Thursday, March 25, 2010

Christian-Muslim conflict in Nigeria. Result of grow of Christianity?

Here's an interesting discussion of the Muslim massacre of 500 Christians in Nigeria. It suggests the genesis is Muslim fear of the growth of Christianity.

I think it's very interesting that Christianity is exploding in Africa. Much, much faster than Islam. Normally one thinks of Islam growing and spreading rapidly. In terms of converts, it's overwhelmingly tilted towards Christianity.

What might have surprised Lawrence, apart from the phenomenon that Islam in its doubt, was turning to suicide, was that by the early 21st century Christianity would have moved on from Europe and America to compete head to head with Islam in “Africa and parts of Asia”. Globally, as Jenkins sees it, the existential threat to Islam comes not from the declining number of Europeans indoctrinated in the quasi-Marxist “Imagine” creed, but from the burgeoning millions of the Third World. Whether Muslims are impressed by the secular belief system captured so succinctly in John Lennon’s song is open to debate. But the attractions of Christianity to the populations of the Third World apparently is not. Whatever the appeal of Islam in London might be, it is less so in Africa. “One factor driving Islamic militancy in many nations is the sense that Christianity is growing. Outside of the West, evangelism and conversion are two of the most sensitive issues in the modern world.”

Christianity, which a century ago was overwhelmingly the religion of Europe and the Americas, has undertaken a historic advance into Africa and Asia. In 1900, Africa had just 10 million Christians, representing around 10 percent of the continental population. By 2000, that figure had swollen to over 360 million, or 46 percent of the population. Over the course of the 20th century, millions of Africans transferred their allegiance from traditional primal faiths to one of the two great world religions, Christianity or Islam—but they demonstrated an overwhelming preference for the former. Around 40 percent of Africa’s population became Christian, compared to just 10 percent who chose Islam.

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