Future of Christianity
The prominent historian Sir Diarmaid MacCulloch, professor of the History of the Church at Oxford University, indicates that he believes Christianity faces a "bright future" worldwide (See also: Global Christianity).
According to MacCulloch, "Christianity, the world's largest religion, is rapidly expanding – by all indications, its future is very bright."
In 2012, the Center for the Study of Global Christianity at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary (GCTS) reported that every day there are 83,000 more people professing to be Christians per day, 800 less atheists per day, 1,100 less non-religious (agnostic) people per day.
Phillip Jenkins published the book The Next Christendom: The Coming of Global Christianity.
Chuck Colson, citing the work of Jenkins, writes:
|“|| As Penn State professor Philip Jenkins writes in The Next Christendom: The Coming of Global Christianity, predictions like Huntingtons betray an ignorance of the explosive growth of Christianity outside of the West.
For instance, in 1900, there were approximately 10 million Christians in Africa. By 2000, there were 360 million. By 2025, conservative estimates see that number rising to 633 million. Those same estimates put the number of Christians in Latin America in 2025 at 640 million and in Asia at 460 million.
According to Jenkins, the percentage of the worlds population that is, at least by name, Christian will be roughly the same in 2050 as it was in 1900. By the middle of this century, there will be three billion Christians in the world -- one and a half times the number of Muslims. In fact, by 2050 there will be nearly as many Pentecostal Christians in the world as there are Muslims today.
- 1 Future of Christianity: World's most geographically diverse religion
- 2 Rapid growth of evangelical Christianity and pentecostalism
- 3 Growth of Christianity in China
- 4 Rapid growth of Christianity in Africa
- 5 Christendom has cohesive, high moral standards
- 6 Christianity and the 22nd century
- 7 Promises of Jesus Christ
- 8 Future of Christianity: Excellent evidence that Christianity is true
- 9 See also
- 10 External links
- 11 Notes
Future of Christianity: World's most geographically diverse religion
In 2000, there were twice as many non-Western Christians as Western Christians. In 2005, there were four times as many non-Western Christians as there were Western World Christians. There are now more non-Western missionaries than Western missionaries. See also: Global scope of indigenous evangelical Christianity evangelism
Global scope of indigenous evangelical Christianity evangelism
Peter L. Berger in his book The Desecularization of the World: Resurgent Religion and World Politics wrote:
|“|| The origins of this worldwide Evangelical upsurge are in the United States from which the missionaries first went out. But it is very important to understand that, virtually everywhere and emphatically in Latin America, this new Evangelicalism is thoroughly indigenous and no longer dependent on support from U.S. fellow believers-indeed, Latin American Evangelicals have been sending missionaries to the Hispanic communiry in this country where there has been a comparable flurry of conversions.
Needless to say, the religious contents of the Islamic and Evangelical revivals are totally different. So are the social and political conscquences (of which I will say more later). But the two developments also differ in another very important respect: The Islamic movement is occurring primarily in countries that are already Muslim or among Muslim emigrants (as in Europe), while the Evangelical movement is growing dramatically throughout the world in countries where this type of religion was previously unknown or very marginal.
Rapid growth of evangelical Christianity and pentecostalism
The American Spectator, writing in 2011 about research published in the International Bulletin of Missionary Research, declared: "The report estimates about 80,000 new Christians every day, 79,000 new Muslims every day, and 300 fewer atheists every day. These atheists are presumably disproportionately represented in the West, while religion is thriving in the Global South, where charismatic Christianity is exploding."
The World Christian Database estimates the number of Evangelicals at 300 million individuals, Pentecostals and Charismatics at 600 million individuals and "Great Commission" Christians at 700 million individuals. These Christian groups are not mutually exclusive. Operation World estimates the number of Evangelicals at 550 million individuals.
High growth of pentecostalism
The American sociologist and author Peter L. Berger introduced the concept of desecularization in 1999. According to Berger, "One can say with some confidence that modern Pentecostalism must be the fastest growing religion in human history."
Pentecostalism has experienced explosive growth for the past half-century. The membership is young and fast-growing.
In 2011, a Pew Forum study of worldwide Christianity found that there were about 279 million classical Pentecostals, making 4 percent of the total world population and 12.8 percent of global Christendom Pentecostal.
Growth of Christianity in China
Rapid growth of Christianity in Africa
In 2011, USA Today published an article entitled Study: Christianity grows exponentially in Africa which declared:
|“|| Meanwhile, the faith has grown exponentially in sub-Saharan Africa, from just 9% of the population in 1910 to 63% today. Nigeria, home to more than 80 million Christians, has more Protestants than Germany, where the Protestant Reformation began.
"As a result of historic missionary activity and indigenous Christian movements by Africans, there has been this change from about one in 10 (sub-Saharan Africans) identifying with Christianity in 1910 to about six in 10 doing so today," Hackett said.
Between 2000 and 2020, the continent of Africa had more than 37,000 new Christians every day.
Christendom has cohesive, high moral standards
Organizations with high, cohesive, consistent ethical standards are better able to last long term.
In his work The Triumph of the Gospel of Love, Monk Themistocles Adamopoulo writes:
|“|| Christians undertook a great deal of almsgiving to the poor not only to fellow believers but to pagans as well. So amazed was the anti-Christian pagan emperor Julian the Apostate (361-363 AD), with the sheer benevolence and excellence of Christian philanthropy that he was forced to admit in wonder their superiority over paganism in matters of charity:
Widows and orphans in particular became the recipients of special financial support and respect. This created a most favourable impression upon the pagan world. The sick, the infirm and the disabled also became an integral part, wherever possible, of the Church's obedience to Christ's commandment to love (Matt 25:35-36). Indeed in times of contagious epidemics raging through the cities of the Mediterranean world, ancient documentary evidence suggests that Christians were more likely to stay on to care and visit the stricken rather than attempt to flee as the pagans were often inclined to d0. Indeed it is recorded that at the time of the great plague which struck the empire during the reign of Maximinus (235-38 AD), Christians practiced the Gospel of love perfectly by taking care of pagans as well as Christians...
Christianity and the 22nd century
The Gospel Coalition declares:
|“|| But if we were to jump forward into the 22nd century, I wonder what we would see.
Most likely, we would see a world in which the explosive growth of Christians in South America, China and Africa has dwarfed the churches of North America and Europe. And the lesson we learn from a century ago will probably still be true: The churches that thrived were those that offered their world something more than the echo of the times.
Promises of Jesus Christ
The Bible declares:
|“|| Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” And they said, “Some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.(Matthew 16: 13-18 ESV)
"Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away." (Matthew 34:25 ESV). - Jesus Christ
"In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?" (John 14:2 ESV) - Jesus Christ
Future of Christianity: Excellent evidence that Christianity is true
There is excellent evidence that Christianity is true. One of these pieces of evidence is communion with God. These evidences of the validity of Christianity provide confidence to many Christians and many Christians boldly share their faith.
- Christianity statistics
- Religion and its projected increase in the 22nd century
- Atheists and the endurance of religion
- Atheism, agnosticism and pessimism
- Decline of the atheist movement
- Where's the future of Christianity?, Facts and trends
- BBC A History of Christianity - Protestantism: The Evangelical Explosion
- Historian predicts 'bright future' for Christianity
- Historian predicts 'bright future' for Christianity
- Globally the worldviews of atheism and non-religious (agnostic) are declining while global Christianity is exploding in adherents
- Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary - Status of Global Missions
- How Christianity is Growing Around the World by Chuck Colson
- Is Christianity taking over the planet?
- The Desecularization of the World: Resurgent Religion and World Politics by Peter L. Berger, Page 9
- Thriving Christianity
- Journal of Church and State, Desecularization: A Conceptual Framework by Vyacheslav Karpov, 2010
- Peter L. Berger, “The Desecularization of the World: A Global Overview,” in The Desecularization of the World: Resurgent Religion and World Politics, ed. Peter L. Berger (Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1999)
- Pentecostalism – Protestant Ethic or Cargo Cult?, Peter Berger, July 29, 2010
- Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life (December 19, 2011,), Global Christianity: A Report on the Size and Distribution of the World's Christian Population, p. 67.
- The African apostles: How Christianity exploded in 20th-century Africa
- 'Study: Christianity grows exponentially in Africa, USA Today, 2011
- Glenn Sunshine and Jerry Trousdale with Greg Benoi (March 15, 2020). Christianity is growing faster than any time in history. Why is the Church in Europe, America declining?. The Christian Post. Retrieved on March 16, 2020.
- The Triumph of the Gospel of Love by Monk Themistocles (Adamopoulo)
- Which Churches Will Thrive in the 21st Century?
- ESV version of the Bible: Matthew 16: 13-18