Here in the United Kingdom and all across Europe we regularly read news articles about the death of Christianity. More than once, I have read the headline, “Will the Last Christian to Leave Please Turn Off the Lights!”
What is the truth? They have misrepresented it terribly! So we might ask, how and why? Firstly, we have to ask how they measure. If a journalist contacts the HQ of major, traditional denominations, they will get statistics about the number of church buildings being closed and sold for use as community centres, coffee shops or even mosques.
Is that a good measure of the state of Christianity or just really lazy journalism?
If you poll people widely and ask them what faith they are, this is what you will find:
In Europe, 77% of the population self-identify as Christians.
In North America, 76% of the population self-identify as Christians.
In Africa, 45% of the population self-identify as Christians.
In Latin America, 92% of the population self-identify as Christians!
In Oceania, 71% of the population self-identify as Christians.
In Asia, only 9% of the population self-identify as Christians. But that still amounts to nearly 400 million people and the fastest growing Church in the world is there – the Chinese Church, which has added about 10 million people in the last 5 years!
Keep in mind, this is based upon how many people, when asked, would tick the box that they are Christian. When you think about it, that is the only way to conduct a poll. How many of them have an active faith? Well, that’s much harder to say, but we know the number is growing because there are more and more people becoming Christians by conversions than ever before.
I don’t know how you feel, but I am sick and tired of this fake news coming from lazy journalists who live in their own little bubble of secularism. Yes, the practices of Christians in Europe are harder to track because they are not drawn to the outdated forms and practices of the traditional churches. But millions meet in homes, community halls, work places, schools and even pubs, bars and nightclubs.
If you are shocked by the statistics above, go to the following site from the highly reputable CENTRE FOR THE STUDY OF GLOBAL CHRISTIANITY at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary.
Let’s counter the fakest of fake news with facts—at every opportunity!