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Al Fateh Mosque BahrainAl Fateh mosque BahrainPhoto: Jacobs-Creative Bees CC 2.0 Generic no changes made

Approx. 82% of the population is Islamic, of which 60% Shia and 40% Sunnis. Indeed, Islam consists of two schools of thought, the Shia (shiat Ali = the party of Ali, the fourth caliph who became his successor after the death of Muhammad) who believe that Muhammad's successors should only come from the family of Muhammad, and the Sunnis (Soena = custom) accepting the succession of the Umayyads, the rulers of Damascus.
Eight percent of the population is Christian and there are also small groups of Jews, Buddhists, Bahai and Hindus. The smaller group of Sunni Muslims, to which the ruling family also belongs, is the most influential, and this is also one of the reasons for an increasing separation between the two groups. Another cause is of an economic nature. The Sunnis hold most of Bahrain's wealth while the Shia majority have little or nothing to say.
Freedom of religion exists.


Robison, G. / Bahrain, Kuwait & Qatar
Lonely Planet

Whetter, L. / Live & work in Saudi & the Gulf
Vacation Work

CIA - World Factbook

BBC - Country Profiles

Last updated April 2024
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