Monday, September 05, 2016

Think Christianity is Shrinking?

Think again. From The Washington Post:
The center of Christianity has shifted from Europe to the global South.

The religious landscape is particularly changing for the world’s Christians. A century ago, 80 percent lived in North America and Europe, compared with just 40 percent today.

In 1980, more Christians were found in the global South than the North for the first time in 1,000 years. Today, the Christian community in Latin America and Africa, alone, account for 1 billion people.

Over the past 100 years, Christians grew from less than 10 percent of Africa’s population to its nearly 500 million today. One out of four Christians in the world presently is an Africa, and the Pew Research Center estimates that will grow to 40 percent by 2030.

Asia is also experiencing growth as world Christianity’s center has moved not only South, but also East. In the last century, Christianity grew at twice the rate of population in that continent. Asia’s Christian population of 350 million is projected to grow to 460 million by 2025.
The global religious wildcard is China. Even today, demographers estimate that more Christian believers are found worshipping in China on any given Sunday than in the United States. Future trends, while difficult to predict because so much is below the religious radar, could dramatically drive down the world’s religious “nones.”
Nones are those who say they have no religion.

So, while the rest of the world is becoming increasingly Christian, the United States presently is moving in the opposite direction.

And, while it's often said that Islam is growing more quickly than Christianity is on the world scene, that's misleading. In fact, Islam's growth is a byproduct of births to Muslim families. But Christianity is seeing hundreds of thousands more conversions to Christian faith. That's real growth. Reports of the demise of Christian faith are not only premature; they're incorrect.

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