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7 exciting trends in global Christianity: No. 5 will surprise you

Hands holding the globe.
Hands holding the globe. | Getty Images

A study highlighting seven encouraging trends within global Christianity was released by Facts & Trends. Here’s what you need to know:

1. Christianity is growing faster than the population

Aaron Earls, the author, says, “Globally, Christianity is growing at a 1.27% rate…. The world’s population, 7.7 billion, is growing at a 1.20% rate.”

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A .07% difference may not seem substantial to you. But remember, we’re talking about almost 8 billion people.

What this means:

Many people believe Christianity has gone out of style and is in decline — that the only people who are Christians today are those raised by Christian parents. However, this statistic tells us that new people are coming to faith every day.

2. Pentecostals and Evangelicals are the fastest growing branch of Christianity

Earls points out that a subgroup of Christianity, Evangelicals, and a subgroup of Evangelicalism, Pentecostals, are the two fastest-growing groups within Christianity. Additionally, they are picking up speed as they are also growing faster than they were just a couple of years ago.

Evangelicalism is growing at a rate of 2.19% compared to 2.12% in 2017. Pentecostalism is growing at a rate of 2.26% compared to 2.22% in 2017.

What this means:

Global trends give us a glimpse of what God is doing in the world. Evangelicals are generally known for their commitment to the Word of God. Pentecostals are often known for their emphasis on unique experiences with the Holy Spirit. Could this be a hint of what God wants His people to be focused on in this season of history?

3. Atheism is in decline

Despite all the airtime atheism seems to get, the number of people who subscribe to this worldview is a very small number, and it’s getting smaller. Earls says, “There are fewer atheists in the world today (138 million) than there were in 1970 (165 million).”

What this means:

People are more spiritual than you might think. Something inside us tells us there must be more to life than what we can see.

4. Christianity is growing in urban areas, but it may not seem like it

In major cities, Christianity is growing at a rate of 1.58%. However, if it doesn’t seem like it’s growing in cities, it’s because the general population of urban areas is growing much faster than that at 2.15%.

What this means:

We need to work hard and pray hard to expand our impact in cities and show people the love of God.

5. The focal point of Christianity has shifted geographically

America was once regarded as a Christian nation, and “twice as many Christians [once] lived in Europe than in the rest of the world combined” Earls says. Not anymore. The epicenter of Christianity has moved south from North America and Europe to South America and Africa.

What this means:

This statistic is a reminder that God is not limited by geography. It also reminds us that God is moving in all of the world, not just in the west.

6. Christianity is growing in popularity

According to Earls, “In 1900, only 5.5% of non-Christians knew a Christian. Today, that has grown to 18.3%.” Both of these numbers may sound small to you, but remember these are global statistics, averaging numbers from Western countries to persecuted nations and everything in between.

What this means:

This stat may suggest that Christians as a whole feel more freedom to openly discuss their beliefs in certain parts of the world than they have in the past.

7. More people have heard the gospel now than ever before

Earls shares that, “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.”

What this means:

Christians worldwide are obeying the Great Commission to “Go and preach the good news to everyone in the world.” (Mark 16:15)

LightWorkers’ mission is to create engaging, uplifting and inspirational content that breaks through the clutter, building a community of sharing and igniting a movement in the real world that motivates people to celebrate and share the good all around them.

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