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Religions of Tunisia



The constitution declares Islam as the official state religion and requires the President to be Muslim. Aside from the president, Tunisians enjoy a significant degree of religious freedom, a right enshrined and protected in its constitution, which guarantees the freedom to practice one's religion.
The country has a secular culture that encourages acceptance of other religions and religious freedom. With regards to the freedom of Muslims, the Tunisian government has restricted the wearing of Islamic head scarves (hijab) in government offices and it discourages women from wearing them on public streets and public gatherings. The government believes the hijab is a "garment of foreign origin having a partisan connotation". There were reports that the Tunisian police harassed men with "Islamic" appearance (such as those with beards), detained them, and sometimes compelled men to shave their beards off. In 2006, the former Tunisian president declared that he would "fight" the hijab, which he refers to as "ethnic clothing".
Individual Tunisians are tolerant of religious freedom and generally do not inquire about a person's personal beliefs.
The majority of Tunisia's population (around 98%) are Muslims while about 1% follow Christianity and the remaining 1% adhere to Judaism or other religions. The bulk of Tunisians belong to the Maliki School of Sunni Islam and their mosques are easily recognizable by square minarets. However, the Turks brought with them the teaching of the Hanafi School during the Ottoman rule which still survives among the Turkish descended families today, their mosques traditionally have octagonal minarets.
Tunisia has a sizable Christian community of around 25,000 adherents, mainly Catholics (22,000) and to a lesser degree Protestants. Berber Christians continued to live in Tunisia up until the early 15th century. Judaism is the country's third largest religion with 1,500 members. One-third of the Jewish
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