7 billion reasons


Sometime this week. the world's population will pass the 7 billion mark

At the time of Christ the world's population was around 250 million. It took until another 1,800 years to reach 1 billion. In 1960 it reached 3 billion.

Lamin Sanneh is Professor of History and World Christianity at Yale University. Here are his estimates of the trends in population growth and the changes in religious belief since 1900.

World pop relig trends.jpg

Note the incredible rise of Pentecostal/Charismatic movements (includes African independent churches and Chinese underground house churches) which has taken place predominantly in the developing world where the population is growing fastest.

Here are the figures on the shift from Christianity as a faith for the Western world (Europe and the US), to Christianity as the faith of the developing world (Asia, Latin America, Africa).
North to South Shift Sanneh.jpg
Finally, the incredible growth of the Christianity in Africa, outstripping the growth of Islam in that continent over the last 100 years.
Africa Christian Islam growth.jpgThis massive population growth will continue due to the extraordinary growth in agricultural productivity. By 2050 there will be 9 billion people on the planet.

What will it take to reach a lost world with a rapidly increasing population? Christianity of the developing world is showing us how. . . Movements.

"Disciples of All Nations: Pillars of World Christianity (Studies in World Christianity)" (Lamin O. Sanneh)