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African Independent Churches

  1. Allan Anderson

Published Online: 25 NOV 2011

DOI: 10.1002/9780470670606.wbecc0014

The Encyclopedia of Christian Civilization

How to Cite

Anderson, A. 2011. African Independent Churches. The Encyclopedia of Christian Civilization. .

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 25 NOV 2011


African independent churches (AICs) are a significant section of the Christian population of the sub-Sahara. Most AIC members are found in southern Africa, the Congo (Kinshasa), Kenya, and along the West African coast, where the proportion of AICs to the total Christian population is higher than in other areas. The AICs are undoubtedly a major force in African Christianity today, one manifestation of the shifting of the centre of gravity of Christianity in the 20th century from the North to the South. There are many different kinds, from the earliest “Ethiopian” and “African” churches that emerged at the end of the 19th century to the later, more prolific “prophet-healing” or “Spirit” churches, and the “new Pentecostal” or “Charismatic” churches that emerged after 1970.


  • african independent churches (AICs);
  • christian population, sub-sahara;
  • major force in african Christianity;
  • AICs, “african” churches in west Africa;
  • african/ethiopian churches;
  • “ethiopian” or “ethiopian-type” churches;
  • no claims of being prophetic;
  • prophet-healing/spirit churches;
  • Christianity, and african culture