Is there continuing growth in Christianity around the world or has it stalled/declined? I'm interested in worldwide stats rather than for individual countries.

  • 1
    I don't think "Is Christianity growing?" is a useful question (although not in a invalid for Christianity.SE sense). I think "Is the number of people who have had the opportunity to hear the Gospel growing?" is a much more important question.
    – a_hardin
    Aug 27, 2011 at 12:54
  • @a_hardin: Those two questions probably have the same answer.
    – Flimzy
    Aug 28, 2011 at 7:04
  • 2
    @Flimzy I'm not so sure; in much of Europe Christianity has seen a decline in numbers, but there is plenty of opportunity/exposure. Sep 3, 2011 at 15:30
  • 2
    In some European countries you are counted as being a Christian unless you pick a different one, so the numbers can be inflated. Also, do you go by practicing Christians or those that claim to be? Nov 1, 2011 at 22:46
  • I fear a definitive answer is impossible. Just trying to ascertain who or what Christians are is a great debate.
    – Neil Meyer
    Nov 4, 2013 at 16:55

3 Answers 3


The numbers appear to be inconclusive, at least according to this site.

It appears the number of Christians is growing, but in terms of percentage of population, some studies show a slight growth, while others show a slight decline. Of course the various studies are over different time periods, so it's impossible, with the given data, to draw any conclusive results.

Wikipedia estimates the 2007 growth rate of Christianity at 1.38%, which appears to be within the range of the various studies cited above.


The answer to this question really depends on how you measure the growth. One way to do so would be to measure the languages to which Christianity is becoming available. Bible translation is probably a lagging indicator, as missionaries often precede the work of translation.

According to Wycliffe Translation Statistics, the number of people win the world who speak languages where no translation work has been either begun or completed is 340 million (slightly more than the population of the United States). This is 5% of the World's population.

So, Christianity is, indeed, continuing to spread across more and more language groups. This is a fulfillment of the prophecies in the book of Revelation that spoke of people from every nation, tribe, and tongue.

I can't find where I saw estimates of when the last language would get a Bible translation, but it's quite feasible to reach that goal in the next hundred years, maybe even 50.

  • It's not clear to me that the number of languages translated correlates with the number of Christians. If no translation work were being completed does that mean the number of Christians would necessarily be constant? Nov 8, 2011 at 18:27
  • No, it doesn't. This isn't the full picture, but it is part of the answer.
    – Narnian
    Nov 8, 2011 at 19:11

This is directly copied from a Pew Forum Survey under the title "Religious Affiliation":

Compared with their elders today, young people are much less likely to affiliate with any religious tradition or to identify themselves as part of a Christian denomination. Fully one-in-four adults under age 30 (25%) are unaffiliated, describing their religion as "atheist," "agnostic" or "nothing in particular." This compares with less than one-fifth of people in their 30s (19%), 15% of those in their 40s, 14% of those in their 50s and 10% or less among those 60 and older. About two-thirds of young people (68%) say they are members of a Christian denomination and 43% describe themselves as Protestants, compared with 81% of adults ages 30 and older who associate with Christian faiths and 53% who are Protestants.

Based on this information, as well as the other graphs and questions in that survey, I would venture to say that Christianity is not growing, but rather declining. Of course, for every survey that says it's declining, there is probably one that says it's growing...

  • 2
    Note that this is specifically American statistics - worldwide the picture is very different - some countries growing rapidly, some declining rapidly.
    – neil
    Dec 31, 2012 at 1:58

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .