Crossway, a Christian publishing ministry based in Wheaton, Illinois, has launched part two of its effort to distribute one million Bibles in the global south.
“If we care about the future of the church — the future of the church is in Africa, because the next generation of the church is going to be there — then we ought to help them by providing Bibles, study Bibles, and sound doctrine,” Karen Elliott, executive director of the Rafiki Foundation, said in a statement about the initiative. “We should flood the continent with God’s Word.”
The Rafiki Foundation is a faith-based nonprofit in Africa and is one of the organizations partnering with Crossway to reach its distribution goal.
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In a press release of its own, Crossway said its goal is to raise half a million dollars by June 30 in order to give Bibles to 100,000 children who might not otherwise have access to Scripture. This follows the successful completion of the first phase of the project, which came in December, after the publishing house raised more than $500,000 and began giving away over 100,000 copies of God’s Word.
According to data compiled by the Pew Research Center, Christianity is spreading rapidly in Sub-Saharan Africa. As of 2018, more than 75% of every country surveyed on the continent described faith as very important to them.
At the time, Pew analyzed 84 countries with large Christian populations and, in 35 of those nations, at least two-thirds of all self-described Christians said religion was very important to their lives. All but three of those countries were in Latin America or Sub-Saharan Africa (the three outliers were the U.S., the Philippines, and Malaysia).
Research published around the same time the Pew data was released also found Africa to be home to the greatest number of Christians. As of 2020, Statista reported some 650 million Christians on the continent — a number forecasted to surpass one billion by 2050.
By contrast, in North Africa, Islam is overwhelmingly prevalent. For example, more than 90% of the populations of Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, and Libya adhere to the Muslim faith.
All of this comes as the persecution of Christians in Africa is on the rise.
According to Open Doors US, one-in-five Christians on the continent are persecuted for their faith. The persecution watchdog found 26 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa face “high levels of persecution” and half of those have violence scores in the “extremely high” category.
Five of the top 10 countries where Christians face violent persecution are in Africa.
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