Donor Login spacer divider Translate

Missions 101

Posts Tagged: statistics

Christianity is Not Exploding in Africa

Nov. 18, 2016By: Darren CarlsonAuthor Bio

I have read, heard and said many times that “Christianity is exploding in Africa.” I now believe I am wrong. In 2010, The Pew Forum released on interesting report titled: Tolerance and Tension: Islam and Christianity in Sub-Saharan Africa.

religious-switching

One part of the study was to look at the current rate of conversions to Christianity and Islam. What you find on the chart above is that there are very few conversions in the countries where data was collected. Part of the reason there is no conversion might be because there is no one left to convert (see Zambia and Rwanda). But - it still calls into question our frequent saying that Christianity is exploding in Africa.

I think it would be helpful to qualify Africa’s growth by noting three things:

1. Christian faith did explode in Africa, especially between 1900-1970. There was also growth up until 2000, but at that point it seems to have flatlined.

affiliation-sif2d553fbda

2. Very few try to qualify the kind of Christianity that is being converted to. Would you consider a person who claims to be Christian and sacrifices animals a believer? What about someone who denies the Trinity, or Jesus as the Son of God? What about the prosperity gospel? These type of unqualified statistics, which also appear in the US on a regular basis, don’t really tell the whole story. I once read a book on the history of missions in a West Africa country and not one time did the author address the kind of gospel that was being preached. Notice on the chart that it seems that the majority of people who converted to Christianity were converting from Traditional African Religions. One wonders whether Christianity was just tacked on.

 3. This is just speculation, but I wonder how much growth can be attested to family size. It seems that little conversion from Islam is currently happening, so why is Christianity still growing numerically so quickly. Could it be the size of families have something to do with it? This would not necessarily have an impact on the % of the population if it could be shown that everyone is having large families, but it certainly impacts the overall numbers.

So - let’s be careful. Let’s rejoice in what the Lord is doing and the fact that we can actually know what He is doing around the world. Let’s rejoice that people are turning to Christ. But, let’s also be careful and not exaggerate what the Lord is doing and in so doing undermine the very report we can rejoice over.

Show Comments   |   Leave a Comment  |  Tags:  africa, statistics

Some Statistics

Sep. 26, 2016By: Darren CarlsonAuthor Bio

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.
Show Comments   |   Leave a Comment  |  Tags:  statistics

Some Mind-Boggling Stats on the State of the Global Church

Nov. 2, 2015By: Darren CarlsonAuthor Bio

Here are some statistics from Philip Jenkin's book The Next Christendom:513yXnWcqDL._SX322_BO1_204_203_200_

  • 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.
Show Comments   |   Leave a Comment  |  Tags:  statistics, global south

Thursday Statistics

Jul. 16, 2015By: Darren CarlsonAuthor Bio

Here's one that is hard to grasp from Toxic Charity: How Churches and Charities Hurt Those They Help (And How to Reverse It):

Zaire's President Mobutu Sese Seko is estimated to have personally skimmed $5 billion of aid - an amount equivalent to the entire external debt of his country.

mobutui2e

Show Comments   |   Leave a Comment  |  Tags:  statistics, corruption, africa

Growth Projections of Religions for 2050

Apr. 10, 2015By: Darren CarlsonAuthor Bio

300px-Religion_distribution

From the Pew Research Center:

The religious profile of the world is rapidly changing, driven primarily by differences in fertility rates and the size of youth populations among the world’s major religions, as well as by people switching faiths. Over the next four decades, Christians will remain the largest religious group, but Islam will grow faster than any other major religion. If current trends continue, by 2050 …

    • The number of Muslims will nearly equal the number of Christians around the world.
    • Atheists, agnostics and other people who do not affiliate with any religion – though increasing in countries such as the United States and France – will make up a declining share of the world’s total population.
    • The global Buddhist population will be about the same size it was in 2010, while the Hindu and Jewish populations will be larger than they are today.
    • In Europe, Muslims will make up 10% of the overall population.
    • India will retain a Hindu majority but also will have the largest Muslim population of any country in the world, surpassing Indonesia.
    • In the United States, Christians will decline from more than three-quarters of the population in 2010 to two-thirds in 2050, and Judaism will no longer be the largest non-Christian religion. Muslims will be more numerous in the U.S. than people who identify as Jewish on the basis of religion.
    • Four out of every 10 Christians in the world will live in sub-Saharan Africa.
Show Comments   |   Leave a Comment  |  Tags:  statistics, islam
SubscribeRSS FeedEmail Subscribe
Contributors
Tags
abortion, acts, africa, america, answer to prayer, arcc, asia, atheism, audio, bible, bible study, biblical theology, biography, black church, book review, books, brazil, c.s. lewis, caliphate, calvin, calvinism, cameroon, charity, china, christian, church, church growth, church history, church planting, church polity, confession, conflict, contextualization, corruption, creation, cross, culture, da carson, dead church, death, delight, demonic, dependence, discipleship, doctor, documentary, easter, ebola, ecclesiology, economics, effectiveness, ego, elder, endorsements, ethics, europe, evangelical, evangelicalism, evangelism, evil, faith, faithfulness, false teaching, forgiveness, free books, funny, gaba bible institute, gay marriage, gifts, global, global christianity, global south, good friday, gospel, graduation, great commission, greece, greek, healing, hermeneutics, history, history of missions, honor, hot topics, humility, humilty, humor, hymn, immigration, incarnational ministry, india, indigenous, infographic, informal education, integrity, interpretation, invitation, isis, islam, jesus, jews, john piper, journal, joy, kenya, latin america, leadership, literacy, love, majority world, map, maps, marriage, martyr, medicine, ministry, ministry of tli, miracles, misisonaries, missiology, mission, missional living, missionaries, missionary, missionary care, missionary kid, missionary training, missions, mission sermons, missions methodology, moms, money, nepal, news, new year, nigeria, orality, parenting, partnership, pastor, pastors, pastor sponsorship, patience, paul, persecution, pictures, pioneer, pioneer missions, politics, poor, pope, post-christian, poverty, practical, prayer, prayer requests, preaching, pride, productivity, prophecy, prosperity gospel, quote, radical, reached, reconciliation, relevance, relief, resources, retirement, revival, romania, sacrifice, salvation, scripture meditation, sending, sermon, serving, shame, shepherd, short-term missions, singing, social action, spiritual life, sports, spurgeon, stat, statistics, stats, stewardship, stm, story, strategic, strategy, suffering, support, support raising, teaching, team, tennent, testimonies, testimony, tgc, thanksgiving, theological education, theological famine, theology, the west, tli, training, transformation, translation, uganda, unreached, update, video, west, western influence, when helping hurts, wisdom, women, worldview, worship, young churches
blog search