Bright Spots: Majority World Church

written on 13 November 2020 by Indy Hollway & Erin Iwata

Art by Brandon Heim

It’s worthwhile to note that the majority of Christians are not white. As of 2018, Africa was the continent with the most Christians, with South American following right behind. This week we explored two articles by Ritsya-el Mathews and Elisabeth Hoole, both written from a non-white perspective. Today in our Bright Spots, we want to give a tiny sample of some of the other world voices in Christianity that are inspiring us. As John Ehrett from The Conciliar Post stated: “Christianity ought not be established at the point of a sword (whether literal or economic). Instead, contextual theology—essentially, the use of images and concepts already familiar to a given culture—ought to be employed wherever possible to communicate Christian ideas. In so doing, the argument goes, the individual engaged in mission work recognizes the value and legitimacy of traditions not one’s own.”

Afua Kuma

Afua Kuma was an oral poet in Ghana who lived from 1900-1987. We love this article where she names the African names of Jesus. We were especially moved by her hymn call “Jesus of the Deep Forest”

“Should the devil himself become a lion
and chase us as his prey,
we shall have no fear
Lamb of God!
Satan says he is a wolf –
Jesus stretches forth His hand,
and look: Satan is a mouse!
Holy One!”
He invades the forest and drives out the monsters:
“He, the sharpest of all great swords
has made the forest safe for the hunters.
The mmoatia he has cut to pieces;
he has caught Sasabonsam
and twisted off its head.”

According to Kwame Bediao, “Mmoatia are supposed to be mysterious creatures with superhuman powers, that dwell deep in the forest; they are believed to be tiny, with feet that point backwards; suspending themselves from trees, they wait for the unwary hunter in the pitch darkness of night. At their head, as their head spirit, is Sasabonsam with bloodshot eyes.”
Jesus is above all the ” Tutugyagu ,” the “Fearless One” who “pulled the teeth of the viper”; He is ” Adubasapon " the man of ten-arms-in-one who “has tied death to a tree/ So that we may be happy.”

Reverend Soong-Chan Rah

The Soong-Chan Rah is a Korean American professor and reverend who gave this stellar sermon to the Foundations of Life Covenant Church in Madison, Wisconsin. The topic is lament, we felt a call to action in his words. Rah is formerly the founding Senior Pastor of a multi-ethnic, urban ministry-focused church committed to living out the values of racial reconciliation and social justice in the urban context.

The Curious Case of Ethiopian Orthodoxy

Matthew Bryan wrote this article detailed one of the oldest established churches on the planet. We have a lot to learn (and celebrate) about our rich world Christian history. Use this as a launch pad into the multidimensional aspects of Jesus followers.

The World Church

Want to see how Christianity is distributed? This graphic from the Center for the study of Global Christianity gives some recent statistics on what the Church looks like worldwide. This makes us want to learn a lot more about theology and how the diverse church functions all over the of the world.