Africa is the world’s second largest continent; it is a spectacular and awe-inspiring place with a diverse landscape that includes jungles, deserts, mountains, and glaciers. It is the only continent that lies in all four hemispheres of the Earth, and it contains 54 of the world’s 190+ independent countries. Africa’s expansive landscape is divided into two regions: North Africa (which is culturally and ethnically linked to the Middle East) and Sub-Saharan Africa.
In contrast with the breadth and beauty of its landscape, life in Africa is both difficult and harsh. Africa is the world’s second most populous continent, containing 1.1 billion people, with projections of up to 2.3 billion by 2050. Only 39% of this massive population resides in urban areas, and Lagos, Nigeria (pop. 12.7 million), is Sub-Saharan Africa’s only megacity. Africa also has the world’s lowest life expectancy (56 years) and the world’s highest rate of HIV/AIDS (4.7% for women and 3% for men). Gospel hope is needed.
Though there is a great deal of religion in Africa, most of it amounts to little more than religious noise and confusion. Syncretism, witchcraft, and immorality are rampant; doctrinal confusion is found even among those who truly believe. In spite of these things, the Church is steadily growing and maturing in small pockets throughout the continent.
Since 2000, HeartCry has partnered with Kabwata Baptist Church of Lusaka, Zambia, to plant churches throughout Africa. Through this partnership, HeartCry is now supporting indigenous missionaries in Zambia, Botswana, Kenya, Uganda, Malawi, and South Africa.