Something spiritually big is happening in Africa, the continent of suffering and missed opportunities. From 1860 to 1960 Africa was the missionary graveyard as thousands of dedicated Christian missionaries from Europe ploughed their lives into the hard soil of occult, witchcraft, animism and indifference. Independence from colonial rule in the 50’s and 60’s brought nepotism, corruption and war as country after country flirted with communism and terror as political weapons.
But from the 1960’s onwards something remarkable has been happening. At the beginning of that decade the continent had approximately 1.6 million evangelical believers, and most still entrenched in European traditions. Through hardship and persecution the Holy Spirit then got hold of these new believers and transformed them into dynamic, miracle focused, occult challenging indigenous evangelists who took on the powers of darkness and set people free.
Today some 17% of the continent or just under 200 million people are evangelical Christian and this figure is growing at nearly 4% a year, well above the 2.1% population growth rate. Penticostal believers in particular have seen spectacular growth due to their involvement in the supernatural aspects of Christianity.
If this growth trend continues, and there are no signs it will not, then we will see the following 11 African countries in the top twenty global bodies of believers by 2050, figures are in millions: Nigeria (76), Ethiopia (57), Uganda (51), Kenya (26), Congo DR (33), Tanzania (15), Angola (13), Sudan (12), Mozambique (10), South Africa (9) and Ghana (9).
And all this has been happening just in the southern half of the continent! In the north Islam is getting very frustrated with this growth and resorting to violence as a means of trying to contain it. Muslim violence against Christians in Sub-Saharan Africa conflict has already become one of the great themes of Twenty First century geopolitics.
Pray for Africa.