“Christianity is going south very rapidly in terms of numbers. I’ve give you a quick overview, and I’m going to talk about Africa a lot. Simple reason: back in 1900, Africa had 10 million Christians representing 10 percent of the population; by 2000, that was up 360 million, to 46 percent of the population. That is the largest quantitative change that has ever occurred in the history of religion. A rising tide lifts all boats, and all denominations have been booming. The Anglicans have done very well, and the Anglican Church is going to be overwhelmingly an African body in the near future….
“Another important thing to remember is that most Global North categories do not work in the Global South. A classic example: if you talk to a Nigerian Anglican and you try to pin him down, saying, ‘I cannot figure you out, are you evangelical, are you Catholic, are you charismatic?’ The immediate answer is yes. And they mean it.”
These comments were made by Philip Jenkins, distinguished professor of religious studies and history at Pennsylvania State University, during the Pew Forum’s biannual Faith Angle Conference on religion, politics and public life, held earlier this month in Key West, Fla.
The full transcript, well worth reading, is available at: http://pewforum.org/events/index.php?EventID=145 .