The Encyclopedia of Christianity - Vol. 5

By Erwin Fahlbusch; Jan Milič Lochman et al. | Go to book overview

Z

Zaire / Congo-Kinshasa
196019802000
Population (1,000s):15,33327,00951,749
Annual growth rate (%):2.713.202.98
Area: 2,345,095 sq. km. (905,446 sq. mi.)

A.D. 2000

Population density: 22/sq. km. (57/sq. mi.)

Births / deaths: 4.22 / 1.21 per 100 population

Fertility rate: 5.78 per woman

Infant mortality rate: 82 per 1,000 live births

Life expectancy: 54.7 years (m: 53.1, f: 56.3)

Religious affiliation (%): Christians 95.9 (Roman
Catholics 49.9, indigenous 28.4, Protestants 23.0,
unaffiliated 4.6, marginal 1.2), tribal religionists 1.9,
Muslims 1.1, other 1.1.

1. General Situation
2. Mission Work and Christian Churches
2.1. Protestants
2.2. Roman Catholics
2.3. Kimbanguists
3. Interchurch Relations
4. Church and State
5. Other Religions

Since 1997 Zaire has been named the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Its capital is Kinshasa, a city of 7–8 million people (2006) and a major port on the Congo River. The country, commonly called Congo-Kinshasa, should not be confused with Republic of the Congo, or Congo-Brazzaville.


1. General Situation

1.1. The DRC is one of the largest countries in Africa (third in area, fourth in population). The vast majority of the population are Bantu peoples. Smaller numbers belong to Sudanese, Nilotic, and Hamitic ethnic groups in the north and east. The Pygmies (approximately 0.5 percent) are considered to be the original inhabitants of the Congo Basin. Among the over 200 languages spoken, Kikongo, Lingala, Swahili, and Tshiluba are the four national languages; French is the official language. The cultural heritage is rich regarding language, music, dance, sculpture, and religion. The vast territory is administratively divided into ten provinces plus Kinshasa.

Colonization, urbanization, and political unrest since the late 1980s are the main causes for an ongoing social change in the traditional societies. The economic potential is immense, for the DRC is rich in mineral reserves, hydroelectric power, agriculture, and forestry. After 1975 the effects of an increasing economic crisis surfaced in a serious reduction of productivity, high → unemployment, inflation, and foreign debt. Ruthless exploitation in colonial and postcolonial times (→ Colonialism),

-841-

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The Encyclopedia of Christianity - Vol. 5
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • List of Entries vii
  • Introduction x
  • Consulting Editors xiv
  • Abbreviations xxi
  • Si 1
  • T 299
  • U 579
  • V 659
  • W 701
  • X 819
  • Y 823
  • Z 841
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