Matthew 28:18-20 NIV Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
Over the last more than 2000 years how have we done? Well, I can’t tell you how many people have become believers over those more than 2000 years, but I can give you some idea of the number of believers, based on research done by some research organizations.
What makes someone a Christian is saving faith in Jesus Christ. Christianity is defined as the religion based in the belief, life, and practices of Jesus of Nazareth as told through the Gospels. Christianity is the collective body of people who have been saved through faith in Jesus Christ. Christianity is marked by a unique set of doctrines: one triune God (Father, Son, and Spirit) who created the world, Jesus who was born of a virgin, the death and resurrection of Jesus which gives salvation, the inspiration and inerrancy of Scriptures, and the Second coming of Jesus. It is one’s faith in Jesus and having a heart devoted to God that makes someone a Christian. Christianity is professed by people around the world and includes those who hold faith in Jesus who are Catholics, Eastern orthodox, and Protestants.
According to the report "7 Encouraging Trends of Global Christianity in 2022" published by Lifeway Research, it is estimated that 2.56 billion people in the world profess to be part of the Christian faith.
How Many People Believe in Christianity in the United States?
Research has shown that the percentage of people that profess to be Christian has continued to decline in the Unted States and this is discouraging to many. On the ther hand this decline can and should serve as motivation for Christians to continue their mission to fulfill the Great Commission and share the Good News of Jesus, keeping in mind that no matter what, God remains in control.
Here are the latest numbers as of 2020 as estimated by the Pew Research Center. According to their research, about 64% of Americans identify themselves as Christians, 30% identity as agnostic, atheist, or non-religious, and around 6% of Americans identify with other religions such as Islam, Hinduism, or Judaism.
How about the rest of the World?
Of the estimated that 2.56 billion people in the world that profess to be part of the Christian faith is about ⅓ of the world’s population. The World Population Review lists the top five countries with the highest number of believers as:
- The United States
- The Philippines
Over the years there has been a major shift in the growth of Christianity. The largest growth has taken place outside the United States and Europe. Christianity continues to grow at other places throughout the world. Christians can trust that God’s church is growing and will continue to stand firm until Christ’s return. Christianity continues to spread everywhere, and the global church is massive proof of Jesus statement to Peter.
Matthew 16:18 NIV And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.
Even though Christianity may be the largest faith group still at 2.56 billion that is only ⅓ of the world’s population, so we have work to do.
We know there are many people groups that have not yet heard the Gospel, and there are many believers and missionaries all over the world working hard and dedicating their lives to sharing the Gospel and living out the Great Commission to make disciples in all nations.
Christianity may be the largest faith group, but only 1/3 of the world’s population is part of Christianity. The need is great for more people to hear of Jesus and come to know Him as their Lord and Savior. Although some countries are experiencing a decrease in the amount of people who believe in Christianity, in other parts of the world, Christianity is growing. The Spirit of God continues to work in the hearts of people around the globe as the Gospel message of Jesus Christ is spread.
It is vital that we pray for more Americans and people all over the world to hear the Gospel. These are some specific things we can pray as we hope more come to saving faith in Jesus.
- Pray that Christians would be intentional and emboldened to fulfill the Great Commission
- Pray for local churches and Christians to be salt and light in their communities, workplaces, neighborhoods, and families
- Pray for pastors and church leaders to have endurance and wisdom
- Pray that the Holy Spirit would empower believers to share their faith
- Pray for opportunities for Christians to share their faith and that they’ll be ready to share the Gospel
- Pray that people would have ears to hear and eyes to see the truth of God
- Pray against the work of the enemy in the US and around the world
- Pray that people would have open hearts to receive the Gospel message
Even as fewer Americans believe in Christianity, the church in the US should faithfully continue its efforts to help people find saving faith in Jesus Christ. The Work Continues