Religion and Africa
The Freedom From Religion Foundation reported:
|“||A new study conducted by the Washington-based Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life says that Africans are among the most religious people on Earth. The study, titled “Tension and Tolerance: Islam and Christianity in Sub-Saharan Africa,” was based on more than 25,000 interviews conducted in more than 60 languages in 19 countries...||”|
Africa has a high fertility rate and it is seeing a big population boom. According to the Institute For Security Studies: "Africa's population is the fastest growing in the world. It is expected to increase by roughly 50% over the next 18 years, growing from 1.2 billion people today to over 1.8 billion in 2035. In fact, Africa will account for nearly half of global population growth over the next two decades." See also: Global desecularization
Rapid growth of Christianity in Africa
In 2011, USA Today published an article entitled Study: Christianity grows exponentially in Africa which declared:
|“|| Meanwhile, the faith has grown exponentially in sub-Saharan Africa, from just 9% of the population in 1910 to 63% today. Nigeria, home to more than 80 million Christians, has more Protestants than Germany, where the Protestant Reformation began.
"As a result of historic missionary activity and indigenous Christian movements by Africans, there has been this change from about one in 10 (sub-Saharan Africans) identifying with Christianity in 1910 to about six in 10 doing so today," Hackett said.
Between 2000 and 2020, the continent of Africa had more than 37,000 new Christians every day.
General overview of religion in Africa
The dominant religion of Arabic-speaking north Africa, is Islam. It replaced Christianity in the 7th century and slowly spread west and south across the Sahara and into the equatorial zones. Today Islam includes about 41% of all Africans.
The Christian churches, based on missionary work of the 19th and 20th centuries, claim 45% of the population, of whom 55% are Protestants. There are about 150 million Roman Catholics on the continent, led by 33,000 priests. The Anglican Church includes about 5 million members in Nigeria, 2.4 million in South Africa, 2.2 million in Uganda, 1.5 million in Kenya, 1.0 million in Tanzania, and 2 million or so elsewhere in Africa.
For statistical detail on each church see Adherent.com, which compiles membership data from many sources.
About 20-30% of the people follow traditional religions and animism.
- Leo Igwe. Why so many Africans are religious. Retrieved on March 16, 2020.
- Africa’s population boom: burden or opportunity?, Institute For Security Studies
- The African apostles: How Christianity exploded in 20th-century Africa
- 'Study: Christianity grows exponentially in Africa, USA Today, 2011
- Glenn Sunshine and Jerry Trousdale with Greg Benoi (March 15, 2020). Christianity is growing faster than any time in history. Why is the Church in Europe, America declining?. The Christian Post. Retrieved on March 16, 2020.
- There are remnants of much older Coptic Christian settlements in Ethiopia.
- Using projections based on data at Fides News Service
- See Anglican statistics