African churches are thriving across continents as a result of the Pentecostal wave. But the major reason for this movement is to propagate and evangelize the gospel of Christ. The movement has become widely accepted, among other forms of Christianity. Pentecostals believe in the gift of the Holy Spirit, prophecy, and the ability to speak in tongues. Here are the 5 African countries adopting the emerging Pentecostal movement.
1. South Africa
The wave of Pentecostalism in South Africa began after William J. Seymour of the Azusa Street revival institutionalized missionaries to propagate and convert souls. By the 1990s, nearly 10% of the population of South Africa was Pentecostal. The rise of pentecostalism in South Africa represents the evangelical movement. However, the principal motive behind the spread of the Pentecostal faith in South Africa was the Apostolic Faith Newspaper written by Seymour.
A wide array of Pentecostal churches currently exist in South Africa. The largest denominations include; Assemblies of God, Apostolic Faith Mission, and full gospel church of God. Another segment of the denomination comprises black Zionist and Apostolic churches, mainly South Africa’s African Initiated Churches. The Apostolic faith Newspaper is one of the factors propelling this rapid circulation of the movement, especially in Cape Town and Johannesburg. This Pentecostal movement thrives under the umbrella of ministers like Pieter Louis Le Roux, Thomas Hezmalhalch, and John Lake throughout South Africa.
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Pentecostalism in Nigeria began in the early twentieth century intending to acquire liberty from the western missionary control. The movement started as a means to renew the prominent mission churches in Africa. However, this new development encouraged the popularity of African-Initiated Churches, as well as prophecy and healing. As far back as the 1900s, the influenza outbreak inspired Sacred filled groups such as Cheribum and seraphim. The Anglican society, also known as Precious Stone, ignited a flame of revival to heal the influenza victims.
Joseph Babalola of Faith Tabernacle also initiates a great revival that results in thousands of souls giving their lives to Christ.
Being one of the countries with the fastest-growing number of Pentecostals, Nigeria is known to have other prevalent religions. Nonetheless, the Christian population is rapidly growing. Another reason for this movement is the Nigerian Civil War among students and young people who belonged to main traditional protestant denominations churches, Scripture Union, and Pentecostal churches.
In over two decades now, pentecostalism has become the most embraced form of Christianity in Ghana. The Ghana Pentecostal committee serves over 100 churches that comprise both rural and urban people alike. For instance, the methodist church acquired over 7000 membership at its inception. The movement in Ghana was because many natives who got fascinated by Christianity became Christians only in mind but not in the heart. Often, when confronted with the need to find solutions to life’s challenges, they found their religion powerless to help.
Missionaries working for the historic Churches had to lament discovering the patronage of church members of anti-witchcraft cult shrines. Pentecostalism in Ghana attracted people from all walks of life to the saving grace of Christ, which gave people a feeling of self-expression of speaking in tongues and biblical understanding of the Holy Ghost.
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Zambia’s emergence of the pentecostal movement is a significant milestone that publicizes spiritual hunger for the gospel of Jesus Christ. The pentecostal mission began to spread to Zambia due to the notable mission of the Pentecostal Assemblies of God church, the largest denomination in this part of Africa. The arrival of pentecostalism for Zambians is like spreading butter icing on your favorite mac & cheese. The mainline churches like the Roman Catholic, Anglican had to adopt the pentecostal style to avoid losing their members. That’s how powerful the pentecostal practice is in Zambia.
Prophecy, healing, and anything that solves a problem is why people leave the mainline churches to the pentecostal churches. Missionaries like Evangelist Reinhard Bonnke organized one of the biggest Crusades in Buchi, Kitwe, attracting a record audience of over 8,000 people. “The influence of Pentecostalism is having a strong impact on the progress of the country,” says Dr. Mumba.
The Pentecostal movement in Ethiopia started in Addis Ababa, the country’s capital, by Ana-Liisa and Sanfrid Mattson from Finland. Pentecostalism in Ethiopia attracted many students, and the movement grew enough that the Full Gospel Believers Church (FBGC) was created in 1967. Pentecostal practices also affected other Protestant denominations in Ethiopia, particularly the Lutheran church. Both young, old, middle-class, literate have been the primary coverts of this movement.
These African countries made it to the list because they have the most substantial denominations in Africa’s emerging wave Pentecostal movement. Nevertheless, feel free to share your thoughts about the emerging Pentecostal movement in these African countries with us in the comment section.