February 23, 2011

ATHEISM, THE GOD THAT FAILED:

Christian Number-Crunching reveals impressive growth: The annual "Status of Global Mission" report is unfailingly interesting, sometimes jarring, and occasionally provocative. This year it's all three. (GEORGE WEIGEL, 2/09/11, The Catholic Difference)

According to the report, there will be, by mid-2011, 2,306,609,000 Christians of all kinds in the world, representing 33 percent of world population – a slight percentage rise from mid-2000 (32.7 percent), but a slight percentage drop since 1900 (34.5 percent). Of those 2.3 billion Christians, some 1.5 billion are regular church attenders, who worship in 5,171,000 congregations or "worship centers," up from 400,000 in 1900 and 3.5 million in 2000.

These 2.3 billion Christians can be divided into six "ecclesiastical megablocks": 1,160,880,000 Catholics; 426,450,000 Protestants; 271,316,000 Orthodox; 87,520,000 Anglicans; 378,281,000 "Independents" (i.e., those separated from or unaffiliated with historic denominational Christianity); and 35,539,000 "marginal Christians" (i.e., those professing off-brand Trinitarian theology, dubious Christology, or a supplementary written revelation beyond the Bible).

Compared to the world's 2.3 billion Christians, there are 1.6 billion Muslims, 951 million Hindus, 468 million Buddhists, 458 million Chinese folk-religionists, and 137 million atheists, whose numbers have actually dropped over the past decade, despite the caterwauling of Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, and Co. One cluster of comparative growth statistics is striking: As of mid-2011, there will be an average of 80,000 new Christians per day (of whom 31,000 will be Catholics) and 79,000 new Muslims per day, but 300 fewer atheists every 24 hours.

Posted by Orrin Judd at February 23, 2011 6:40 AM
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