There is a spiritual battle going on in Africa that few are aware of. There is a “faultline” running from the west to the east coast of Africa, dividing the continent into a mostly Islamic north and a Christian and Animist south. Islam has been expanding into the south in various ways. It is now urgent to make Christians aware of this and equip them to continue sharing the Gospel with conviction and courage.

A dramatic change
By 1900 most Africans still practiced traditional religions, but in little more than a century, the religious landscape has changed dramatically. Since then, the number of Muslims in Sub-Saharan Africa has increased from an estimated 11 million to approximately 234 million. The number of Christians has grown even faster, soaring from about 7 million to 470 million. 

Spreading of Islam
Many people are aware of the violent expansionist agenda of Islam (evident in the current conflicts in some northern parts of Africa) and Christians bear much of the brunt of the violence. Much of Islam has, however, spread south of the Sahara through non-violent means. It happens through infrastructure development, social projects, education and scholarships, business opportunities, and marriage. In most countries, church bodies have no strategy to deal with this expansion in a healthy way. 

The Church must wake up!
In truth, the Church is unprepared and if the Church does not wake up to this reality, they will be overrun. If we do not prepare the Church on how to actively engage with Islam in a healthy way, we might find the historical pattern – played out in northern Africa – repeating in Sub-Saharan Africa. Brother Andrew said, “If we don’t go to Muslims with the Gospel, they will come to us with their bombs.”

Bringing hope
Across the continent, church leaders have identified this as a critical issue for the Body of Christ, and Open Doors is coming alongside the Church across Africa to enable them to rise to the challenge, but we need your support! 

Sharing the Gospel with Muslims
Abdul, a believer from a Muslim background and current Open Doors trainer says: “Our courses have helped Christians understand their own faith more clearly. Radical Muslims visit our area at least twice a year to preach Islam and say things about the Bible and the Church that confuse Christians. But now they see that their faith is so great, and that Jesus is so big. We also tell them how they can share the Gospel with Muslims. We have seen an increase in Muslim seekers. Despite the expansion of Islam in different places, we can see Jesus coming into the lives of people. People are brought to Christ. Even though they are chased away by their communities, they still have hope.”

We need your help!
We need your help to impart courage and the right tools for the Church to respond in a Christ-honouring way. In partnership with local churches, Open Doors organises training seminars and practical aid for persecuted Christians to deliver Bibles and Christian literature, training thousands of pastors and church leaders, and providing spiritual and legal support for Christian prisoners. We also provide trauma counselling and economic relief for their families and the families of martyrs. 

We’d so appreciate your continued prayers:
Pray for Christians in Africa living among Muslims to continue being the salt and light – and, so, lead many others to Jesus.

  • Pray for the Church all over the world to wake up and support the Church in Africa through prayer and donations.
  • Pray that Open Doors’ work in the field will be fruitful and strengthen the Church.

World Watch List
Every year, the World Watch List reveals the top 50 countries where it’s hardest to be a Christian. This year, the annual list will be released on the 16th of January. The survey focuses on the religious liberty conditions of Christians around the world and is independently audited by the International Institute for Religious Freedom (IIRF) to help make the information, gathering, and calculation processes more transparent. Visit our website – – on the 16th of January to see where faith costs the most.

Date published: 15/01/2019
Written by: Open Doors SA
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