Key words: confessional geospace, territorial structure, demographic center, colonial and post-colonial stages.



GEOGRAPHY AND NATURAL RESOURCES, 2018, 1, p. 207-214

Territorial development of Christianity in Africa in the 20thearly 21st centuries

S.A. Gorokhov*, R.V. Dmitriev*, **, ***, I.A. Zakharov**

*Institute of Geography, Russian Academy of Sciences,
Staromonetnyi per., 29, Moscow, 119017, Russia, stgorohov@yandex.ru, dmitrievrv@yandex.ru
**Institute for African Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences,
ul. Spiridonovka, 30/1, Moscow, 123001, Russia, dmitrievrv@yandex.ru, vanszax@yandex.ru
***Moscow M. V. Lomonosov State University,
Leninskie gory, 1, str. 46, Moscow, 119991, Russia, dmitrievrv@yandex.ru

The characteristic features of the transformation of the territorial geospace structure in the African Christianity religious geospace during 19102010 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 Ryabtsevs 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 (19101970) 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 Ethiopia and Madagascar (19101930) and then North Africa on account of Egypt and Algeria (19301950). The territorial structure of Christianitys 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.

Key words: confessional geospace, territorial structure, demographic center, colonial and post-colonial stages.

DOI: 10.21782/GiPR0206-1619-2017-1(207-214)

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