Source: The Washington Times
Wire Service: AP
On April 21, 2005 the Associated Press reported, "Winding its way across Africa is an invisible fault line between a mainly Muslim north and a majority Christian south. Across this front, somewhere in the scrubland south of the Sahara Desert, tensions flare between increasingly strident Christian movements aggressively working to convert people of other faiths and an Islamic world wary of encroaching Western influences...Africa's nearly 900 million people offer the largest field of potential converts anywhere in the world, and the competition for souls is fiercest between the continent's two biggest religions -- Catholicism and Islam. Catholicism, with an estimated 136 million African followers, is the most important branch of Christianity on the continent. Thus, the challenge for Pope Benedict XVI will be to calm Africa's religious tensions, trying to bridge a gulf of distrust fostered by extremists on both sides."