The Holy Spirit guided Christ's followers to carry the good news beyond Europe to new communities.
In 1849, David Livingstone, demonstrated that it was a suitable place for migration. Missionaries became interested in Africa, south of the Sahara Desert. In 1868, the Society of Missionaries of Africa, or White Fathers, was founded. They first went to Uganda. The Church In North, East and West Africa rapidly expanded with millions of new members over the twentieth century. The Church in Africa still has the strongest growth rate of the whole Church.
The United States:
Three dioceses were established in North America as early as 1511. Missionaries went to Central & South America. The earlier missionaries in America (Jesuits, Franciscans, Capuchins) were to proclaim the Gospel to Native American Indians. The influence of these missionaries extended from Florida to California in the modern US. In 1790, after the American War of Independence, Fr John Carrol, a Jesuit priest, was appointed Bishop of Baltimore. Within 50 years, there were 16 American dioceses in 13 states. The Church continued to expand, particularly with the immigration of Catholics from the countries.
Missionary movements were stirred by the Spirit to go to Asia. This started with the arrival of the Portuguese in India and Goa became the missionary centre. In 1542, one of the most famous of all missionaries. St Francis Xavier landed in Goa. He preached, baptised and converted multitudes.
In 1549, St Francis Xavier landed at Kagoshima in Japan. In 1853, an American naval squadron led by Commodore Perry arrived in Edo Bay in Japan. A treaty of friendship was signed between Perry and the Japanese ruler in 1854. Catholic missionaries began preaching in Japan. In 1855, missionaries were surprised to notice a small group of Japanese showing devotion in the mission chapel in Nagasaki. These people were descendants of the persecuted Catholics of 1638. There were 10,000 of these people. As a result of world opinion stirred by the media of the time, persecution ceased in 1889 and religious freedom was granted. The growth of the Church in Japan has been slow. In 1945, 8,500 Catholics were killed by the Atomic bomb dropped over Nagasaki. Today, the Church in Japan is led by Japanese bishops and priests.