- The French conquered the land now called Guinea in the late 19th century. Since then, islam, Christianity, and traditional African religions have vied for the hearts of the people. As the 20th century came to an end, Islam had approximately 5 million adherents, compared with 2 million followers of traditional religions. Christians, most of whom are Roman Catholics, number less than 300,000 adherents.In 1918, the Christian and Missionary Alliance (CMA) was the first Protestant group to begin work, which included the building of two schools at Telekoro and Mamou. Arriving later in the century were the Anglicans, the Paris Evangelical Missionary Society (of the Reformed Church of France), and the Church of the Open Door, a Pentecostal church. In 1967, all foreign missionaries were ordered to leave the country. The CMA negotiated a deal whereby some of their missionaries could remain as staff for the two schools. All the churches quickly appointed indigenous leadership to carry on their work, but the CMA was able to concentrate on leadership training and continue their work in Bible translation. The Evangelical Protestant Church, which grew from the CMA missions, is by far the largest Protestant church in Guinea.The New Apostolic Church entered from Germany around 1970. In three decades it built a work of some 20,000 members. During the 1990s, Pentecostalism, brought to the country by French members of the Assemblies of God, had also begun to attract a sizable following. The visit to the country in 1992 of Evangelist Richard Bonnke had a marked effect; he became the catalyst for the organization of the Association des Eglises et Missions Evangélique en Guinea. Most of the Protestant/Free Church bodies operating in Guinea are members of this association, which is affiliated with the World Evangelical Alliance.No Guinea-based church is affiliated with the World Council of Churches.See also French West Africa.Further reading:■ David Barrett, The Encyclopedia of World Christianity, 2nd ed. (New York: Oxford University Press, 2001)■ Patrick Johnstone and Jason Mandryk, Operation World, 21st Century Edition (Carlisle, Cumbria, U.K.: Paternoster, 2001).
Encyclopedia of Protestantism. Gordon Melton. 2005.