Status of Global Mission 2016
Feb 29, 2016
The new 2016 Status of Global Christianity is out from the Center for the Study of Global Christianity.
This one page overview is my go-to snapshot of global statistics.
Here, I want to again highlight a few critical columns from this report.
Note the differences in the major Christian traditions: Catholics and Orthodox are declining vs. the global population; Protestants are rapidly increasing; Independents (and especially Asian independents) are increasing fastest of all.
Note especially the number of unaffiliated (nominal) Christians is also declining rapidly; I don’t know specifically, but I would theorize these are becoming the ‘Nones’ of the headlines. There is a ‘floor’ to this decline, since the numbers of affiliated believers are all increasing.
We can see the shifts in Christianity most sharply in the regional differences - very fast growth in Africa and Asia, declines in Europe and North America, and little growth/slow declines in North America and Oceania. This is just the proof of what most of us know already.
Interestingly, we also see a decline in the number of foreign missionaries (and the growth in national workers is not keeping pace with global population).
Line 50, the % of non-Christians who know a Christian, is the all-important Personal Contact factor. Only 18% of non-Christians know a believer (inverse: 82% of non-Christians do not).
Finally, take a close look at lines 67 and 68. Once again, wee see that the absolute number of unevangelized individuals continues to grow (by 1.05% per annum–slower than the population, but still increasing), while the percentage of the world that is unevangelized is declining. By 2050 we will add another half a billion unevangelized people to our planet (nett of births minus deaths). We obviously need to do a far better job at mobilizing and sending to them.