Religious Heritage

With 1.800.000 inhabitants, Gabon is, according to its religious map-making, a real “Religious Crossroad”. The last official demographic census (2005) from the Ministry of Home Affairs reveals that there are 64,07% of Christians (54,24% of catholic, 9,83% of protestant), 6,50% of Muslim and 13,48% of people belong to other “traditional” religions: BWITI, the religion of Iboga and so on.

Eglise au Gabon

The Catholic Church of Gabon

The catholic Church has, since the last missionary time (even if the first missions were protestant), an equivalent place to the Religious State considering the influence of his Clergy in terms of training of the elitist and its liturgic calendar about the administrative activities. But the Islamic conventions signed by El Hadj Omar Bongo, General Khalifa (from 1967 to 2009) and some other personalities of the political regime (such as Ali Ben Bongo, Former Minister of Defense , and President of the Council of the Islamic Affairs), confer to that religion a visibility in the public space (TV, Radio, International Conferences, seminaries, partnership with Countries from Magrheb, etc). The great majority of migrants in Gabon are almost African reaching a total number of two thousands people representing 15% of the Gabonese population. And most of them are muslims from Senegal or Mali.

Remi Bessieux au Gabon

Churches in Gabon

The religious awakening of the 1930’s led to the birth at the first pentecostal Church in Gabon (That movement gave birth to churches in Congo, Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea) and the second awakening of the 1980’s by young Christians from Evangelic Church, has given birth to the Evangelic Center of Bethanie which has considerably influenced the Gabonese landscape.

At the very beginning of the church, its mission was to train some religious actors with the mission to create in turn churches in Libreville and in all the country (Ministère Éphésiens 4, Béthel, Victoire Parfaite, Buisson Ardent, Église de Nazareth, Église de Jérusalem, le Centre Missionnaire Chrétien International (CMCI), le Centre Mondial des Réveils, Morija, Église Saint Sauveur, etc.).

Other churches were imported by migrant in Gabon by migrants attracted by the benefit of oil exploitation. Because of migration, some Prophetic Churches as The Christianism Celeste reached Gabon by people coming from Benin and Nigeria in 1970-80. Some Gospel Churches from English speaking countries leaning on the migrant from Ghana and Nigeria, have considerably multiplied from 1990: Pentecostal churches, Holly Spirit Church of Unity, Deeper life Church, Business men Church of Full Gospel, Neo apostolic Church, Active Faith Ministry, etc. Some Brazilian Churches such as God is Love or Church of Almighty Universal Kingdom are also dispatched in the country.

Eglise du Gabon

Presbytery of the Cathedral Church of Sainte Marie in Libreville.

Free religions practicing

Bwiti rituel au Gabon

Religious Bwiti ceremony

The protestant churches, among others Evangelical and Pentecostal, remains an active minority with a low rate of 5% of the total inhabitants. Now, there are three federation of Pentecostal religious grouping a total number of 150 churches or religious associations. Those federations are led by the Charismatic Pentecostal Confedereation and of Reveil (CPCP) that is a strong link between the authorities and the affiliated federations. Those federation make procedures easier for foreign pastors from the Catholic Church, Protestant church or Muslim coming in Gabon whenever they are invited to come on Gabon. When returning home, immigrant encourage the implementation of an intra International network of an ecumenism in the realization of some projects.

Some traditional religious such as BWITI using iboga as a therapeutic substance, still have a consideration in the spiritual life of Gabonese. Initiatory society raised from the south of Gabon, the Bwiti has spread all over the country and has given birth among the Fang Population before the coming of the independence, to a religious based on Iboga associated to the synchronic innovation of the visionary prophets. Today, a New Age Bwiti and “healers” give through the net therapeutic virtue when it comes for a training designed to Europeans. But even if this religion has not crossed the international borders, but its national doom is not comparable to the other form of worship such as Vodou or peyote religions.

History of the Catholic church of Gabon

Evêque de Bessieux au Gabon


In Gabon, the catholic church is proud of being the first Christian mission of the Western Coast of Africa symbolizing the resumption of Catholic Missions in Africa. Proud of its history, its believes that its has basic elements to inspire its future. After more than one year spent of trip and hardship among which the death of many of his fellow travelers, father Jean Remi Bessieux arrived in Gabon on August 28, 1844. From then on, the story of the Gabonese church will be the work of the immigrant and local people. In 1955, The Gabonese Gospel Mission became a local Church, and the vicariate of Libreville became diocese then archdiocese in 1958.

The Gabonese bishop :
1877- 1891 : Pierre Marie Le Berre
1961 – 1983 : François NDONG
2000 : Jean Vincent ONDO EYENE

Patrimoine religieux Gabonais

Imam Ismaël OCENI OSSA and Mon seigneur Basile MVE ENGONE

Eglise au Gabon

Monseigneur Basile MVE ENGONE

Cathedrals and Churches of Gabon

Diocese of Libreville :

  • Cathedral Sainte Marie de Libreville
  • St Pierre de Libreville
  • St Michel de Libreville
  • St Paul de Donghila

Diocese of Port-Gentil :

  • Ste Anne
  • St Louis

Diocese of Mouila :

  • Notre Dame des 3 épis
  • St Martin des Apindjis
  • St Esprit de Mayumba

Diocese of Franceville :

  • Cathédrale St Hilaire – Franceville
  • Notre dame de la Salette – Koulamoutou
  • St Pierre Clavaire de Lastourville

Diocese of Makokou :

  • Notre dame des victoires and Mayga

Diocese of Oyem :

  • Ste Thérèse – Angone
  • Ste Marie – Meudoneu
  • Notre Dame de Lourdes – Dibouangui
  • St François Xavier – lambaréné

Watch the video of Monseigneur Basile Mve ENGONE

The mass in Libreville