Beale goes on to outline the growing youth and strength of African Christianity.
With 171.9 million faithful, sub-Saharan Africa represents 16 percent of Catholics worldwide, a third the number in Europe and more than double that in the United States. The Democratic Republic of the Congo, at 31.2 million Catholics in 2010, has almost as many as Poland and France each, at 35.3 million and 37.9 million, respectively.
And African Catholics are on the rise. From 1910 to 2010, they went from constituting just one percent of the local population to 21 percent, making Africa the fastest growing region for the century. By comparison, Catholics in North America increased from 16 to 26 percent of the population, according to the Pew Research Center.
From 2004 to 2050, African Catholics will continue their climb, increasing by 145.8 percent to 342 million, making Africa the most Catholic continent after Latin America. Europe, meanwhile, will slump from 270 million to 255 million Catholics, at a decline of -5.5 percent by 2050. The Congo Republic that year will become the most Catholic country, with double as many faithful as will be in Poland, according to the Population Research Bureau.
There are many conclusions that can be drawn from these statistics, but among the vision of Africa as “Future Church” is the awareness that if any group of Catholics has the resolve, the backbone, the experience and a the courage to confront the threat of radical Islam head on, it is not a dispirited and spineless European church, but the Church of Africa.
There is a very real prospect, therefore that the next pope will be an African.
I have been watching these events unfold now for some years and remember first spotting this trend with Cardinal Arinze of Nigeria. There are more like him on the way, and one of the most heartening things about the Africans is that they are young, zealous, love the Church and are loyal to her.
Graying progressive “Kennedy Catholics” of the West who inhabit our “Catholic” universities like parasites, the Judas “Catholic” politicians and readers of the National Catholic Reporter who pretend to be Catholics while espousing abortion, same sex marriage and every other item on the progressive shopping list already hate the African Catholics.
They will treat them like the treat Ben Carson and black pastors who decry gay marriage.
They hate the idea that a person with black skin could possibly be conservative. It makes them grind their teeth with rage while they smile and say how “saddened” and “concerned” they are.