Here are my Nigeria stories from the last three days:
- From Saturday’s Religion section: “For centuries, Christianity has been primarily a white, European and North American religion. But the explosive growth of Africa and Asia, combined with the success of evangelization there, will change that forever.”
- From today’s front page: For generations of Nigerians, ‘missionary’ was a synonym for ‘Irishman.’ Thousands of Irish Catholics left Europe for the wilds of Africa, braving heat and disease to bring the message of Christ to heathen animists. But today’s missionaries are working in the opposite direction. They’re native Nigerians who talk about healing the secular sickness of the West. And these Catholic Africans are crossing the oceans in unprecedented numbers to return the favor Western missionaries once paid them. ‘They have a saying: “Africa has AIDS, but North America has theological AIDS,”’ said Philip Jenkins, a professor of religious studies at Penn State who studies Christianity in developing nations. ‘“Our continent’s being devastated by one thing. Yours is being devastated by another.”’”
- And finally, from Sunday’s front page: This story, by far the best of the bunch. You’ll want to read this one, which features satanic frogs, animal sacrifices on Catholic altars, and a hundred Nigerians rolling on the ground while speaking in tongues.
you *gotta* get me some of that Aquarapha. these frogs are wreaking all kinds of havoc.
great article, I particularly enjoyed you putting the healer on the spot at the end.
Joshua Benton is the director of the Nieman Journalism Lab at Harvard University, among other things. Before that, he was a staff writer and columnist for The Dallas Morning News. (More.)
Any opinions expressed here are solely mine, and not those of my employer. In many cases, they may not even be mine.