7 surprising trends in global Christianity in 2019
From Facts and Trends
The Center for the Study of Global Christianity at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary regularly publishes the Status of Global Christianity.
Evaluating their research and predictions provides an encouraging and potential surprising picture for the current and future state of Christianity.
1. Christianity is growing faster than the global population but Islam, Sikhs and Hindus are growing faster.
Globally, Christianity is growing at a 1.27% rate. Currently, there are 2.5 billion Christians in the world. The world’s population, 7.7 billion, is growing at a 1.20% rate.
Islam (1.95%), Sikhs (1.66%) and Hindus (1.30%) are the only religious groups growing faster than Christianity, though followers of Jesus outnumber every other faith and are predicted to continue to do so at least through 2050.
2. Pentecostals and Evangelicals are growing the fastest and are still picking up speed.
Among Christian groups, Pentecostals (2.26%) and evangelicals (2.19%) are growing faster than others.
They are both also growing faster than they did just two years ago. In 2017, Pentecostals’ growth rate was 2.22% and evangelicals was 2.12%.
3. Atheism has peaked.
There are fewer atheists in the world today (138 million) than there were in 1970 (165 million).
4. Christianity is growing in cities, but not fast enough.
Today, 1.64 billion Christians live in urban areas, growing at a 1.58% rate since 2000. But more than 55% of the world’s population lives in cities and that is continuing to grow at a 2.15% rate.
5. The center of Christianity has moved to the global south.
In 1900, twice as many Christians lived in Europe than in the rest of the world combined. Today, both Latin America and Africa have more. By 2050, the number of Christians in Asia will also pass the number in Europe.
6. There are more evangelism opportunities for Christians than ever.
The vast majority of non-Christians live their lives and never interact with a Christian, but that number is shrinking. In 1900, only 5.5% of non-Christians knew a Christian. Today, that has grown to 18.3%.
7. The percentage of the unevangelized is shrinking.
More than half of the world’s population in 1900 (54.3%) were unevangelized. That percentage continues to shrink, dropping to 28.4% in 2019.
That still means, however, that almost 2.2 billion people living today are still considered unevangelized.
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From Facts and Trends, 06/08/2019