Cameroon has an estimated population of 27.7 million. According to the latest census (from 2005), 69.2% of the population is Christian, 20.9% Muslim, 5.6% animist, 3.2% reports no religious affiliation, and 1% of the population adhere to other religions. The population in Cameroon is diverse in its ethnicity, religion, and languages. There is often a correlation between ethnicity, religion, language, and where the group lives.

Human rights abuses are committed in Cameroon, especially in relation to an ongoing armed conflict between security forces and separatists in the Anglophone Northwest and Southwest regions. The conflict has resulted in widespread civilian deaths and displacements. Extremist terrorist groups like Boko Haram and ISIS-WE are also present in parts of the country.

‘Blasphemy’ laws

Cameroon criminalizes contempt of religion under Section 241 of the Penal Code. Such offenses are punishable by a fine and up to one year in prison.

Section 241: Contempt of Race or Religion (1) Whoever commits a contempt, within the meaning of section 152 of this Code, of the race or religion of a number of citizens or residents shall be punished with imprisonment for from 6 days to 6 months and with a fine of from CFAF 5,000 (five thousand) to 500,000 CFA francs. (2) Where the offense is committed by means of the press or wireless the fine may extend to 20,000,000 CFA francs. (3) Where the offense is committed with intent to arouse hatred or contempt between citizens, the penalties provided by the foregoing subsections should be doubled.

Under Section 152 of the Penal Code, a “contempt” is defined as:

A contempt shall mean any defamation, abuse or threat conveyed by gesture, word or cry uttered in any place open to the public, or by any procedure intended to reach the public

No cases have been found by researchers.