24 Amazing Facts About Global Christianity in the 21st Century

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It's not your grandmother's Christendom.

khym54 / Flickr

The global face of Christianity has changed dramatically in the last one hundred years. So much so, that everything that seemed so permanent about “the way the world was” no longer holds.

Information courtesy of PewForum, here’s where things stand:

1) There are roughly 2.18 billion Christians in the world today, up from just 600 million in 1910.

That’s almost 1/3rd of the world’s 7 billion people. In 1910, Christians made up about the same percentage of the world’s population.

2) In 1910, 66.3% of all Christians lived in Europe. In 2010, only 25.9% lived in Europe.

PewForum
PewForum

3) In 1910, just 9% of the population in sub-Saharan Africa was Christian. In 2010, 63% identified as Christian.

4) Here’s a weighted map of the world’s Christian population in 1910 and 2010:

PewForum
PewForum

5) Nigeria now has more than twice as many Protestants as Germany, the birthplace of the Protestant Reformation.

6) Due to the fact that Christians are spread throughout such a wide swath of the world, even though they make up only 1/3rd of the world’s population, Christians are a majority in 158 countries and territories, about 2/3rds of all the countries and territories in the world.

7) Indonesia, a Muslim-majority country, is home to more Christians than all 20 countries in the Middle East-North Africa region combined, despite the fact that Christianity started there.

8) 61% of the world’s Christians live in the Global South, versus 39% in the Global North.

9) From the 1910 to 2010, the population of the Global North increased 2.5 times. Yet the Christian population only increased 1.5 times.

PewForum
PewForum

10) There are now 200 million more Christian in the Americas than there were Christians in the whole world in 1910.

11) There are nearly 600 million Pentecostal and Charismatic Protestants in the world combined today.

PewForum
PewForum – Note that in this graph, “Evangelical” is not exclusive to the other categories, meaning there’s some overlap.

12) Every single country in the Americas has a Christian majority.

13) Zero countries in the Middle East and North Africa have a Christianity majority.

14) About 50% of all Christians worldwide are Catholic, 37% are Protestant, 12% are Orthodox, and 1% are other group identifying as Christians such as Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and the Christian Science Church.

15) There are more Catholics in Brazil than in Italy, France, and Spain combined.

16) The United States has the fourth most Catholics in the world (74.5 million), behind the Philippines (75.9 million), Mexico (96.3 million), and Brazil (133.7 million).

17) There are 67 countries in the world in which Catholics make up the majority.

18) Though Protestantism originated in Europe, only 2 of the 10 countries with the largest Protestant populations are in Europe.

PewForum
PewForum

19) 1/5th of all Protestants in the world live in the United States.

20) China has the world’s 3rd largest Protestant population, even though less than 5% of its population is Protestant.

21) Nearly 40% of all Orthodox Christians reside in Russia.

PewForum
PewForum

22) The country with the 2nd highest number of Orthodox is Ethiopia.

23) Despite the importance of the Orthodox Patriarch of Constantinople, his flock is only about 180,000 people.

24) 77% of the world’s Orthodox Christians reside in Europe.