A recent study suggests that Africa may lead the number of Christians worldwide in the future.
According to the projections of Pew Research Center, there will be 727 million Christians living in Africa by 2060. These Christians are likely to live in Nigeria, Congo, Tanzania, Uganda, Kenya and Ethiopia, reports Quartz Africa.
There will be 727 million Christians living in Africa by 2060. —Pew Research Center
Compared to a 2015 study, three African countries were included in the top 10 largest Christian populations. These countries were Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Ethiopia.
The research group based their findings on general population growth projections. Experts believe that in 2050, around 2.2 billion people could be added to the world’s population and more than half of the growth will be in Africa.
There’s a notable increase of Christian population in African countries. Church buildings are being constructed, various Christian denominations flourish, and the locations of mega-churches are transformed into an entire neighborhood with banks, markets and police station to meet the needs of their members.
Christianity was brought to Africa by European and North American missionaries 500 years ago, now African preachers are the ones bringing the Gospel outside the continent on a trend which is called ‘reverse missionaries,’ reports Global Journalist.
As the Christian population in Europe dwindles, African missionaries travel to European countries to teach the word of God, to plant churches, to convert people, and to start the conversation about Christianity to young people, most of whom claimed to be non-religious.
Challenges of Christians in Africa
However, despite the glowing situation of Christianity in Africa, some religious leaders believe that African Christians still face challenges today, reports online Catholic daily LA CROIX International.
In a pastoral conference in Abidjan, Ivory Coast on March 30, 2019, parish priest, Father Norbert Eric Abékan, said, “Christians fill our churches, but do not become involved.” He explained that the challenges Christians need to address are “at the level of education, reconciliation, health, ecology, inculturation, etc.”
The cleric advised that, “It is necessary to rethink the pastoral approach health care, which until now has limited itself to evangelization and prayers of liberation.” He suggested a competition of the cleanest or most ecological parish or diocese.