- Christian students from the national universities of five east African nations; Rwanda, Uganda, Burundi, Congo, Tanzania, and South Sudan
- 100-200 students meet for a three day conference sponsored by CASA and organized by CASR
- Hosted at the Lighthouse Ministry Center next door to the University of Rwanda
- Presentations by African and International Pastors and Teachers
- Addresses questions relevant to defending the African church from secular, unorthodox, and heterodox doctrines
- Cultural and Spiritual fellowship and exchange between international students and teachers
A special ministry focus of CASA is the sponsorship of its premier event: the annual East Africa Apologetics Conference.
At their founding in 2005, CASA and CASR discerned a need to gather Christian university students from the countries surrounding Rwanda for fellowship and teaching. In 2007 they organized and financed the first such international meeting of Christian students in Africa. About 200 students from Rwanda, Uganda, Congo, Burundi, and Tanzania attended the three day conference at the University of Rwanda. They shared focused Christian teaching from American and African pastors and Christian teachers. They also had opportunities to share their diverse national cultures, music, worship, and dance. It was a unique opportunity for the students to meet and fellowship with Christian students across national borders
Similar conferences were sponsored in 2008 and 2009 to great reception and effect. These conferences were suspended during the focus on the construction of the Lighthouse. When it was close enough to completion to house the conference, the meetings was initiated again.
During this hiatus CASA discerned a need in the rapidly growing east African church for focused apologetics teaching. The Spirit of God is moving in a very sovereign way among its churches. But there are wolves among the sheep. Satan is very active in attempting to mute the power of the Spirit’s move. It has been said that the African church is a mile wide and an inch deep. It is not inaccurate.
So in 2013, the first annual East Africa Apologetics Conference was sponsored by CASA and CASR. The nearly 200 international students met at the Joy of God Bible Institute in the still-under-construction Lighthouse. Topics included: “Are the claims of Jesus trustworthy?”; “Why are so many intellectuals atheists?”; “Does science make the faith obsolete?”; “Is the existence of evil compatible with the Christian God?”; “What are the challenges of defending the Christian faith against Islam?” Over the three day conference teachers from America, Rwanda, Kenya, and Tanzania addressed these topics and fielded questions from these university students from five East African nations.
The second conference was held in 2014. It addressed similar topics in a similar format. However, it focused on questions that were most effecting the young African church. Satan is attacking the African church in areas different from the Western Church. After the first conference, one student stated that he did not believe that there were “any atheists in Africa”. It does seem that the hegemony of the secular/humanistic worldview never established itself deeply among the new African nations. Other questions needed to be addressed.
Apologetics is still very much required in Africa. However, it must address the walls of the African church that are actively under siege. African Christian leaders have little knowledge or interest in the history of Western civilization’s great philosophical apostasy. The origins of post-Christian post-modern Western thought confuses them. African Christians know the apostasy is wrong. But they are not interested in the convoluted arguments about words that tend to dominate Western apologetics. They also have little knowledge of the history of Christian denominational differences and why we defend so vehemently our “distinctive doctrines”. So it seemed best to CASA that the primary need was to defend the Apostles’ Creed and encourage Christian unity around it.
However, the African Church is under attack. The old American cults are very active and confuse the new believers. The evangelists of Islam are using their centuries old arguments against the Trinity and Incarnation. Perhaps most destructive are the heterodox and unbalanced teachings of the American media church. The power of the extreme “Faith and Prosperity” teachings has already discredited large African churches. Some of these corrupt pastors have been indicted and imprisoned for embezzling the funds of their desperately poor congregations. The power of the doctrines conduce with old African shamanistic spiritism.The September 2015 Apologetics Conference, addressed these and other issues.
During the Fourth Apologetics Conference in September 2016 we hosted 46 university students from Rwanda, 14 from Uganda, 8 from the Congo, 5 from Burundi, 4 from Tanzania, 2 from Kenya, and 1 from South Sudan. We organized the Conference around John Stott’s book: “Why I am a Christian”. The theme was “Ten Reasons why I am a Christian”. We have posted our notes and PowerPoints and the student resources at the site below. You are welcome to use any or all of them.
Our Fifth Conference was held in October 2017 with over 80 students for the East African nations. We partnered with the Africa Centre for Apologetics Research (ACFAR) to present a “Positive Apologetics” on how the person of Christ is shown in the seven “I AM” statements in the Gospel of John. The notes and PowerPoints and student resources at the site: http://chrisalanforeman.com/apologetics/
Our next apologetics conference is scheduled for January 2019. If you are interested in apologetics and participating or supporting the conference, you can contact Dr. Frank Foreman at firstname.lastname@example.org.