Original Research

Christians in South Africa: The statistical picture

J. J. Kritzinger
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 50, No 3 | a2573 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v50i3.2573 | © 1994 J. J. Kritzinger | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 14 January 1994 | Published: 14 January 1994

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J. J. Kritzinger, Universiteit van Pretoria, South Africa

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Abstract

Government censuses since 1960 indicate that the religious picture was already largely fixed by the 1950s. Already at that stage some 3 out of 4 South Africans identified themselves as ‘Christians’. Since then this percentage grew steadily, mainly because of ongoing growth in the christianising of the black population. The high percentage of people who didn’t supply any religious information during the 1991 census makes recent analysis difficult. However, two trends seem clear: (a) the movement towards African Independent Churches (AICs) is continuing, and (b) a significant number joins the newer Apostolic/Charismatic churches. Another reality is the presence of Christian nominality, which is not refiected in the census figures, but can be as high as 75%.

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