Christianity in Botswana
|Christianity by country|
More than 70% of the population of Botswana is Christian, with most being members of the Anglican, United Congregational Church of Southern Africa, the Methodist Church of Southern Africa, and African independent churches. Anglicans in Botswana are part of the Church of the Province of Central Africa. Membership in the Roman Catholic Church includes about 5% of the nation's population.
Recently[when?] the number of Pentecostal churches has been rising. A strong revival has been going on and most churches conduct all-night prayer meetings. In these meetings the prayer requests include the leadership of the country and all the ministers in the body of Christ. Some of the churches include Pentecostal Protestant Church, Assemblies of God, Apostolic Faith Mission, Eloyi Christian Church, Pentecostal Holiness Church, Dutch Reformed Church in Botswana, Good News Ministries, Christ Embassy, Bible Life Ministries, Victory International Centre (VIC) to name but a few. There's also the presence of Eastern Orthodox Church.
One of the first missionaries to bring the gospel to the land of Botswana was David Livingstone. The churches normally meet occasionally to worship together under the name Evangelic Fellowship of Botswana.
Major denominational families
While children and youth in the colonial era were treated as small adults, awareness of their special status and needs grew in the nineteenth century, as one after another the denominations large and small began special programs for their young people. Protestant denominations set up Sunday school programs. They provide a major source of new members. The Catholics have set up an entire network of parochial schools, and by the late nineteenth century probably more than half of their young members are attending elementary schools run by local parishes.
Beliefs and attitudes
- 19 percent of Botswana Christians believe salvation comes through Jesus Christ, attend church regularly, are Bible readers, invest in personal faith development through their church, accept leadership positions in their church, and believe they are obligated to "share [their] faith", that is, to evangelize others.
- 20 percent are referred to as Professing Christians. They also are committed to "accepting Christ as Savior and Lord" as the key to being a Christian, but focus more on personal relationships with God and Jesus than on church, Bible reading or evangelizing.
- 24 percent fall into a category named Liturgical Christians. They are predominantly Lutheran and Roman Catholic. They are regular churchgoers, have a high level of spiritual activity and recognize the authority of the church.
- 16 percent are considered Private Christians. They own a Bible but don't tend to read it. Only about one-third attend church at all. They believe in God and in doing good things, but not necessarily within a church context. This was the largest and youngest segment. Almost none are church leaders.
- 21 percent in the research are called Cultural Christians. These do not view Jesus as essential to salvation. They exhibit little outward religious behavior or attitudes. They favor a universality theology that sees many ways to God. Yet, they clearly consider themselves to be Christians.
A study from 2015 estimated that about 100 Botswana Muslims convert to Christianity, most of whom belong to an evangelical or Pentecostal community. It's been also reported that conversion into Christianity is significantly increasing among Korean, Chinese, and Japanese in Botswana.
The majority of Botswana Christians attend mixed gender public schools, mostly government schools. Most commonly known Christian school in Botswana is Roman Catholic school St. Joseph's College, Kgale.
Every weekday public channel BTV broadcasts short religious programmes at 05h30.
- Balmer, Randall. The Encyclopedia of Evangelicalism (2002) excerpt and text search
- "International Religious Freedom Report 2007: Botswana". U.S. Department of State. United States Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor. September 14, 2007. Retrieved 2016-06-17.
- "Believers in Christ from a Muslim Background: A Global Census". www.academia.edu. Retrieved 2016-06-17.
- "ST JOSEPH'S COLLEGE". LocalBotswana. Retrieved 2016-06-17.