Home News Global Christianity surges beyond projections in 2024

Global Christianity surges beyond projections in 2024

The Center for the Study of Global Christianity at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary recently reported that global Christianity is experiencing remarkable growth, defying expectations and surpassing population rates. 

Contrary to the anticipated slowdown, the Christian population is projected to climb from over 2.52 billion to 2.63 billion, representing a 1.08 percent growth, and is expected to surpass 3 billion by 2050.

Within Christianity, certain denominations are witnessing even more rapid expansion. Notably, Protestants (1.63 percent), independents (1.96 percent), evangelicals (1.66 percent), and Pentecostal/charismatics (1.48 percent) are identified as the fastest-growing groups, showcasing the diverse nature of the faith’s evolution.

The growth of Christianity is particularly pronounced in the global south, with Africa and Asia emerging as the fastest-growing regions. 

Africa, in particular, has undergone a remarkable transformation, evolving from having less than 10 million Christians at the turn of the 20th century to now being home to 734 million Christians, growing at a rate of 2.64 percent. 

By 2050, Africa is projected to host more Christians than Asia and Latin America combined.

Intriguingly, the report indicates that Christianity is not only growing in numbers but is also expanding geographically. 

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In 1900, 95 percent of the world’s Christians lived in predominantly Christian countries. However, the trend is shifting, with a decline of 0.17 percent between 2020 and 2024, indicating that more Christians are residing in diverse, non-Christian majority nations.

Simultaneously, atheism, which once saw a peak around 1970 with 165 million adherents, is on the decline. The current growth trend for atheism is -0.12 percent, with their number falling from 147 million in 2020 to 146 million in 2024. 

In contrast, agnostics are experiencing minimal growth with a 0.09 percent increase, and overall, non-religionists, atheists, and agnostics combined are projected to fall to less than 849 million by 2050.

A significant aspect of this growth is reflected in the establishment of churches and the sending out of missionaries. Over the past century, the number of churches has increased tenfold, reaching an estimated 4.2 million in 2024. 

The international missionary force has grown from 62,000 in 1900 to a projected 445,000 in 2024, with expectations of reaching 600,000 by 2050.

The report brings attention to the improved accessibility of the Gospel. In 1900, over half of the world (54.3 percent) lacked access to the Gospel, but this figure has steadily decreased to 27.8 percent in 2024. 

The number of languages with New Testament translations is also set to rise from 2,400 in 2024 to an impressive 4,200 by 2050.

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