Illustration: Missions and Evangelism

In an article in the July 26, 2003 issue of World magazine, Gene Veith points out that, "Christianity is growing at a rate that is nearly unparalleled in the history of the church. Yet this growth primarily is taking place in cultures that previously have not been Christian at all. In historically Christian societies, where for centuries upon centuries the church has thrived, Christianity seems to be fading.

"In 1900, according to statistics from the Website of the mission organization Synergos, Western Europe was home to more than 70 percent of the world's professing Christians. Today, that figure has shrunk to 28 percent. In 2025, it is projected that only about one in five of the world's Christians will be Europeans. North America had just more than one in 10 of the world's Christians at the beginning of the last century. By 2025, for all of the megachurches and church-growth techniques—which seem mainly to draw on people who already are Christians, taking them from small congregations to bigger ones—the percentage is projected to decline slightly.

"Conversely in 1900, 1.7 percent of the world's Christians lived in Africa. Today, that figure is nearly 18 percent, and it is projected by 2025 to rise to more than 25 percent. That is to say, there will be substantially more Christians in Africa than in Europe. Asia is experiencing similar growth. In 1900, it was home to 3.7 percent of the world's Christians; but by 2025, the share of Christians living in Asia is projected to equal the share in Europe, with slightly more than 20 percent. Latin America is projected to be home to less than a quarter of the world's Christians."