Christianity in Africa
As the second largest continent in the world, Africa is made up of 54 countries and roughly 1.3 billion people. Although Christianity looks different throughout each of these countries, the continent as a whole is about 50% Christian! Just for reference, that’s about 650 million brothers and sisters in Christ. But Christianity didn’t always look this way in Africa – there’s a long history that brought Africa to be 50% Christian today.
Here are some facts about Christianity and other religions in Africa:
- It was just during the 21st century that Christianity has grown so greatly in Africa. In the 20th century, Africa was roughly 9% Christian.
- Islam is the second most popular religion in Africa
- The African country, Namibia has more Christians than any other country in India
- Christianity is not broken down by denomination as much as it is here in the US
The Origin of Christianity in Africa:
Christianity in Africa dates all the way back to the early 1st century AD. The Gospel was first brought straight from Jerusalem to Alexandria on the Egyptian coast by Mark the Evangelist. Christianity dates back as far in Africa as it does in Northern Europe – wow!
Although Christianity arrived early in Africa, it remained in the shadows of Islam. It took many centuries for the expansion of Christianity to really take off across all 54 African countries. It makes sense that when Christianity was brought to the coast, it’s here that it blossomed. In the interior of the continent most people continued to practice native languages without exposure to Christianity until the 19th century. This is when Christian missionaries really began to make their way to Africa, spreading the gospel across each of the 54 countries. This is what brought Africa from 9% to the 50% Christian it is today.
By looking back at Christianity origin in Africa and how long the Gospel has ben present there, it helps us understand the growth and expansion that happened and continues to happen.
As Set Free continues to spread the Gospel throughout Sierra Leone and Liberia through the gift of clean water, it’s our prayer that more lives will be touched by Jesus’ love and we will see that 650 millions Christians in Africa continue to rise!
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