Christianity Booming, Atheism Declining around the World, Report Says [ChristianHeadlines]

Discussion in 'Anglican and Christian News' started by World Press, Nov 29, 2019.

  1. World Press

    World Press Active Member

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    Christianity Booming, Atheism Declining around the World, Report Says

    Michael Foust | ChristianHeadlines.com Contributor | Tuesday, October 22, 2019

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    The headlines might declare that Christianity is declining in the United States, but new research shows it’s growing faster than the population around the world – and atheism and agnosticism are on a gradual decline.

    The 2019 Status of Global Christianity report shows there were 2.5 billion Christians in the world as of mid-2019 – a major increase from the 1.98 billion Christians in 2000 and more than double the number of Christians (1.2 billion) in 1970. Christianity is growing worldwide at a rate of 1.27 percent each year and outpacing population growth (1.20 percent) – and is booming in Africa (2.37 percent), Asia (2.79 percent) and Latin America (2.29 percent).

    By comparison, there were 138 million atheists around the world in mid-2019 – slightly more than the 137 million in 2000 but less than the 165 million in 1970. Atheism’s annual growth (.04 percent) is less than that of the population, and the number of atheists worldwide is projected to decline to 132 million in 2025.

    Agnosticism and those affiliated with the “nonreligionists” category also are on the descent, according to the report.

    The Status of Global Christianity report is released by the Center for the Study of Global Christianity at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary.

    A Pew Research Center study this month showed the percentage of American adults who call themselves Christian has declined the past decade, from 77 percent to 65 percent, while the percentage of U.S. adults who identify as atheist, agnostic or “nothing in particular” has risen from 17 percent to 26 percent in that same span.

    Globally, though, the data is opposite of the Pew data, according to the Status of Global Christianity report.

    There were 716 million agnostics in the world as of mid-2019, but by 2025 that is projected to fall to 707 million. Nonreligionists numbered 854 million this year but are expected to fall to 839 million by 2025.

    Much of Christianity’s growth is due to its surge in other continents. Africa (119 million) and Asia (160 million) each have more Christians than North America (100 million).

    Among Christian traditions, evangelicalism (2.19 percent) and Pentecostalism/charismatic Christianity (2.26 percent) are growing faster than Protestantism (1.61 percent) and Roman Catholicism (1.02 percent).

    Despite the positive data for Christianity, the report showed its growth in cities isn’t as dramatic. The global urban population is growing at a rate of 2.15 percent, more than the growth of Christianity in those cities (1.58 percent).

    Click here for the rest of the article:
    https://www.christianheadlines.com/...m-declining-around-the-world-report-says.html
     
  2. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    In nations where few have had the opportunity to hear the Gospel, many hearts are hungry for God's truth and are openly receptive, even eager! In the USA nearly everyone has an ongoing opportunity to hear God's truth (by simply walking into a church, picking up a Bible, or tuning to a Christian broadcast), but that truth is taken for granted by both sides (the Christians as well as the non-Christians). The unbelievers have heard somewhat about Jesus Christ and they mistakenly assume they know all they need (or wish) to know. The believers assume that sharing their faith will be fruitless, that it will open them up to ridicule and rejection, and that evangelism is just for ordained ministers; on these counts they are also mistaken, with the exception that we should indeed expect to be ridiculed (Jesus warned us of this). Yet if there be rejection, the unbeliever really rejects Christ, not us.

    We are called to love our neighbors as ourselves. We don't want anyone we love to wind up in the lake of fire for eternity, and neither does God. True love compels that we participate in the Great Commission.

    We are called to be lights shining on a hill. The light of the Holy Spirit should be visible in our words and actions. If we never tell others what God has done for us and if we appear to live just for the world in all our visible actions, the unbeliever sees in us nothing different from himself and he concludes that Christianity is powerless superstition.

    The power of God is made apparent through changed lives: through changed priorities and changes in the way we talk and in the way we behave. How much of God can others see in us?

    May we all take Jesus, and His Great Commission, more and more seriously in the days we have left on this earth.
     
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  3. Shane R

    Shane R Well-Known Member

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    This is heart warming. I've been confronted with a lot of pessimism from old priests who closely resemble ostriches lately. They are constantly crying, "Woe is me, the day of the Lord must be soon. It can't be much longer 'til Jesus returns. Look at all the degeneracy around us. No one wants to hear the truth of the Bible. . . etc."

    In the sense that the expression 'the day of the Lord' was used to refer to a nation being visited with judgment and wrath in the OT, they could be correct. But it's such a myopic worldview to think that what is happening in the US, Canada, the UK, and Western Europe is indicative of the rest of the world. I suppose it's a form of White exceptionalism. Pull your heads out of the sand and see the great work taking place in other places!
     
  4. Lucian Hodoboc

    Lucian Hodoboc New Member

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    This is great news! I think Howard Storm might actually be right. Now let's just hope that I will be saved as well.
     
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  5. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    "...see the great work taking place in other places," indeed! Christians are hard at work spreading the Gospel in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and South America, often at great peril and hardship. They need our prayers and support.

    A couple of months ago we had Bp. Markus Dogo of Nigeria, and his wife, at our parish. They are conducting a training school (pretty sure it's at no charge to attendees) where they teach Nigerians basic skills that can be used to earn a better living, and the school is open to anyone... muslims are welcome, too. They are working hard to show the love of God the Son to all people, and by their example many might be added to God's family in time. They do this with extremely limited resources and at great personal danger. They've had threats and attempts on their lives. The bishop's wife is a convert from Islam and a fatwa has been issued against her, but they labor on and trust God to keep them safe until they day He wishes them to come home to Him.

    Some here might look askance at other evangelical protestants, but I personally know a missionary evangelist who lives a half hour away from me. He very recently went on a perilous trip to the mostly muslim nation of Pakistan. He was in contact with some Christians in Pakistan who helped arrange a venue and promised to bring many people to hear him preach the Gospel. He went alone (rather than take a team of volunteer with him like usual) because of the potential danger. He says he never saw such a huge crowd of people before! The Pakistani Christians bussed in tens of thousands of people! After he preached the Gospel of Jesus Christ he invited them to pray together with him and ask Jesus to be their Lord and Savior, and afterward over 60,000 Pakistanis indicated that they'd prayed this prayer to Jesus for the first time, and meant it. (Some may point out that we can't be saved by the act of saying a prayer, which is true; but if we take an extremely pessimistic view and presume that genuine faith in Christ rose up in the hearts of a mere 10% of those people, that's still 6,000+ new believers.) I'm confident there will be follow-up by the existing Christians who arranged the venue and the bussing. In addition, the evangelist prayed a general prayer over the people that Jesus would heal them of whatever ailments they had, and over 1600 healings and miracles were afterward confirmed to have taken place. (Someone once said that divine healing is the 'dinner bell' of the Gospel.)

    I am of the view that when we see someone in the harvest field and their efforts are highly productive, we should sow into that ministry, whether inside or outside of Anglicanism. Objecting to either the worker's methodology or some finer points of his theology seems somewhat like saying a crop was ruined by using a Gleaner combine, instead of a John Deere combine or maybe an old-fashioned scythe. People are putting their lives on the line for the sake of the Gospel, and are ministering in places where we cannot or dare not go. They need our help. God will honor their efforts and ours.
     
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  6. Brigid

    Brigid Active Member Anglican

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    That is so very wonderful! Faith in Him is what's necessary, not theology (as much as I love theology).
     
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