The religions of Malawi range from the traditional religions of Africa, to Muslim, Hindu, Roman Catholic and most of the Protestant traditions. Efforts to restore a simple Christian movement similar to the churches of the first century have made exceptional inroads in every region of the nation. Malawi, like many other nations in Africa, has a deep and abiding sense of a Power and a Supreme Being.
The influence of the Arab traders brought the Muslim religion from the Middle East, while the Indian and Eastern traders brought the Hindu religion. The Europeans and later the Americans joined with missionaries from South Africa and Australia to bring Catholicism and various brands of Protestantism.
More than in most countries of Africa, the nation of Malawi has been greatly influenced by the missionaries from Europe. The most famous of these was undoubtedly David Livingstone who came to Malawi in the mid-1800’s from Scotland. Much of his work centered near Lake Malawi, and a mission can still be seen today at the Livingstonia Mission in northern Malawi. It was in the northern portion of the lake region that Henry Stanley, a Welsh-American journalist, came looking for the well-known Livingston, and upon their meeting, the now famous words were spoken, “Dr Livingston, I presume.”
The Chewa people, who form the largest part of the population, are predominantly Christian/Protestant. They are concentrated primarily in the central region of the nation. The Yao people are primarily Muslim and are located along the lake, as well as in the southern section of the country.
The major divisions are broken down to: Protestant 55%, Muslim 20%, Roman Catholic 20% and traditional indigenous and other religions 5%.