November 23, 2007

Weekly Round-Up

While I've been incredibly busy during this Thanksgiving week, I wanted to start off my weekly round-up with two important articles that were recently posted online:

1) "Africa Unbound: God may be clearing the stage for the next act in his redemptive drama" in Christianity Today (November 2007). A helpful introduction to Christianity in Africa, both its advancement and its challenges. In many ways, Africa may be the future of the Christian faith, but believers continue to have many serious struggles as well.

2) "The New Face of Global Mormonism: Tech-Savvy Missionary Church Thrives as Far Afield as Africa" in the Washington Post (November 19, 2007). The very fact that the WP published a story on Mormonism's international growth while focusing on Africa demonstrates its global presence. I highly recommend reading the entire article, but find this quote especially troubling:
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, as it is formally known, now has more members outside the United States than inside it. The church's rise from its roots in Utah to a steadily growing global faith in 176 countries and territories has been aided by the Internet, including the popular Web site, which seeks to dispel the mystery that still surrounds the religion; by a satellite system linking 6,000 of its churches worldwide with the Salt Lake City headquarters; and by tens of thousands of missionaries knocking on doors from Lagos to Lapland.

As the world's largest faiths -- Islam, Roman Catholicism, Protestantism and Hinduism -- expand across the developing world, smaller faiths such as Mormonism are also gaining strength. The Mormon Church, which did not permit blacks to become priests until 1978, says it now has more than 250,000 members in Africa, including almost 80,000 in Nigeria.

As a former Mormon preparing for ministry in East Africa, I continue to see the incredible importance of biblical discernment throughout the continent. Articles like these further confirm the need. By God's grace and through His strength, we can make a difference!