Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Global Spread of Christianity

At the CCDA conference that I attended last week, I was riveted as Dr. Soong-Chan Rah shared about how the global spread of Christianity is affecting the world today. Dr. John Piper has cited some of these current realities in his article, "The Legacy of Antioch." Piper shares the following:
- At the beginning of the twentieth century, about 71 percent of professing Christians in the world lived in Europe. By the end of the twentieth century, that number had shrunk to 28 percent. 43 percent of the Christians now lived in Latin America and Africa.

- In 1900, Africa had 10 million Christians, which was about 10 percent of the population. By 2000, the number of Christians was 360 million, about half the population of the continent. This is probably the largest shift in religious affiliation that has ever occurred, anywhere.

- There are 17 million baptized members of the Anglican church in Nigeria, compared with 2.8 million in the United States.

- This past Sunday more Anglicans attended church in each of Kenya, South Africa, Tanzania, and Uganda than did Anglicans in Britain and Canada and Episcopalians in the United States combined.

- The number of practicing Christians in China is approaching the number in the United States.

- Last Sunday . . . more Christian believers attended church in China than in all of so-called ‘Christian Europe.’

- Kenya has more people in Christian churches on Sunday than Canada.

- More believers worship together in Nagaland than in Norway.

- More Christian workers from Brazil are active in cross cultural ministry outside their homelands than from Britain or from Canada. In other words, the churches of the Global South are increasingly sending churches.

- Last Sunday more Presbyterians were in church in Ghana than in Scotland.

- This past week in Great Britain, at least fifteen thousand Christian foreign missionaries were hard at work evangelizing the locals. Most of these missionaries are from Africa and Asia.
These facts demonstrate the significant role that people from South America, Africa and Asia are playing in the spread of the Christian faith. It gets me excited to think about the unique role that students from Bridges, Destino, Epic, Impact, Korea Campus Crusade and Nations can play in helping to fulfill the Great Commission.


Michael Lantz said...

From the look of this article,it looks like Christianity is dying in the west.I am shock to see China is gaining on the USA,after all they are a communist country,and communist countries are Athiest.I wonder if that means that the church is dying in the west.

Melina said...

I would agree with Michael's suggestion. I think Christianity is dying in the West... though I think it will revive later... Australia, for one, seems to be a very athiestic country.