How does belief in witchcraft in Tanzania compare with other countries?
Belief in all these things – witchcraft, curses, evil spirits, etc. – is not just stronger in Tanzania than in any of these other countries – it is much stronger in Tanzania:
Almost all Tanzanians (93%) believe in witchcraft, while less than half the population of Rwanda, Zambia, Uganda, Kenya and Ethiopia share that belief. Even in Nigeria, belief is much lower than in Tanzania.
Some questions, to which I don’t have the answer:
First, why is this the case? Why are Tanzanians apparently much more likely to believe in the supernatural than their neighbours in Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and Zambia?
Second, what are the implications? What effects does this near-universal belief in witchcraft have on life in Tanzania – on politics, on business, on health, on education, etc? I posted a chart on witchcraft-related killings in Tanzania last month, but that’s only part of the story.
Third, what can be done about it?
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Long-term readers may note that I’ve published this chart before, when the Pew survey originally came out. But it’s such a startling conclusion that I felt it justifies being repeated.