Ethiopia: Learning from African Leaders

Source: Lausanne Movement, January 15, 2024

Africa became the continent with the most Christians in 2018, surpassing Latin America (which surpassed Europe in 2014). It is tremendously encouraging to see that those who were previously the object of the majority of mission endeavors have now become the major force behind present-day mission endeavors around the world.

The African continent now has 1.4 billion people and most of the world’s population growth as we head towards 2050 will be in Africa. It has been predicted that by the year 2050 one quarter of the world, as well as 50 percent of all global evangelicals, will be African.

Like the rest of the world, Africa is becoming increasingly urban, with the rise of megacities like Cairo, Lagos, and Kinshasa. By 2050, the continent is set to have four more: Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, Nairobi in Kenya, Khartoum in Sudan, and Luanda in Angola.

Africa has the youngest population in the world. The 25 countries with the lowest median age in Africa are also the countries with the lowest median age worldwide. More than 50 percent of the population in Africa are youth.

Christianity is expanding from Southern Africa, as well as East Africa, yet even more rapid is the expansion of Islam from North and West Africa.

When we consider the demographics and position of the region, the church in Africa and the Middle East will to a large degree shape the future of the global church in 2050.

Read the full story for reports from a recent Lausanne gathering of 789 African and Middle East Christian influencers and leaders in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. See also another Lausanne article, Help! I’m Scared of Younger Leaders. The headline made us smile.

To hear more from emerging leaders across the global church, plan on joining (or hosting) a watch party for the Fourth Lausanne Congress on World Evangelization coming up in September. We’ll share more about that as the details are released.

Also from Africa:

Duane Frasier of Joshua Project shares about a small group near the coast of Kenya called the Dahalo. A few years ago, the number of people who prayed for them as “the unreached people group of the day” actually exceeded the total Dahalo population. But a pastor from Nairobi realized his church could be part of the answer to those prayers. He traveled by plane, bus, boat and motorcycle to reach the group, at one point in disguise to avoid attention from local extremists. But now the Dahalo have a body of believers reading Swahili Bibles brought to them by the congregation in Nairobi (Mission Frontiers). Praise God.

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