Christianity by the Numbers: What Do New Projections Say About the Future of Religion?

by CNA/EWTN News  |  published on March 4, 2015

Can numbers say something about the future of Christianity? George Weigel thinks so.

Weigel claims the past and present — together with a numeric projection about the future — can reveal something about what might happen to Christianity globally over the next 35 years.

The Status of Global Christianity is a study recently published by the International Bulletin of Missionary Research which illustrates a timeline from 1900-2050, and makes projections about Christians through the next generation. The study highlighted some high and low numbers across the globe.

Weigel, a distinguished senior fellow of the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington, D.C., found that three groups in particular were creating a unique phenomenon: Christians in Africa, urban Christians and charismatic Christians.

Weigel, in a Feb. 25 column at First Things, pointed out that by 2050 there will be as many Christians in Africa as there are in Latin America and Europe combined — totaling to a projection of 1.2 billion. Africa has shown exponential Christian growth over the past century, revealing a promising future for Christianity on the continent.