Fact Sheet




1Benin as a whole

56% Traditional Religion

16% Islam

28% Christianity

20.1% Catholic

1.5% Evangelical

2.5% African Indigenous Churches

2.6% Other Protestants. In Cotonou and Porto-Novo: 4,000 evangelicals in 17 congregations and 60,000 in African independent churches




The Fon people, have demonstrated receptivity, make up a large percentage of the population of the city (see Fon report and abstract). Cotonou was a subdued city under the Marxist regime. It has come to life since the demise of Marxism last year. This is a neglected country. A new openness to western powers has the potential for making the people more concerned about material aid when they associate with Americans.


Population Density


Cotonou is densely populated. There are middle class settlements north off town and in the industrial area east of the lagoon; upper class near the airport; lower classes near the lagoon and to the west of the city center.


Total Population.


Just under 500,000.




African cities are not known for their homogeneity, but the Fon and related ethnic groups are predominant in Cotonou.


Denominational Protectionism.


All resident missionaries expressed to researchers the desire to see more evangelical missionaries enter the country. Most church agencies have headquarters in Cotonou, but there a need for many more church planting efforts.




Islam has more influence in Cotonou than in the rural areas with the exception of some ethnic groups in the north. There are no missionaries concentrating on the Islamic population of the city.




The population seems to be on the increase in Cotonou due to the new freedoms in the country. Many people had either been less visible in the city in previous years or they had gone to their rural roots.


Availability of Scriptures


There are complete Bibles in French and New Testament translations in Fon have just become available;


Expectations of Government


The government is accepting new missions. Temporary visas must be obtained for missionaries before entering the country. Application for church registration cannot proceed until congregations are established.