The beauty of Ghana's fervent faith
The West African country is fast becoming the Christian center of the world
In Ghana, Christianity is more than a religion — it verges on a pop cultural movement.
Choir members from the Arena of Love Church pose for a photo after Sunday service in Kumasi, Ghana. | (REUTERS/Francis Kokoroko)
A woman prays at an all-female Christian gathering in Kumasi. | (REUTERS/Francis Kokoroko)
Billboards advertising Christian meetings dot the streets, businesses and shops are named after religious figures and phrases, and pastors can be spotted giving sermons on avenues and aboard commuter buses. Streets, homes, and offices display colorful posters of Jesus, saints, and religious leaders.
Megachurches are as much social hubs as they are spiritual centers with popular pastors often gaining a celebrity status. Church isn't just for weekends, either. Many people will attend services most weeknights, Reuters reports, and carry their Bibles around with them during the day.
A mother and her son Francis in Kumawu. Lacking formal education, she relies on him to read to her Bible verses in the local language. | (REUTERS/Francis Kokoroko)
A couple regularly wakes up at midnight to pray in their bedroom in Teshie-Nungua. | (REUTERS/Francis Kokoroko)
Christianity first arrived on the shores of the West African country in the late 15th century by way of European explorers, colonizers, and missionaries. It slowly seeped into the culture, spreading steadily across the centuries. Today about 71 percent of Ghana's roughly 26 million people are Christian. A 2012 survey also found an overwhelming 96 percent of Ghanaians identify as religious, making it the most religious population in the world.
But in Africa, Ghana is far from alone: About 41 percent of the world's 560 million Protestants live on the continent, Reuters reports, and that number could rise to 53 percent by 2050. Amid this wave of concentrated faith, West Africa is really at the heart of global Christianity.
Below, a look at the beauty of Ghana's fervent faith:
A house with wall paintings depicting Jesus and the Virgin Mary in Kumawu. | (REUTERS/Francis Kokoroko)
A woman attends Sunday church service at Power Breakers International Ministries in Accra. | (REUTERS/Francis Kokoroko)
Believers gather to see Nigerian pastor Chris Oyakhilome in Independence Square, Accra. | (REUTERS/ Francis Kokoroko)
A woman holds salt and olive oil, part of her regular midnight prayer ritual. | (REUTERS/Francis Kokoroko)
A woman prays in front of a poster of the leader of Power Breakers International Ministries in Accra. | (REUTERS/Francis Kokoroko)
A street sermon in Kumasi. | (REUTERS/Francis Kokoroko)
Religious and political posters are sold in Kumasi. | (REUTERS/Francis Kokoroko)
A woman prays as part of her regular midnight ritual in Accra. | (REUTERS/Francis Kokoroko)