Saturday, March 26, 2005


Nicholas Kristof, in an oddly neutral style, pens Where Faith Thrives, which looks at the growing number of people of Christian faith in Africa and other parts of the world.
One of the most important trends reshaping the world is the decline of Christianity in Europe and its rise in Africa and other parts of the developing world, including Asia and Latin America.

... Christianity is no longer "Western" in any very meaningful sense.

The denominations gaining ground tend to be evangelical and especially Pentecostal; it's the churches with the strictest demands, like giving up drinking, that are flourishing.
The only negative comment is this:
People in this New Christendom are so zealous about their faith that I worry about the risk of new religious wars.
The same day in the Washington Post, Colbert King rains on Kristof's parade with A Tainted Message, where we learn:
  • Kasese has the highest rate in Uganda, with five people dying of AIDS every week.
  • Jackson Nzerebende Tembo, Anglican bishop of the South Rwenzori Diocese, ... serves the Kasese district.
  • ... the Episcopal Diocese of Central Pennsylvania ... pulled together more than $350,000 for Kasese to support HIV-AIDS patients as well as a little extra money ... to help pay for the education of Kasese's orphans. The Pennsylvania Episcopalians also arranged to send a group of physicians and other medical personnel ...
  • Last week Bishop Tembo suspended all activities with the Episcopal Diocese of Central Pennsylvania. He withdrew his request for $352,941 to support his HIV-AIDS program, including money for orphans' education, and he postponed the visit of the medical team.
  • ... Bishop Tembo said he had just learned the week before that the Diocese of Central Pennsylvania had voted "yes" to the election of openly gay Gene Robinson as bishop of New Hampshire.
  • Asserting that the South Rwenzori Diocese "upholds the Holy Scriptures as the true word of God," and implying that the Pennsylvanian diocese -- by supporting a gay bishop -- does not, Bishop Tembo proclaimed the two dioceses to be in "theological conflict," thus leading him to reject all ties to his brothers and sisters in Christ [in Pennsylvania].
  • All this he did in the name of God.
What say you, Kristof?


While we're talking about African Catholics, let's not forget Bishop Emmanuel Milingo, who helped Rev. Moon preside over the largest mass wedding in history in 1999. In 2001, Moon presided as Milingo married an acupuncturist named Maria Sung.

You might think that getting married in the Unification Church would disqualify a person from being a Roman Catholic bishop, but the Vatican realized that accepting a little heresy is the price of doing business in Africa.

Kristof can claim that Christianity is a strong force in Africa only by ignoring the fact that it bears little resemblence to the Christianity practiced in Europe and the Americas. The various Christian sects in the West are quite willing to go along with the heresies and the massacres, so long as their brethren in Africa continue to roadblock efforts to deal with the AIDS pandemic.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3/27/2005 11:34 PM  

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