Africa: Christians outnumber Muslims [and Catholics their European counterparts]
At a conference in Morocco, Italian sociologist, Massimo Introvigne, revealed that African [Christians outnumber Muslims and] practicing Catholics outnumber their European counterparts
The latest figures reveal that Christianity has become the African continent’s number one religion, clearly surpassing Islam. This is according to the findings of a study presented today during the course of a conference organised by CESNUR (Center for Studies on New Religions) at El Jadida University in Morocco. The figures revealed at the conference which was attended by seventy speakers from 18 countries, today, Christians account for 46, 53% of the African population compared to the 40, 46 % represented by Muslims and the 11, 8% represented by traditional African religions.
The study states that among African countries, 31 have Christian majorities, 21 have Muslim majorities and 6 have populations which adhere mostly to traditional African religions. In 1900 Christians in Africa totalled ten million; in 2012 this number reached five hundred million. In 1900 only 2% of Christians in the world were African; today, this figure has risen to 20%. In ten years time they will be the largest continental bloc within Christianity, outdoing Europe and the Americas. “This data is still not widely known – stated sociologist Massimo Introvigne, CESNUR’s founder – but they have a profound historical, cultural and political significance. There are now more practicing Christians in Africa than in Europe. In the long run, this will not only change Africa but Christianity as well as John Paul II had intuited. His attention to Africa was continued by Benedict XVI who has already visited the continent twice.”
“Of course, not everyone is happy about this development,” Introvigne added. The sociologist claims that this growth in the number of Christians across the African continent could be one of the causes of certain attacks. “Some Islamic ultra-fundamentalists consider it scandalous that there are more Christians than Muslims in Africa and proceed to persecute and kill Christians in countries such as Nigeria, Mali, Somalia and Kenya. The way the ultra-fundamentalists see it, today, the battle which will determine whether the world will be Muslim or Christian is being fought in Africa. And that Islam is losing. This is why they are responding with bombs.”
Speaking at the Rimini Meeting last August, Ignatius Kaigama, the Archbishop of Jos, in Nigeria, had said: “Most Muslims and Christians in Northern Nigeria would like to live in peace and be good neighbours, despite all the tensions that exist. Mixed Muslim and Christian families can be found in both Southern and Northern Nigeria. But it is no secret that some Muslim leaders would like to “immerse the Loran in the Atlantic sea”: they believe Islam should be the country’s dominant religion, as was demonstrated with the introduction of Sharia law in some parts of the North. Nothing can be said against what can be defined as a legitimate aspiration: every religion would like to expand and boost the number of its followers. But this must be done in a peaceful and civil manner, through testimony.”