African bishop says Catholic Church can learn from Pentecostals

October 25, 2019

YAOUNDÉ, Cameroon - Catholics can learn from the rise of Pentecostal Christian groups in Africa, according to one Nigerian bishop.

In 1970, Pentecostals represented just 5 percent of all Africans, but that figure has now more than doubled to an estimated 12 percent.

Many Catholic leaders have noted these groups aren’t always spreading the Gospel to non-Christians but are “sheep stealing” from the Catholic Church and mainline Protestant denominations.

However, Nigerian Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah said the Catholic Church authorities “cannot ignore the passion of the Pentecostals and the extent to which they have made the Gospel come alive.”

The Sokoto bishop told Crux “there are lessons for the Catholic Church.”

Despite the exponential growth of Pentecostals in Africa, the Catholic Church is still gaining more members on the continent. Nearly one in five Africans - 19.2 percent - is Catholic, and the Pew Research Center expects the number of Catholics in sub-Saharan Africa to double by 2050.

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