Growth of the Church
Christianity is the single fastest growing religion in the world. For example, in AD 100 there were 360 non-believers for every believer. Today, there are only nine non-believers for every believer, and only four of those non-believers are from unreached people groups. Today, at least 6,000 Bible-believing local churches exist to support each of the 10,000 missionary teams that will be needed to finish the task of reaching every people group for Christ. We have over 600 million Bible-believing Christians throughout the world.
The number of people who are being presented the plan of salvation every day is now at least 260,274. Pray for today's quarter million plus. May they respond to the call of Christ. Every day now the average number added to the body of Christ worldwide averages 174,000. 3,500 new churches are opening every week worldwide.
Our annual growth rate of church planting is presently at more than 8% per year. We only need 11% per annum to allow us to place a living Christian fellowship -a local church- as a witness in every community in the entire world. We have seen countries like Singapore have a 10% increase of those who have seen Christ come into their lives.
In the 1980's 10% of Korea and 10% of Chile turned to Christ, and over 10% in Indonesia - the largest Muslim country in the world. Indonesia is now over 25% Christian.
Considering the growth rate of the world's religious blocks: Christianity is by far the fastest-growing religion in the world today. The total population of the world increases by 1.72% annually.
The world's religions growth percentiles are as follows:
Nominal Christians 2.2%
Bible-believing Christians 6.9%
True Christianity has grown by more than 300 million believers in the past ten years. About 10 million of these new Christians are from North America and Europe, and the rest -290 million-are from developing countries like Nigeria, Argentina, India and China.
Over 700 million people in 220 countries have seen the Jesus film, with 41 million indicating a commitment to Jesus Christ and to follow-up Bible studies.
After 70 years of oppression in the Soviet Union, Christians number About 100 million - five times the number of the Communist Party at the height of its popularity, and 36% of the population. More than 15,000 public school teachers are now teaching morals from the Bible and the life of Christ in their classes.
In Central Asia, a church planted in Uzbekistan just four years ago Has grown to 3,000 members and has planted 55 other congregations.
Mongolia, which had no church at all as recently as 1991, now has More than 3,000 believers in 17 congregations. And the Mongolians have sent their first missionaries to work with Operation Mobilization in India.
In Nepal, the world's only official Hindu country, over 100,000 Hindus have met the Savior in the last two decades.
Every month another 15,000 in India are baptized as new believers in Jesus Christ. In India there is 1 pastor for every 7 churches. In Sudan the ratio is one to twelve.
In China, there are now about 80 million evangelical believers - growing at a rate five times that of the general population. Over 30,000 conversions a day take place in China alone.
In just over two years more than 30,000 Chinese Xiao gave their lives to Christ. It all started with a showing of the 'Jesus' film and summer teams of 20-30 Christians who traveled there to teach English and witness 1-on-1 to the elite students of the province.
In recent years, the best-selling book in Japan has been the Bible. In a government survey, Japanese citizens were asked to name the greatest religious leader in history. 67% replied, "Jesus Christ."
In 1900, Korea had no Protestant Church and it was deemed "impossible to penetrate." Today, six new churches open every day in South Korea, and it is site of nine of the world's largest churches - some with more than 800,000 members. Today Korea is 30% Christian with 7,000 churches in Seoul alone. Millions of Buddhists have come to Christ.
In 1982 there were 321 Korean Protestant missionaries. By 1992 that number had grown to 2,576. On May 25, 1995, the South Korean Church dedicated 105,000 young people for at least two years of mission service. Another 3,000 Korean missionaries are now being trained to go into China.
The one million Koreans in northern China, in what Koreans call the Kirim-Song area, are experiencing revival. About 100,000 are now believers.
Latin America has over 400 million people, more than 50 million have become evangelical Christians. By the end of this decade, a majority of the people in Brazil, Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador will be evangelical believers. Chile, Costa Rica, and Bolivia are about 40% Bible-believing evangelical. Already Mexico's population is more than 35% evangelical. In Latin America some 34,000 believers are added to the Church per day.
Puerto Rico now has the highest number of evangelicals per square mile of any country in the world. Of the country's 3.5 million people, one million are evangelicals. They have 7,000 churches, 10,000 pastors, nine Christian TV stations, 13 Christian radio stations, 130 Christian schools and 350 Christian community service organizations. More than 1,000 Puerto Rican young people are now training to go as missionaries to Muslims.
In Brazil one hundred years ago, there were no evangelicals. In 1980 there were about 12 million Protestants. By 1995, that number had increased to more than 40 million, with more than 80,000 churches and 150 Christian radio and TV stations. The number is expected to reach 50 million by the year 2000. At least five new evangelical churches open every week now in Rio de Janeiro. Church growth country-wide has reached over 5,000 new churches annually.
One new church that is just 16 years old now runs 14 Christian radio stations, four TV stations, has missionaries serving in 25 Countries and 6 million members.
In Buenos Aires, Argentina, the church "Ondas de Amor y Paz" (Waves of Love and Peace) attracts 225,000 people each week. Services take place daily in a converted movie theater from 9 AM to midnight, and every month another 3,000 new believers are baptized.
In Africa the church is on fire. It's the first continent to become the majority Christian (over 50%) in a single century. Over 25,000 new believers per day mark the growth of the Church.
In a single summer in Mombassa, Kenya in East Africa, 56,000 Muslims came to faith in Jesus Christ.
In one baptismal service in the ocean on the coast of Angola in Southern Africa, 10,000 were baptized in one day.
In a six-year period in one Muslim country two million Muslims came to Christ, and missionaries in dozens of Muslim people groups are planting small churches of former Muslims worldwide.
More Muslims in Iran have come to Christ since 1980 than in the previous 1,000 years combined. Before Khomeini's revolution in 1979 there were about 2,000 Iranian believers. After years of intensified persecution, there are now more than 15,000.
There's a seminary in Indonesia where to graduate you have to do all the schoolwork plus start a whole church plus see at least 15 Muslims come to faith in Jesus Christ. In the past 6 years, these students have started more than 600 churches and seen 40,000 Muslims find new life in Christ.
The government of Papua New Guinea recently mandated Bible teaching in every school in the country.
In October 1993, the Philippines was solemnly consecrated to Jesus Christ in a massive rally around the Quirino Grandstand in Luneta Park in Manila - a rally attended by a million believers.
In North America, 85 million copies of the New International Version Of the Bible have been sold in the past 15 years; and 42 percent of its purchasers read the Bible every day. Every week 34 percent of the American population reads the Bible outside of church - that's 75 million weekly exposed to the Word that "will not return void". On an average day Americans will buy 35,932 Bibles.
Many cities are experiencing a fresh spiritual awakening - mostly among young people. For example, recently in Wichita, Kansas, each of 3,000 Christian high schoolers committed themselves to pray over the lockers of 10 students in their schools and to then invite them to a massive rally. Ten thousand showed up at the rally, where more than 6,000 teenagers came to faith in Jesus Christ.
Prayer groups are getting big. More than 2.7 million gathered at one time in Yoido Plaza in Seoul, Korea -the largest face-to-face meeting of humans in history. About 45,000 gathered for prayer at the national soccer stadium in Guatemala City, Guatemala. And 26,000 gathered in the Blue Jay stadium in Toronto, Canada to pray.
In southern California, about 300 high schoolers gather once a month to pray for the world.
In October 1995, more than 30 million Christians prayed around the world for 100 key cities.
Every 14 days another translation of the New Testament is begun in a new language. If we're still here, at least some portion of the Bible will be translated into every language on earth by the year 2020.
In 1991, the United States boasted 1,485 Christian radio stations, 300 television programs, 148 million professing Christians and 70 million born-again believers.
The stats above are adapted from data by David B. Barrett and Todd M Johnson of the Global Evangelization Movement web site.
Other portions come from Patrick Johnstone's The Church is Bigger Than You Think, Bill and Amy Stearns' Catch the Vision 2000, and the course material for Vision for the Nations published by the US Center for World Mission.