Allo' Expat Chad - Connecting Expats in Chad
Main Homepage
Allo' Expat Chad Logo

Subscribe to Allo' Expat Newsletter
Check our Rates
   Information Center Chad
Chad General Information
History of Chad
Chad Culture
Chad Cuisine
Chad Geography
Chad Population
Chad Government
Chad Economy
Chad Communications
Chad Transportations
Chad Military
Chad Transnational Issues
Chad Healthcare
Chad People, Language & Religion
Chad Expatriates Handbook
Chad and Foreign Government
Chad General Listings
Chad Useful Tips
Chad Education & Medical
Chad Travel & Tourism Info
Chad Lifestyle & Leisure
Chad Business Matters
  Sponsored Links

Check our Rates

People, Languages & Religions in Chad


The basic population of Chad derives from indigenous African groups, whose composition has been altered over the course of years through successive invasions from the Arabic north. The present population is a mixture of at least 200 ethnic groups.

The population can be broadly divided between those who follow the Islamic faith and the peoples of the south, by which is meant the five southernmost prefectures. The Arab invaders brought Islam, perhaps as early as the 8th century, and today their descendants form a relatively homogeneous group, localised in the regions of Chari Baguirmi and Ouaddai, but mostly semi-nomadic. Muslim indigenous groups include Arabs, Toubou, Hadjerai, Fulbe, Kotoko, Kanembou, Baguirmi, Boulala, Zaghawa, and Maba. Some indigenous groups, such as the Salamat and the Taundjor, were largely Arabized by intermarriage over the years. Other Muslim peoples include the Fulani, the great sheep and goatherders of Chad.

Among the non-Muslim indigenous peoples, the most important (and the largest single group in Chad) are the Sara, about 30% of the population. They live in the valleys of the Chari and Logone rivers and are farmers of considerable skill. Others include the Ngambaye, Mbaye, Goulaye, Moundang, Moussei, and Massa.

There are about 150,00 non-indigenous inhabitants, of whom about 1,000 are French.


More than 120 languages and dialects are spoken by the different ethnic groups, but Arabic is commonly spoken in the north and Sara and Sango languages in the south. French and Arabic are the official languages.


Chad is a religiously diverse country. The 1993 census found that 54% of Chadians were Muslim, 20% Roman Catholic, 14% Protestant, 10% animist, and 3% atheist. None of these religious traditions are monolithic. Animism includes a variety of ancestor and place-oriented religions whose expression is highly specific. Islam is expressed in diverse ways. Christianity arrived in Chad with the French and American missionaries; as with Chadian Islam, it syncretises aspects of pre-Christian religious beliefs. Muslims are largely concentrated in northern and eastern Chad, and animists and Christians live primarily in southern Chad and Guéra. The constitution provides for a secular state and guarantees religious freedom; different religious communities generally co-exist without problems.

The vast majority of Muslims in the country are adherents of a moderate branch of mystical Islam (Sufism) known locally as Tijaniyah, which incorporates some local African religious elements. A small minority of the country's Muslims hold more fundamentalist practices, which, in some cases, may be associated with Saudi-oriented Salafi-movement.

Roman Catholics represent the largest Christian denomination in the country. Most Protestants, including the Nigeria-based "Winners Chapel", are affiliated with various evangelical Christian groups. Members of the Bahá'í and Jehovah's Witnesses religious communities also are present in the country. Both faiths were introduced after independence in 1960 and therefore are considered to be "new" religions in the country.

Chad is home to foreign missionaries representing both Christian and Islamic groups. Itinerant Muslim preachers primarily from Sudan, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, also visit. Saudi Arabian funding generally supports social and educational projects and extensive mosque construction.





copyrights ©
2015 | Policy