news.’ Or, ‘This was my dream. What is it?’ ‘Uh-oh, this is terrible news. Something bad is gonna happen. One of your children is gonna be involved a bad car accident. We really have to do something or it’s gonna be tragic. You’re probably gonna have to go find yourself a black dog and slaughter it on your family rock. This should take care of it.’ Because for the most part Burkinabè practice what I call religious syncretism; in addition to being Muslims, going to the mosque on Friday, when they have those kind of [dreams] or personal things that [are] happening to them that [are] uncertain, that they do not have an answer for, they will go see a charm man. Beside the fact that they are Christian, if they have an [uncertain] question they will go see the charm man to help them. Yet they’re Christians, Muslims, yet they still practice the traditional belief system. And they call it animism. Animism in and of itself is not a religion, it’s a belief system founded on the fact that there is life in every single element, including inanimate objects, trees, rivers, mountains. That’s what animists believe in, but animist in and of itself is not a religion. It’s a belief system.”

In this video, a Burkinabè expert explains religion in Burkina Faso.