(CSGC) Christianity in its Global Context, 1970”“2020–Society, Religion, and Mission

Christians around the world today find themselves in contexts that are very different from those of 40 years ago. Since 1970, many societies have experienced dramatic social upheavals and severe environmental catastrophes, yet the period from 1970 to 2010 was also a time of great technological advancement and increased connections between people around the world. Such changes challenge Christians to think differently about the people among whom they live and work, the ways in which they interact with them, and the potential for future cooperation.

Christianity in its Global Context, 1970”“2020: Society, Religion, and Mission, a report produced in 2013 by researchers at the Center for the Study of Global Christianity, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, South Hamilton, Massachusetts, offers a timely overview of the changing demographics of Christianity and Christians’ activities over the past 40 years while looking forward to the next ten. If current trends continue, what will be the state of the world in 2020? Who will be the neighbors of Christians, and what issues will they be facing together? Here we summarize the key findings from the full report, which is available for PDF download at www.globalchristianity.org/globalcontext.

Christianity in its Global Context presents global data on the demographics of world religions, providing evidence for the continued resurgence of religion into the twenty-first century.

Read it all.


Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Globalization, History, Other Churches, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture, Theology

One comment on “(CSGC) Christianity in its Global Context, 1970”“2020–Society, Religion, and Mission

  1. Jeremy Bonner says:

    I used this in my class on mission this year. Some important facts:

    By 2020, only two of the ten countries with the most Christians (the United States and Russia) will be located in the Global North, compared to seven in 1970.

    Newcomers to the top ten in 2020 will include China, Nigeria, Democratic Republic of Congo, India and Ethiopia.

    Evangelicals – though still concentrated in the US – will see gains in Africa (4-7 percent in 1970 to 11-19 percent in 2020) and Asia (less than 1 percent in 1970 to 1-4 percent in 2020).


    In 2010, Christians constitute 48.3 percent of the continent’s population, compared to 41.7 percent for Muslims and 8.7 percent for native religions.

    The most dramatic Christian growth has occurred among the Anglican churches, who increased from 7.7 million in 1970 to 50.8 million in 2010.

    Roman Catholics continue to dominate Middle Africa, especially Congo and Angola, while Independents are growing in Southern Africa.

    There is little Christian-Muslim interaction except of a violent nature, and the Christian share in Northern Africa is falling.


    The most religious diverse continent, yet many non-Christians have no contact with a Christian.

    Christianity is predicted to grow faster here than in any other region and much of this will be achieved by conversion.

    Roman Catholics are the largest tradition but will soon be outpaced by Independents (house churches).

    China is predicted to reach 171 million Christians (10.5 percent) and India to reach 67 million (4.9 percent) by 2020. Independents include hidden Hindu believers in Christ.

    Outside the Philippines there are significant Christian communities in Indonesia, Vietnam, Burma and Malaysia.