Religion in Namibia


In 2019 Namibia was estimated to have an average population density of 3 residents per km2. The rainiest northern third of the country is inhabited by more than half of the population. The Namib Desert along the Atlantic coast is virtually uninhabited, with the exception of the ports and some smaller mining communities. 48 percent of the population lives in urban areas. The population-dominant city is the capital Windhoek (325,800 residents, 2012).

According to Countryaah data, Namibia’s most important people groups are ambo, kavango, himba, herero, nama, mountain lady and san as well as whites.

The Bantu-speaking ambo (ovambo), which make up almost half of the country’s population, and kavango (120,000) live in the northern part of the country, where they feed on chopped farms with sorghum and millet as basic crops and livestock management. Cattle have high prestige. The local government is in the hands of hereditary chieftains.

Herero is a diet-speaking herdsman in the central parts of the country. The colonization of the area by the Germans led to conflicts with heroes, who in 1904–05 were subjected to outright genocide; only 20 percent survived. Most of the remaining heros are still living in Namibia (over 160,000), but there are also small groups in Angola and Botswana. In the Kuen region in the northern part of the country there are more than 10,000 celebs, who are also subject to genocide and who now feed themselves as shepherds.

Nama is the only one of the former khoikhoi people (“hottotots”) scattered throughout southwestern Africa who has to some extent retained their ethnic identity. Originally living as collectors and hunters, they took over, even before the arrival of the whites, the livestock management of the surrounding Bantu people. Today, they amount to 270,000 and still speak a Khoisan claim that is official in the country.

People in Namibia

Damara (mountain lady) is reminiscent of the appearance of the Bantu people, but speaks khoisans claim. They were originally collectors and hunters, but most have long been shepherds, servants, or “slaves” of herero and nama; more than half of them are now living in the cities. Their number is estimated at around 100,000.

Of the San people (Bushmen), some still live as collectors and hunters in Namibia’s northeast, while others work on the whites’ farms or participate in the government’s agricultural projects. In total, there are about 38,000 san in Namibia.

The whites are mostly immigrant farmers (Africans) from South Africa or descendants of German colonists. The majority of German speakers are found in the capital Windhoek, but also in cities such as Swakopmund and Lüderitz. They are generally Lutherans and care for their language; tapes otherwise there are daily newspapers in German. The German-speaking Namibians amount to between 22,000 and 30,000.


The official language is English. Among the native languages, the largest bantu languages ​​(ov) are ambo (about 700,000 speakers), (ok) avango (about 125,000 speakers) and herero (about 100,000 speakers). At least a few hundred thousand people speak khoisans, of which the largest are nama. Among the white population, apart from English, Afrikaans and German are spoken.


According to thesciencetutor, just over 90% of Namibians consider themselves Christians. The Christian presence began with British missionaries starting operations in Namibia in the early 1800s. They were followed around 1840 by German missionaries, who gained a great influence and prepared the ground for German colonization. The rich Northern Namibia was entrusted with a Finnish mission. The churches in South West Africa, with up to four-fifths of Namibians as members, were early leaders in the struggle for liberation. Above all, they acted against the UN and South Africa through letters and petitions of various kinds. However, the churches were late in joining the armed struggle for freedom.

Among the Christians, Protestant churches and communities were the majority in 2010. These have two-thirds of the population as members, while Catholics make up one-fifth of the population. The Christians also include several independent and independent communities, both Lutheran, Anglican and Catholic. Among the independent communities are also the Zionist churches, in which they mix traditional African religion with Pentecostal theology and practice. There are also Baptists, Methodists and Mormons in the country. In some minority people, himba and san, indigenous religion plays a major role, where a form of shamanism is of central importance. Among immigrants, their descendants or recently converted, you find, mainly in the larger cities, practitioners of Judaism, Buddhism and Bahai. The Muslims, almost exclusively of the Sunni tradition,

Namibia’s constitution can be said to rest on religious grounds, as the president, ministers, MPs and judges end their oath of allegiance to, among other things. the constitution with the words “So help me God”. However, the country has no specific state religion. The Constitution and other laws guarantee freedom of religion. This works in practice, as evidenced by the fact that religious leaders and members of government together discuss important issues concerning the country’s future.

All religious communities must be registered. By registering, they are recognized by the state, exempt from tax and given the right to buy land at a discounted rate.

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The following days are national holidays: Good Friday, Easter Day, Ascension Day and Christmas.

Namibia Religion