Feb. - Ever Heard of Lafricasia?

February 2008

Despite what it may sound like, Lafricasia is not a disease. Instead, it is a term to explain where the world’s most Christianized area is located. Lafricaisa is short for Latin America, Africa, and Asia, which, over the next 20 years, will have the largest Christian communities on the planet. Here are a few facts to put it in perspective.

Africa in the 1900’s had 10 million Christians and by 2000 that number had grown to 360 million, thus making it the largest quantitative religious change in history. Soon, Westerners will only account for 1/5th or 1/6th of all the Christians in the world. Statistically, one can see the projected growth over the next 20 years regarding where the Christians are going to be found:

• 633 Million Christians in Africa
• 640 million Christians in Latin America
• 460 million Christians in Asia
• 555 million Christians in Europe

So with this in mind, here is another question: what do you picture when you think of an average Christian? If you are like me, you may think of an older white person, most likely an American. Today, when asked their perspective of the average “look” of a Christian, most people would probably give these characteristics: white, Western male, around age 48. Those characteristics are exactly right, if you are living in the year 1907. However, in the present, the movement of Christianity has shifted to what is called the Global South, which is also known as Lafricasia. In order to describe the “average” believer today, it would be more accurate to describe her as a 28 year-old black African female!

Ever heard of the 50/15 Vision of Nigeria? The vision is to have 50,000 missionaries by 2015! Today they have 5,200 missionaries in 52 countries of the world. A little more in the spotlight is the Back to Jerusalem Movement where they want to see 100,000 Chinese believers follow the ancient Asian Silk Road path that leads through the “stan” countries, such as Pakistan or Afghanistan, back to Jerusalem. Along the way, the goal is to have teams of missionaries live their lives in these areas, no matter what the cost, and share the gospel. Maybe you have heard of the movement in Brazil. My high school friend Jason wanted to be a missionary in Brazil and realized the most strategic thing to do is to help them become mission-minded. His whole purpose is to “Mobilize Brazil” and see thousands of Christians catch a heart for the unreached. Check it out at: http://www.mobilizingbrazil.com

The Traveling Team has seen tremendous success in mobilizing American college students to the field with the resources they have created. With an 8-year track record of moving students from interested to involved, and in light of the current trend of Christian expansion, the time is right to take these principles and ideas to Lafricasia. Pray with us as we launch The Traveling Team International where we look to mobilize outside the borders of America to go from the uttermost to the uttermost!

For a few incredible books on this subject see the following:

Jenkins, Philip. The Next Christendom (Numbers above taken from here)
Jenkins, Philip. The New Face of Christianity: Believing the Bible in the Global South
Sanneh, Lamin and Carpenter, Joel. The Changing Face of Christianity
Walls, Andrew. The Missionary Movement in Christian History

By: Todd


*Pictured is the average Christian in 1907 vs. 2007