Christianity in Africa has benefited from sustained exponential growth, with numbers growing from about 10 million in 1900 to just over half a billion in 2015; but the diversity of the different forms of Christian practices and teachings on the continent means that it may be more accurate to see it as Christianities rather than Christianity ”“ that was the message from Canon Professor Joseph Galgalo as he delivered the inaugural Mission Theology Seminar at Lambeth Palace last week.
The lecture by Prof Galgalo, vice-chancellor of St Paul’s University in Limuru, Kenya, was the first in a new series of seminars organised by the Mission Theology in the Anglican Communion project.
“There is no denying that Africa Christianity is increasingly vibrant and as the populations of the countries keep growing, the churches proportionately take their fair share of this growth,” Prof Galgalo said. “The growth is not limited to any particular denomination and increase in numbers often results into variety of Churches. To cite the example of Kenya, during the 2009 national census, 31,877,734 (82.98 per cent) out of the national population of 38,412,088 identified themselves as Christian (of Catholic, Protestant or other denominations). This translates to about nine points percentage increase compared to the result of the 1999 census.