Religious composition of villages    

This map follows the representation used in Maps F.2 and F.4 showing the main religion of each village. Dark colours are used to show where all villagers belong to the same religious group, lighter colours to show villages where more than 80% of the population belong to one religious group, and finally the pink colours are used for villages composed of a least two important religious groups.

As in the preceding Map F.6 we can observe the high predominance of people reporting to be Buddhists or belonging to the category ‘other’. As explained in Map F.6 this category corresponds largely to Animism which is the main belief of non-Lao ethnic groups.

The map confirms the close relationship between religion and ethnic groups as shown in the general spatial pattern related to the distribution of ethno-linguistic families in Map F.2. Setting aside the main settlement regions of the Lao and Tai-Thay, it is interesting to find that their presence along road networks and in provincial and district towns is reflected by the high rates of Buddhism shown on the map. However as soon as we leave these central areas and move towards more peripheral and rural areas, Animism becomes the dominant belief. The villages where both Animism and Buddhism co-exist are quite abundant and heterogeneously distributed across the country.

Finally, the map also shows the very small number of villages where more than 80% of the people are Christians. Islam does not seem to find a majority in any of the villages.



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