Luther Plaza, which serves as headquarters of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Kenya, is built by a Chinese company.
China is not just building roads, railways, bridges and stadiums on the African continent. It’s also building its churches. Roman Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran and Pentecostal — China’s building them all at a price that the Africans can swallow. From the Ecumenical News International:
“We have worked with them before and we have had a very good experience with them,” the Rev. Anthony Mwituria, who oversees constructions in the archdiocese, said in an interview. “We issued a tender and they came with the best deal.” Church officials say the companies are reliable, quick and efficient.
“If you ask people to point out two things that China has accomplished, sometimes without difficulty, people will show you. Stadiums, roads, it is practical. If a road is to be built in two years, they give you a road,” the Rev. Mbaya Tshiakany, a leader from Church of Christ in Congo, Kasai Oriental Province told ENInews.
In the past, construction was undertaken by companies from nations that had sent missionaries to Africa, such as Britain, and in recent decades, companies from North America.
“Our traditional brothers together with their companies have helped us construct churches,” said Ugandan Anglican Bishop Stanley Ntagali of Masindi-Kitara diocese in an interview. However, he added, “China has also become a world economic power and they want to have a grip on Africa in this global village we are living in today.”
Country statistics on successful Chinese bids for church construction are not readily available, but in Kenya, ENInews found out that China Zhongxing has also constructed affordable houses for the Archdiocese of Nairobi staff. It has also built a church for the Faith Evangelistic Ministries, a Kenyan Pentecostal group.
Another company, Fubeco Ltd. (China Funshin), is also constructing Our Lady of Rosary Ridgeway’s Roman Catholic Church in Kiambu area near Nairobi. The company constructed Luther Plaza, the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Kenya headquarters.
Many of the Bibles used by Christians in Africa also now come from Nanjing’s Amity Publishing, the world’s largest Bible factory which is capable of printing some 12 million Bibles per year. The irony, of course, is that back home in China, not every Christian, especially the rural poor, has a Bible because they simply can’t afford it.