Skip to comments.Evangelical growth is worldwide phenomenon
Posted on 03/31/2006 1:00:45 AM PST by Gamecock
Evangelical Christians are the main force behind the growth of Christianity, according to Patrick Johnstone, author of The Church is Larger Than You Think.
Johnstone's assessment of the growth in evangelical Christianity was reported in the November-December issue of Good News magazine, a journal that promotes evangelical renewal in the United Methodist Church.
The magazine story quoted Johnstone as identifying the following trends:
1. Evangelical Christianity has grown slowly but steadily in the West, while the rest of Western Christianity has shrunk significantly;
2. The real growth of Evangelical Christianity in recent years has been in Latin America, Africa, and Asia. In 1960, non-Western Evangelicals were about half as numerous as those in the West; in the year 2000 they will be four times, and in 2010, seven times as numerous;
3. Although Christianity as a whole is growing slightly slower than Islam, Protestant Christianity is expanding faster than Islam at 2.9 percent per year, which is almost double the rate of population growth-currently at 1.7 percent;
4. The Roman Catholic Church is expanding more slowly than the population, which means that the percentage of Catholics in the population is decreasing. This is mainly due to the secularization in Europe and the trend to Evangelicalism in Latin America;
5. Protestantism is growing almost twice as fast as the world population, but this is almost entirely due to Evangelicals. Non-Evangelical Protestant churches are shrinking significantly. "Liberal theology is being preached in ever-shrinking churches in increasingly empty church buildings."
6. Evangelical Christianity is expanding more than three times as fast as the world population, and is hence the only religious group in the world with significant growth through conversion, at a rate almost double that of Islam.
While the article is 8 years old, everything I have read lately indicates that this is still true.
Africa has witnessed the most explosive growth. In the 20th century, Africa went from a Catholic population of 1.9 million in 1900 to 130 million in 2000, a staggering growth rate of 6,708 percent. Half of all adult baptisms in the world, the surest sign of missionary expansion, are in Africa. Inexorably, pastoral and intellectual energy in the church will follow population, and this means that African leaders are destined to play an increasingly important role in the global church.
" As a global phenomenon, Christianity is by no means withering away under the assault of modernization; the only exception is Europe, where Christian decline is the rule. The not-so-good news, from the point of view of Matthew 28: 19 and the "Great Commission" ("Go therefore and make disciples of all nations..."), is that Christianity's impressive absolute growth in the last century is not matched by its relative growth: Christianity claims a slightly smaller percentage of world population today than it did in 1900.
Indeed, Christian growth in Africa is nothing short of astonishing. There were 8.7 million African Christians in 1900; there are 389 million African Christians today; and Barrett projects almost 600 million African Christians by 2025 (when Europe's Christian population will have fallen to 513 million). "
That's probably not that telling of a stat. I think India and China are a substantially larger chunk of the world's population now than they were in 1900, and neither nation has many Christians ... yet. ;-)
On another thread, OP was relaying that both Protestantism and Calvinism (worldwide, I believe) were growing at a decent clip.
Only thing I've read recently regarding the growth of Evangelical Churches, is that Roman Catholicism appears to be losing ground to them in Latin America.
The explanation offered for this goes something like 'we've got Larry Kudow, Laura Ingraham, Scott Hahn and Karl Keating, while you have, ahem, AlbionGirl. In the parlance of a country song, 'we got the gold mine, you got the shaft', so, sorry for that my friend.
The thing that strikes this corn-fed, country girl the most is that Protestant converts to Catholicism were able to convert in large measure because they were given the freedom to explore. That freedom, that blessed Protestant ethic, speaks for itself, and is of inestimable import and value.
Another thing that strikes me, is the difference between the Protestant, that is the OPC, and Catholic make-up as it concerns whose running things at the local level.
The RCC (at least in my experience) is being run at the local level mainly by females. The men seem definitely AWOL, and I think that's a huge problem. To sort of paraphrase Tip O'Neill: all religion is local.
The OPC on the other hand, seems to have been able to retain a very strong commitment on the part of the men in their midst, who seem to take Church discipline quite seriously. It seems a very well-run and transparent organization.
In case I need to make it clear, Kudow should read Kudlow.
??? "able to convert"? "freedom to explore"? As opposed to what? What were Catholic converts to Protestantism given that made them "able to convert," because they obviously are? Was that because of some "blessed Catholic ethic"? (Maybe the "blessed Catholic ethic" is bad catechesis?)
If Protestantism is objectively more true than Catholicism, you shouldn't do anything but mourn the conditions that led people to leave truth for falsehood. Something that leads people into error is not "blessed," but evil.
The RCC (at least in my experience) is being run at the local level mainly by females. The men seem definitely AWOL, and I think that's a huge problem.
It ought to be run at the local level by the parish priest, who ought not to be a female at all. Are most of the people who report to him female? Probably. That has a lot to do with the fact that there's not enough money in the kitty to pay men who have to support families.
Amen, I am just happy Christianity is growing.
>>I wonder how "sola scripture" works with a population that is largely illiterate? Not that everyone in Africa, Latin America and Asia can't read I am guessing that a fairly large percentage would be.<<
I certainly hope you're not suggesting that the soveriegn Lord of All Creation, the Creator and Sustainer of the entire Universe can be hampered by how well someone can read?
If He means for someone to come to salvation and know His Word, He will see it acomplished, regardless of whatever mental, physical, or geographical state the person is in.
>>and begin to understand the SCRIPTURES they quickly realize that they need to place their FAITH in JESUS CHRIST after that the HOLY SPIRIT takes over.<<
The unsaved can't understand scripture unless the Holy Spirit illuminates it for them.
Faith in Christ is a result of, not a prerequisite of, salvation.
Me too. And I'm a Jew.
>>just the truth: we are all lost.<<
Makes the atoning sacrifice of Christ all the more special when viewed through the eyes of a sinful worm.
Why God should condescend to save dirt like me is a mystery beyond my comprehension.
But Hallelujiah, what a Savior!