Churches of the African Christian Diaspora in Europe - Marginal Existence or (Re)Christianization of Europe?

  • Stanisław Grodź The John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin, Faculty of Theology
Keywords: African Christians; African Christian Diaspora in Europe; African Churches; Christian mission in Europe; reverse mission


Many Europeans are convinced that Christianity has entered its terminal phase of existence, “accomplished its mission” and unavoidably undergoes a process of withering away. Meanwhile, Christianity develops robustly in Africa and in the framework of migratory movement from the South to the North (according to Jehu Hanciles this movement has also a clear religious dimension) African Christians arrive in Europe, also those who consider themselves not so much as migrants but Christian missionaries.

Religious organizations of the African diaspora in Europe drew researchers’ attention already in the 1980s. Opinions concerning the influence of these organizations on the Christians in Europe are divided. Some researchers think the influence is negligible because African Christian groups are unable to attract non-Africans to their activities and spirituality, and because of this they are meant to lead a marginal existence on the European Christian scene. Others point to the examples of the efficacy of the African Christians in reviving Christian communities outside African diaspora and to their missionary activity.

An answer to the leading question will be presented in the light of the current state of research on the problem.