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Change in Africa

As Christianity grows in Africa at an unprecedented rate, we’re more committed than ever to bringing the Bible to life in some of its toughest places. Here’s why...

Unprecendented growth

Africa is the world’s second largest continent, and the second most populous. According to the World Population Review, Africa is home to almost 1.2 billion people and is experiencing world-leading population growth of 2.4% 1.

Such a rapid growth rate is not without its problems. More Africans are poorer today than in 1990. Back then, some 280 million Africans lived in poverty. Although aid and economic development has reduced the percentage of those living in absolute poverty, population growth means that today an estimated 330 million people (43% of the continent’s population) live on less than £1.35 a day 2. And it’s projected that more of the world’s extremely poor families will be concentrated in Africa in the future. 3

Africa has the youngest population in the world

Africa also has the youngest population in the world with around 200 million people aged between 15 and 24 4. That number is set to grow in the future, presenting both a risk and an opportunity for the continent’s economic development.

Against this backdrop, violence is on the rise, and communities are at war. Two in five adults are illiterate. And the continent is home to some of the most unequal and most corrupt countries in the world. This is particularly the case in Sub-Saharan Africa where leaders continue to find it difficult to provide stability and security for their people.

In contrast to this picture of deep-rooted, systemic challenge, Christianity is growing faster in Africa than anywhere in the world. In the next 10 years more Christians will live in Africa than on any other continent and by 2020, just under half of all Africans are expected to be Christians. To put it another way, within the next four years, a quarter of the world’s Christians will live in Africa.

Supporting the African Church

We’ve been working across Africa for almost 200 years, helping our African colleagues to support the growth of the Church. Together, we’re bringing the Bible to life and we’re witnessing the expansion of the Church first-hand as well as an ever increasing and unprecedented demand for Scripture. 

This fuels our belief that there’s a tremendous opportunity to see the Bible shape a fairer, more just, more developed Africa. Africans speak of the huge need for hope, healing and reconciliation across the continent and we’re compelled to respond to that need.

Good reason for hope

Our past experience has shown us, that even in the toughest circumstances, when people engage with the Bible, their lives can change, for good. Across Africa, we’ve seen the Bible help people who have very little find love, hope and their place in world. We’ve seen the word of God help them regain their own sense of self-worth as they open their hearts and minds to peace, reconciliation and justice.

At a nation building level, our work with leaders in Africa focuses on the power of the Bible to help shape better ways of leading that result in stability, safety and socio-economic development. We’ve  seen that God’s word can build bridges where there is conflict. And we know that with support leaders can draw from the Bible’s practical advice and wisdom to shape their society, for good.

Pray with us

Find out what we're doing in Africa

1., accessed 03 June 2016.
2. Foreword, Poverty in a Rising Africa report, March 2016, World Bank
3. Foreword, Poverty in a Rising Africa report, March 2016, World Bank
4. 2012 African Economic Outlook report, prepared by African Development Bank, UN Development Programme and UN Economic Commission for Africa among others

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