Sunni is the largest sect of Islam and is a religion that is followed by as many as 90% of the 1.5 billion Muslims around the world. People that follow this branch of Islam are known as Sunnites or Sunnis.
Sunnis have different beliefs from Shi’ites, followers of Shia Islam. Sunnis believe that the first four caliphs are the successors of Muhammad, while Shi’ites believe that Ali, the son-in-law of Muhammad, and his descendants are the leaders of the Muslims. Another big difference between the two is that Sunnis put more of an emphasis on the power of God in the material world, while Shi’ites put more emphasis on sacrifice and martyrdom.
There are many countries where Sunni is the dominant religion. Most notably is Algeria, where Sunni Islam is the religion of the state.) In this nation, approximately 99% of people practice this religion.
Other nations where Sunni is the most popular religion include:
- Cocos Islands
Sunni is also practiced in other nations but make up the minority in countries including Bahrain and Iran.