Christianity first arrived in North Africa, Egypt to be precise, in the 1st or early 2nd century AD. It later spread throughout the other parts of the continent through missionaries and colonization processes.
There is about 2.2 billion Christians in the world which puts Christianity as the largest religion in the world and a great number of these Christians are from the African nations. The Bible is considered to be the most sacred book in the Christian faith. Today we will be looking at the top African countries with the highest number of Christians.
Nigeria being the most populous African country has the largest number of Christians in the continent and fifth country with the largest Christian population in the world. Nigeria has two major religions being Islam and Christianity. Though the exact ratio of the Nigeria’s population that belong to a particular religion is uncertain.
But according to a 2001 report from the World Factbook by CIA, about 50% of Nigeria’s population are Muslims, 40% are Christians and 10% adhere to local religions. But in some recent report, the Christian population is now slightly lesser than the Muslim population. It is believed that at least 74,400,000 Nigerians are Christians.
Christianity in Nigeria is particularly prevalent in the Southern and Central areas of the country. Christianity denominations in the country include Roman Catholic, Seventh-day Adventist, Baptist, Anglican, Church of Nigeria, and Assemblies of God Church. Protestants churches in Nigeria adhere to the foundations of Christianity as other Protestants in other countries but have also adopted different ways of expressing their faith.
2. Democratic Republic of the Congo
Christianity is the most practiced religion in the Democratic Republic of the Congo which is being followed by more than 90% of the population. Denominations include Roman Catholic 42.8%, Protestant 38% and other Christian denominations (including Kimbanguist) 12%. In total, about 63,150,000 people in Democratic Republic of the Congo are Christians. Minority religions include Muslims (mainly Sunni) who represent 1% of the population and others (including syncretic sects and indigenous beliefs) accounting for 4%, according to most recent estimates. Hinduism which is not widely spread represents 0.18% of the population.
Religion in Ethiopia consists of a number of faiths. Among these mainly Abrahamic religions, the most numerous is Christianity (Ethiopian Orthodoxy, Pentay, Catholic) totaling at 62.8%, followed by Islam at 33.9% . There is also a longstanding but small Jewish community. Christian population: 52,580,000.
4. South Africa
Christianity is the most practiced religion in South Africa, with almost 80% of the population in 2001 professing to be Christian. No single denomination predominates, with mainstream Protestant churches, Pentecostal churches, African initiated churches, and the Catholic Church all having significant numbers of adherents. According to a record, there are about 43,090,000 Christians in South Africa.
Just like South Africa, Christianity is the most practiced religion in Kenya, which is adhered to by an estimated 84.8% of the total population. Islam is the second largest religion in the country and it is being practiced by approximately 9.7 to 11.1 percent of Kenyans. Other faiths practiced in Kenya are Baha’i, Buddhism, Hinduism and traditional religions. There are around 34,774,000 Christians in Kenya.
There are two major religions in Tanzania with Christianity being the dominant one according to the most recent estimates. A 2014 survey from the Pew Research Center found that 61% of the population are Christian, 35% are Muslim, 2% practice traditional religions and 1% are unaffiliated. There are about 31,342,000 Christians in Tanzania.
Uganda is a religiously diverse nation with Christianity being the most widely professed religion. According to the 2014 census, over 84 percent of the population was Christian while about 14 percent of the population adhered to Islam, making it the largest minority religion. In 2009, the northern and west Nile regions were dominated by Roman Catholics, and Iganga District in the east of Uganda had the highest percentage of Muslims. There are about 29,943,000 Christians in Uganda.