Posts Tagged: global south
Here are some statistics from Philip Jenkin's book The Next Christendom:
- At the beginning of the 20th century, Europeans dominated the world church with 70.6% of the Christian population. By the end of the 20th century, the percentage had shrunk to 28% with Latin America and Africa providing 43% of the world's Christians.In 1900, Africa had 10 million Christians representing 10% of the population. In 2000, there were 360 million Christians representing 50% of the population.
- The number of African Christians is growing at around 2.36% annually.
- In 2050 Christianity will chiefly be the religion of Africa and the African diaspora.
The conclusion of The Global Diffusion of Evangelicalism: The Age of Billy Graham and John Stott
If the global diffusion of evangelicalism proves eventually to have
transmuted into the global disintegration of evangelicalism, it will not be
because of the philosophical and hermeneutical boldness of a few post-
conservative evangelical theologians in the North. It will rather be because
in the explosive popular Christianity of the southern hemisphere the
balance will have been tipped away from a Bible-centered gospel that,
while being properly holistic, still holds to the soteriological centrality and
ethical normativity of the cross, towards a form of religious materialism
that subordinates the cross to a crude theology of divine blessing reduced
to the promise of unlimited health and wealth here and now. In the
majority world the sharpest challenge confronting believers in the message
of the atoning power of the cross derives not from Enlightenment
scepticism but from the daily realities of endemic poverty, hunger,
pandemic disease and structural injustice. In cultures in which the
traditional role of religious rituals and specialists was to provide power to
ward off sickness and evil, Pentecostal versions of evangelicalism that
give central place to the victory of Christ and power of the Spirit have
proved immensely attractive. The question is whether such deeply
inculturated variants of Christianity will succeed in grounding the message
of the victory of Christ over the powers of darkness in a biblical
eschatology that recognizes that the full establishment of the kingdom of
God is still to come. The battle for the integrity of the gospel in the
upcoming years of the twenty-first century is being fought not primarily
in the lecture rooms of North American seminaries but in the shanty
towns, urban slums and villages of Africa, Asia and Latin America.