Religion: Faith in Africa

A tale of joyful numbers

Many churches in North America and Western Europe have seen their membership dwindle for years. But throughout the Third World, and particularly in Africa, Christianity is undergoing the largest numerical expansion in church history. David Barrett, a Nairobi-based researcher who is completing a major multivolume work on world religious trends, estimates that more than 6 million Africans are added to Christianity every year, at an astonishing rate of 16,600 believers a day.

Much of the increase is simply the result of the rise in population, but Anglican Barrett reckons that two-fifths of the total are converts....

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