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Ciku Kimeria
Writer, Adventurer, Development Consultant, Travelblogger
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piqer: Ciku Kimeria
Monday, 16 October 2017

African Missionaries Bringing Christianity Back To The UK

In an interesting turn of events, African missionaries are now bringing back Christianity to the countries that brought it to them. This article focuses on an African church based in York, UK, but also shows a growing trend that extends beyond the city. 

Some church leaders are training African missionaries and pastors in cross-cultural understanding to better evangelize in the UK. Others are trying to forge closer relations between African congregations and the “indigenous churches” near them. They believe this is their duty. “Britain brought the gospel to us in the past. Now, by God’s providence we are here when Christianity is very much challenged and the UK churches are really declining."

The setting up of the churches was mostly driven by the large African population in the UK, but with the number of migrants to the UK decreasing, the church's survival is highly dependent on getting white people to join the congregation. 

“Immigrant members of the church will be outnumbered,” says Yinka Oduwole, head of communications for the Nigerian Pentecostal megachurch Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), which is also Inwe’s home church. Oduwole points out that those of African and Caribbean descent make up less than 2% of the British population. “If we are going to win the nation, we are going to need to carry along the majority groups.”

The churches are not always met with open arms by white British people. The mode of preaching that is traditionally used in Africa has to be adapted to British tastes. The "big man" syndrome that ails most of the continent's mega-churches also does not appeal to most British sensibilities. 

Others are turned off by African churches where senior pastors are often wealthy and respected for their success, a sign of God’s blessing. Both pastor Enoch Adeboye, the head of RCCG, and Bishop David Oyedepo, the head of Winner’s Chapel, own Gulfstream jets. 

This trend of reverse missionaries is bound to continue and will be an interesting role-reversal.

African Missionaries Bringing Christianity Back To The UK
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