Family life, ‘bonding together’ behind spread of Christianity in Africa, U.S. bishop says – Catholic News Agency

today7 months ago 4

share close

By Agnes Aineah
ACI Africa, Aug 29, 2023 / 13:15 pm
The rapid spread of Christianity in Africa is due to its people’s inherent structures of community life as well as the “bonding together” of community members, according to Bishop John Patrick Dolan of Phoenix.
Dolan, who returned from a 12-day trip to the African countries of Ethiopia, Uganda, and Kenya on Aug. 22, weighed in on the ease of the spread of Christianity among Africans, noting that faith “naturally happens” where there are existing structures of communion.
“Faith begins where there are strong families and communities bonding together and they are not living behind their phones. In such a setting, faith naturally happens and grows. I think in the United States we have lost a lot of that,” Dolan told ACI Africa, CNA’s partner news agency in Africa, in an interview.
The bishop, who serves on the subcommittee for the Solidarity Fund for the Church in Africa, an initiative of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), said that in the U.S., “people have become very individualistic.”
“In some ways, we have lost our faith,” he said. “The numbers show it … It gives me hope when I see Africa and parts of Central America or Latin America and South Korea where people are naturally gathered responding to faith together as a community. It gives me a challenge to go back to the United States and build that community first of all, because I don’t know if faith can be built one person at a time. It has to be built in a communal sense.”
Fritz Zuger, a consultant for the Solidarity Fund for the Church in Africa, accompanied Dolan for a tour of projects the USCCB is supporting through partnerships with various conferences of Catholic bishops in Ethiopia, Kenya, and Uganda, three member countries of the Association of Member Episcopal Conferences in Eastern Africa. He attributed the rapid spread of Christianity in Africa to a natural religiosity among the people of God on the continent. 
“They knew communion even before Christianity came and they have maintained this relationship,” Fritz said in reference to Africans in an interview with ACI Africa on Aug. 20 in Nairobi.
African people, he said, are very close to nature, where they also get their livelihood.
“Christianity is spreading very fast in Africa because the people are drawn to it by their inherent religiosity. They already have structures that make them open to God,” Zuger said. 
He added that the Church in Africa is not young in terms of when Christianity came. 
“Here in Africa, the Church is young because the people are young,” he explained. “The average age in the three countries we visited is extremely low. It is like 25. The Church is full of young people. It is rare to see grandmothers. This is the best resource a Church could have.”
This story was first published by ACI Africa, CNA’s news partner in Africa, and has been adapted by CNA.
Your monthly donation will help our team continue reporting the truth, with fairness, integrity, and fidelity to Jesus Christ and his Church.
Monsignor Fernando Ocáriz, the prelate of Opus Dei, said the institution he has led since January 2017 “does not want to be an exception” in the Church.
The ad launched Friday and will run for two weeks in seven key states.
Following threats by family members, the young woman sought a restraining order against her father and brothers.
CNA is a service of EWTN News, Inc.


Written by: Christianity Today

Rate it

Similar posts


Christianity Was Always for the Poor – Jacobin magazine

LoginNew issue out next week. Subscribe to our print edition today. From the Sermon on the Mount through the Apostolic Age, the first Christians preached against wealth.A detail from a mosaic of Christ's resurrection in the Rosary Basilica of Lourdes, in France. (Lawrence OP / Flickr)Our new issue, on religion, […]

today1 day ago

Post comments (0)

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *