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March 26th, 2007
Pilgrimage to Karbala
Sunni and Shia: The Worlds of Islam

While the Islamic world is predominantly of the Sunni sect, the Muslims who live in the Middle East, and particularly those in the Persian Gulf region, are often Shiite. Globally, the Shia account for an estimated 10 or 15 percent of the Muslim population, but in the Middle East their numbers are much higher: they dominate the population of Iran, compose a majority in Iraq, and are significant minorities in other nations, including Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Pakistan, and Syria. Outside of the region, Shia generally constitute only tiny minorities in other Muslim countries, including Algeria, Sudan, and Egypt in Northern Africa.

Map Data Sources: CIA World Factbook; Adherents.com

Afghanistan
Population: 28,513,677
Percent Shia Muslim: 19%
Percent Sunni Muslim: 80%

Algeria
Population: 32,129,324
Percent Shia Muslim: —
Percent Sunni Muslim: 99%

Azerbaijan
Population: 7,868,385
Percent Shia Muslim: 67%
Percent Sunni Muslim: 29%

Bahrain
Population: 677,886
Percent Shia Muslim: 70%
Percent Sunni Muslim: 30%

Egypt
Population: 76,117,421
Percent Shia Muslim: —
Percent Sunni Muslim: 90%

Iran
Population: 69,018,924
Percent Shia Muslim: 90%
Percent Sunni Muslim: 9%

Iraq
Population: 25,374,691
Percent Shia Muslim: 63%
Percent Sunni Muslim: 34%

Israel
Population: 6,199,008
Percent Shia Muslim: —
Percent Sunni Muslim: 15%

Jordan
Population: 5,611,202
Percent Shia Muslim: 2%
Percent Sunni Muslim: 92%

Kuwiat
Population: 2,257,549
Percent Shia Muslim: 25%
Percent Sunni Muslim: 60%

Lebanon
Population: 3,777,218
Percent Shia Muslim: 36%
Percent Sunni Muslim: 22%

Libya
Population: 5,631,585
Percent Shia Muslim: —
Percent Sunni Muslim: 97%

                Morocco
Population: 32,209,801
Percent Shia Muslim: —
Percent Sunni Muslim: 99%

Oman
Population: 2,903,165
Percent Shia Muslim: 2%
Percent Sunni Muslim: 21%

Pakistan
Population: 159,196,336
Percent Shia Muslim: 20%
Percent Sunni Muslim: 77%

Palestinian Territory
Population: 3,152,361
Percent Shia Muslim: —
Percent Sunni Muslim: 95%

Qatar
Population: 840,290
Percent Shia Muslim: 14%
Percent Sunni Muslim: 86%

Saudi Arabia
Population: 25,795,938
Percent Shia Muslim: 5%
Percent Sunni Muslim: 95%

Sudan
Population: 39,148,162
Percent Shia Muslim: —
Percent Sunni Muslim: 70%

Syria
Population: 18,016,874
Percent Shia Muslim: 13%
Percent Sunni Muslim: 74%

Tunisia
Population: 9,974,722
Percent Shia Muslim: —
Percent Sunni Muslim: 98%

Turkey
Population: 66,893,918
Percent Shia Muslim: 15%
Percent Sunni Muslim: 85%

U.A.E.
Population: 2,523,915
Percent Shia Muslim: 16%
Percent Sunni Muslim: 80%

Yemen
Population: 20,024,867
Percent Shia Muslim: 36%
Percent Sunni Muslim: 63%

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