Changed in a day
Have we seen a large population “transformed in a day” in recent history?
There are no countries that were under 5% Christian in 2005, and over 5% Christian in 2015.
The World Christian Database tells me there are only 6 countries that were “under 5% Christian in 1970, and over 5% Christian in 2015” (30 year change). Three of these were church growth stories, and three are simply overseas foreign workers:
- Bahrain – from 2.7% to 13%, this is nearly all expat Christian (overseas foreign workers)
- China – from 0.1% to 8.9%, an amazing story of church growth
- Myanmar – 4.9% to 7.9%, another story of church growth
- Qatar – 3.6% to 9.4%, mostly overseas foreign workers
- Sudan – 3.1% to 5%, church growth
- UAE – 4% to 12%, again, overseas foreign workers.
There were, by contrast, 43 changed in a century: under 5% in 1900, over 5% in 2015. Most of these were dramatically so (e.g. under 5% in 1900, over 60% in 2015):
- Burkina Faso
- Central African Republic
- Congo DR
- Ivory Coast
- Hong Kong
- Papua New Guinea
- Sao Tome & Principe
- Sierra Leone
- S Korea
- S Sudan
Sustained growth over decades is important to see national transformation. Countries that were less than 1% Christian in 1900 now widely have the Gospel. Persistence and multiplicative growth are key.