March 26, 2005
EAST IS EAST...AND WEST:
Where Faith Thrives (NICHOLAS D. KRISTOF, 3/26/05, NY Times)
So with Easter approaching, here I am in the heart of Christendom.
That's right - Africa. One of the most important trends reshaping the world is the decline of Christianity in Europe and its rise in Africa and other parts of the developing world, including Asia and Latin America.
I stopped at a village last Sunday morning here in Zimbabwe - and found not a single person to interview, for everyone had hiked off to church a dozen miles away. And then I dropped by a grocery store with a grim selection of the cheapest daily necessities - and huge multicolored chocolate Easter eggs.
On Easter, more Anglicans will attend church in Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania and Uganda - each - than Anglicans and Episcopalians together will attend services in Britain, Canada and the U.S. combined.
More Roman Catholics will celebrate Easter Mass in the Philippines than in any European country. The largest church in the world is in South Korea. And more Christians will probably attend Easter services in China than in all of Europe together.
In short, for the first time since it began two millenniums ago, Christianity is no longer "Western" in any very meaningful sense.
Funny how he manages to arrive at exactly the wrong point. It is post-Christian Europe that is ceasing to be Western, while the developing world is becoming so. Posted by Orrin Judd at March 26, 2005 8:45 AM