Anglican churches rise to the challenges of Africa’s growth

Jul 20, 2017 by

Church of England Newspaper report.

AFRICA will have overtaken China as the continent with the largest population by 2100, a meeting at General Synod sponsored by Anglican Mainstream was told.

However, most Africans have not yet reached childbearing age. As people flock to the cities for work, rural areas will be depleted of labour to support the agriculture that it needs.

The fringe meeting at the York Synod was told that importing extra food from the global market is beyond most African countries.Political leaders stir ethnic rivalries for their own ends.

While all countries experience corruption, a decent rule of law and a robust political system can keep it in check. Where it is lacking, corruption means that people will starve and die. Hunger is a political issue but always comes back to bad governance.

The church in Africa faces competition from Islam, which is making advances through the sale of Halal meat in the food industry, Islamic finance in the economy and Khadi courts in the justice system.

The Christian agency Barnabas Fund supports projects designed and delivered by local churches, the most cost-effective way of providing aid.Their largest partner is the Church of Uganda, which is feeding many of the 800,000 refugees from South Sudan.

The Church is buying food and trucking it to Camp Rhino in the north to feed 80,000 refugees. In the Diocese of Marsabit in Kenya, suffering from extended drought and famine, the church is feeding 12,000 people.

The church in Uganda has provided a home at the Mengo Hospital for training 50 clinical assistants from and for South Sudan in partnership with Anglican International Development, the International Christian Medical and Dental Association and Barnabas Fund. The first graduation was held in Kampala in June.

By changing the date they sow their seed and the way they use their land, farmers can quadruple the output from their plots, sell the excessand use the income for education and medical costs.

The church focuses on providing hope, identity, community, education, support for refugees when they can return home, food, support of small businesses, physical security, advocacy at local and government levels, and work against corruption.

The Church of England assists African churches to address these challenges primarily through the partnership of local churches who support those with whom they have links built up over years.

Archbishop Josiah Fearon advised the Synod in February “the route to the Church of England’s internal health is, as with any church, through herself – expenditure for the sake of the world”.

This is a better policy than seeking to render the church more acceptable to secular society by changing its biblical and historic teaching.

See also: Observing ministry in Africa, by Andrew Symes, Anglican Mainstream

What lies behind the rise of Christian universities in Africa, by Joel Carpenter, The Conversation


Related Posts


Share This