CHRISTIANITY AND ISLAM ON THE RISE IN AFRICA, BUT CONTEND WITH ATHEISTS

Urban Faith | 11/24/2015 | Fredrick Nzwili, RNS
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Thousands of Catholics sing as they prepare to welcome Pope Francis to Nairobi, Kenya, on Nov. 24, 2015. Africa is a deeply religious continent.

NAIROBI, Kenya — When the doors swing open every Sunday morning, churches in Africa welcome thousands of new followers.

Continent - Christianity - Islam - Rise - Groups

On this deeply religious continent, both Christianity and Islam are on the rise. But small groups of determined atheists are challenging Africa’s grip on faith while seeking recognition and more followers.

Across Africa, groups have emerged stressing science and critical thinking as a better way of understanding the natural world.

Group - Kenya - Prominence - Holiday - Atheist

One such group, Atheists in Kenya, has gained prominence and is now campaigning for a public holiday, Atheist Day, on February 17.

“We are asking the government to declare a public holiday as a way of raising awareness of atheism in Kenya,” said Harrison Mumia, the group’s president.

Holiday - Group - Parades - Freedom - Religion

On the holiday, the group would convene “godless” parades while promoting freedom of religion and human rights in the East African country where more than 80 percent are Christians and about 10 percent are Muslims.

“We want to promote science and skepticism, and have an approach to morality that is rational and humanistic,” Mumia said.

Atheists - Nigeria - Policies - Belief - Thinking

Atheists in Nigeria are also becoming more vocal, pushing for public policies that are not influenced by religious belief but by critical thinking and science-based evidence.

“We have formed a legal body — the Atheist Society of Nigeria — to push for the vision of secular Nigeria,” said Calistus Igwilo, the group’s president.

Atheists - Countries

Atheists have organized in most sub-Saharan African countries, including...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Urban Faith
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