Here come the Africans!

The Africans are coming. No they’re already here.

There are six African church plants in our home city of Leicester, England from just one movement of Nigerians. A few weeks ago we began training them in how to reach the city. They want us back again next week.

Philip Jenkins is writing a new book on demographic trends and religious faith. Here are some highlights of he’s written so far on the impact of fertility and faith in Africa:

By 2100 Africans will make up 40% of the world’s population.

In 1900, there were three Europeans for every African. By 2050, there should be three Africans for every European. That figure, incidentally, is misleading in one way, as many of the “Europeans” in 2050 will in fact be of African descent. By some projections, the African share of global population by 2100 could be 40 percent.

By 2050, six of the world’s 20 most populous nations will be on the African continent — Ethiopia, Nigeria, Congo, Uganda, Sudan, Tanzania, Kenya, Madagascar, and Niger.

In 1950, the combined population of these nine nations was around 100 million, rising to almost 400 million by 2000. By 2050, they will have a combined population of 1.2 billion. That would represent a twelvefold increase in raw numbers in just a century.

Africa is now home to some of the world’s largest Christian and Muslim communities.

In 1900, Africa had substantial Muslim and Christian populations, with Muslims strongly in the majority. During the 20th century, both groups grew substantially, partly by demographic expansion, but also through evangelism and conversion. About half of black Africans joined one of the great monotheistic faiths, and they favored Christianity over Islam by a rate of 4-to-1.

 According to Jenkins, what happens in Africa is very unlikely to stay in Africa.