Languages The official languages that are spoken in the Republic of Rwanda include: French, English, Kinyarwanda, and Swahili. Consisting of more than 12 million speakers, Kinyarwanda, a Bantu ethnic language, is spoken in various countries such as: Rwanda, Uganda, the Demographic of Congo. The ethnic Kinyarwanda language is the primary ethnic language in the country. The Tutsi, Hutu, and Twa ethnic groups speak the language. After close interactions among these three ethnic groups, Kinyarwanda developed as their cultural identity in the 15th century. Kinyarwandan is the most commonly spoken national language in the nation, constituting approximately 93% of the population. The language is also used as a means of instruction in administration, commerce, media, and institutions. Because Rwanda was a Belgian colony, French was adopted as an official language. Despite this, only approximately 0.1% of the population speak the language. The French language was replaced slowly by English, as a result of the genocide of 1994 affecting the status of the French language. The French involvement in the Rwandan genocide caused the Rwandans to remove themselves completely from French influences. In the Republic of Rwanda, English is the third official language constituting approximately 0.2% of the population. In the 20th century English became an official language, and, in 2008, it was introduced to the school system. In order to align Rwanda with the East African community, and to break free from French influences the nation transitioned from French to English. Furthermore, through the use of English, English speaking country’s foreign investors increased. Currently in Rwandese institutions, English is the primary language used as a means of instruction. As of February 2017, the Rwandan government established Swahili as an official language in the country. As a request by the East African community, the Rwandan government adopted Swahili as an official language. The Swahili language is expected to be used in official documents and administrative functions, as well as the curriculum as a compulsory subject. Religion The six major religions constituting Rwanda include: Roman Catholic Christianity, Protestant Christianity, other forms of Christianity, Islam, Atheism or Agnosticism, and African folk belief. Roman Catholicism along side Protestantism and other types of Christianity are the largest religious beliefs of Rwanda accounting for 96.3% of the population. Roman Catholicism is the largest religious group, followed by 46.5% of the population, and it was first introduced to Rwandans when the nation became a part of German East Africa. Furthermore, in Rwanda, Protestantism is the second largest religion and Christian group, which is constituted by about 45.4% of the population. After World War One, Belgian Protestant missionaries entered the country as a result of Belgium gaining control of the territory of Ruanda-Urundi. As a result, Protestantism gained headway in Rwanda and surrounding areas in the 1930s. Additionally, the other forms of Christianity combine to represent about 4.4% of Rwanda’s population making it the third largest religious belief in Rwanda. The Jehovah’s Witnesses are the most noteworthy and persecuted group that constitute these other types of Christianity. In the country, Islam is the fourth largest religion, having about 1.8% of the population practicing it. Sunni Islam is followed by most of the Muslims in the country. It is thought to have arrived in the nation from the East Coast of Africa through the help of Muslim traders around the 18th century. However, it was not until the late 19th century when it became a prominent part of Rwanda. The amount of people in Rwanda who are either agnostics or atheists constitute approximately 1.8% of the country’s population. In Rwanda, agnostics and atheists are not counted officially, and there is also an ignominy attached to not practicing a religion in the highly religious country. Since the end of the genocide, the amount of people who claim they are agnostic or atheist. In Rwanda, the amount of people who follow African folk beliefs composes approximately 0.1% of the nation’s population. Only about a handful of people in Rwanda practice African folk beliefs, however a plethora of followers from other religions in Rwanda include traditional elements into their practices. Of the African folk beliefs, the predominant African Folk belief is the belief of a principal being known as Imaana, and other minor deities. The belief also includes communication with these deities, via the spirits of ancestors.