Mania for Africa-produced mobile apps has spread to the continent’s churches. Almost half of sub-Saharan Africans will be mobile phone users by 2020, according to research by industry body GSMA. Half of those will be smartphone users.
Meanwhile, sub-Saharan Africa is home to almost one in four of the world’s Christians. While the religion’s hold in many developed nations is waning, the region has the fastest growing number of Christians in the world. Africa’s Christian population exploded 60-fold in century from 1910 to 2010, from less than 9 million to 516 million.
In a region where government capacity is often limited, churches often act as the anchors of their communities, providing services and social support in the vacuum left by weak states. Pastors have started to grasp the new opportunities that the region’s smartphone boom offers in terms of communicating with churchgoers.