Geography and Natural Resources

, Volume 39, Issue 1, pp 88–94 | Cite as

Territorial Development of Christianity in Africa in the 20th–Early 21st Centuries

  • S. A. Gorokhov
  • R. V. Dmitriev
  • I. A. Zakharov
Geography Abroad


The characteristic features of the transformation of the territorial geospace structure in the African Christianity religious geospace during 1910–2010 have been revealed. African countries within the boundaries of 2010 are used as territorial cells that have been fixed retrospectively over the course of the period analyzed. We used indicators, such as Ryabtsev’s index of relative structural shifts and the trajectory of the demographic center of the Christianity to assess changes in the inertia level of the territorial structure for the entire time interval as a whole and for each of the components of its 20-year long periods. It is found that to date the adherents of Christianity are extremely unevenly distributed in the countries of Africa; however, over the course of the period under consideration there was taking place a homogenization of their settlement. In accordance with changes of the values of the indicators used, we identified two development stages of geospace of African Christianity: colonial and post-colonial. It is determined that the colonial stage (1910–1970) is characterized by a “compression” of territorial structure from east and north, and by a predominance of the south-westward direction of movement of the demographic center because of a decrease in the proportion in the Christian population of East Africa first on account of Egypt and Ethiopia and Madagascar (1910–1930) and then North Africa on account of Egypt and Algeria (1930–1950). The territorial structure of Christianity’s geospace during the post-colonial stage is characterized by a higher degree of inertia at the background of the westward ”expansion” and the “compression” from the south as well as by a change of the vector of movement of the demographic center for north-westward.


confessional geospace territorial structure demographic center colonial and post-colonial stages 


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Copyright information

© Pleiades Publishing, Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. A. Gorokhov
    • 1
  • R. V. Dmitriev
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • I. A. Zakharov
    • 2
  1. 1.Institute of GeographyRussian Academy of SciencesMoscowRussia
  2. 2.Institute for African StudiesRussian Academy of SciencesMoscowRussia
  3. 3.Moscow M. V. Lomonosov State UniversityMoscowRussia

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