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11:03PM

Africa: ground zero for globalization's advance--as well as religion's

ARTICLE: "Survey: Sub-Saharan Africa one of the world's most religious places," by Julia Duin, Washington Times, 15 April 2010.

New Pew Forum poll out.

The gist:

A new massive survey, "Tolerance and Tension: Islam and Christianity in Sub-Saharan Africa," released Thursday, charts how a region that gave birth to the term "global South" is now in the driver's seat in terms of world religious practice.

Twenty percent of the world's Christians now live south of the Sahara Desert and 15 percent of the world's Muslims live there. It's one of the world's most religious places, with at least 85 percent of the population in most countries saying religion is very important to them.

The picture was quite different in 1900, when animist religions comprised the bulk of the population while Muslims and Christians combined made up less than one-quarter.

Animists and traditional African religions have plummeted since then to about 13 percent of the population while conversion rates of Muslims and Christians have soared. Muslim adherents have gone from 11 million in 1900 to 234 million in 2010; Christians have gone from 7 million to 470 million.

Northern Africa is heavily Muslim and southern Africa is mostly Christian but where the two religions meet in a 4,000-mile belt from Somalia to Senegal has often turned violent, especially in Nigeria and Rwanda.

afrorelg.gif

Two wonderful coping religions expanding in a part of the world that's being integrated into globalization at a stunning pace right now--no coincidence, that. One knows how to handle abundance, the other does not.

[thanks to WPR's Media Roundup]

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