The Christian church: Dying out or thriving like never before?

50094365_401Source: DW

From the back of the dimly lit hall, one’s gaze glides over dozens of rows of chairs, colorful clothes, tightly wrapped kimonos, black suits, all the way to the stage, where the leaders of different religious groups are holding hands.

It’s the 10th World Assembly of Religions for Peace, a global, multireligious organization dedicated to promoting peace. Lasting from August 20-23 in Lindau am Bodensee, on the banks of Lake Constance in southern Germany, the assembly is a small-scale cosmos, with roughly 900 participants from 125 countries.

Among them is Pentecostal Bishop David Masupa. The 59-year-old is chairman of the Independent Churches of Zambia (ICOZ), an ecumenical umbrella organization in the central-southern African country. The ICOZ has more than 1,500 churches and an estimated 200,000 Christian followers — and is growing.

“The Christian faith is clearly spreading in Zambia,” he says. “Every month I receive requests from at least 10 churches that want to join us.”

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