Let's Begin: The State of Christianity in 2010 Print
Written by Sherry   
Sunday, 26 December 2010 12:21

I got an early Christmas present a couple weeks ago:  The Atlas of Global Christianity.  AGC (as I will abbreviate it) focuses on the global and regional changes in Christianity and other world faiths that occurred from 1910, when the Edinburgh World Missionary Conference took place, to where we are today in the last week of 2010.

AGC is a mighty book: two feet high, one foot wide and 360 pages long.  With thousands of graphs, all of which are available for download on the accompanying DVD!

It is going to be my primary source for my blog series this week on global Christianity and global Catholicism at the end of 2010.   Let me just throw out a few fascinating factoids for you to contemplate as I compose more substantial stuff:

Fastest growing faith in the world? Baha’i which grew from 225,000 in 1910 to 7.5 million today.

Largest group of “renewalists” in the world? Latin Rite Catholics: there are 133 million Latin rite “renewalists”. (“Renewalist” is a generic term for Christians  of any communion with a charismatic colored spirituality.)

Fastest growing Christian community between 2000 and 2010?

Afghanistan: mostly through immigration fueled by the war.  No 2 is Cambodia where Christian growth is mostly due to conversion.

Conversions to Christianity in 2010? 16 million

Country where largest percentage of Christian growth in 2010 is due to conversion? China (65.8%)

Number of Christian baptisms in 2010? 49 million.

US region which saw the largest growth in Catholicism between 1910 and 2010? Middle Africa where Catholics grew from 0.6% of the population in 1910 to 44.4% in 2010.


And here’s something that I find particularly evocative.   A picture of the Christian world that St. Augustine knew compared to the spread of the Christian faith today.

African Christianity in 400 AD

christian ad_400_africa


African Christianity in 2010.

christian ad_2010_africa


This series continues with "Evangelization and the World According to Peter Phan"