Experts say Africa is more than 50 percent Christian; and that by 2025, there will be 600 million believers there. Such growth did not just start. It is true that European missionaries carried the Gospel to Africa during the colonial period, but Christianity has been there from the first century. Paul was the apostle to the Gentiles and did not rest until he reached Rome–the capital of the Roman Empire. Acts 28 tells us he arrived in chains; only to hear the Jewish leaders reject his message that Jesus is the Messiah. He lamented their rejection but kept preaching. Rome executed him in 64 A.D. But while Paul took the Gospel into Europe, Mark, the Ethiopian Eunuch, and others took it south into Africa. The church thrived there under African leaders like Tertullian, Clement, Origen, Cyprian, Athanasius, and Augustine. Recent scholars like Thomas Oden have documented that Africa played a decisive role in shaping Christian culture and doctrine. He says Christian theology did not go from Europe to Africa, but from Africa to Europe. The church today owes a great debt to Africa. Sadly, Islam destroyed much of Christianity during the middle ages. Still, its growth today is testament to God’s faithfulness. Doubtlessly, it is because Jesus declared, the gates of hell would not prevail against his church.
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