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Religion in Madagascar

The 19th century was the theater of succession of arrivals followed by departures of christian missionaries in Madagascar. Protestantism was the first christian religious doctrine in the religious landscape to become the religion of state in Madagascar. As the influence and domination by France grew so was it with Catholicism.

About 45% of Malagasy practice the christian religion, roman Catholics and protestants are almost at parity. The vast majority of Malagasy include ancestor worship in their religious beliefs and bless their dead in churches before proceeding to the traditional rites of burial. A minister of a church is usually invited to a traditional ceremony of turning of the dead, the "famadihana", a rite which is to celebrate the ancestors in a cult that is devoted to them, evidence of the coexistence of Christianity and tradition. Muslim communities also exist in Madagascar. They are mostly concentrated in western and northern Madagascar, particularly in the town of Mahajanga on the west knows a strong Comoran and Indo-pakistany influence while in the northern province of Antsiranana Islam was adopted as religion of state by the king of the tribe Antakarana following an alliance with the king of Zanzibar.

Anyway, modern religions and ancestor worship coexist in perfect synergy within the Malagasy population, a reflection of the multiplicity of the original settlement of Madagascar and as acceptance of the inherent difference in each tribe.