Pew Research Report and Church Growth Outside the U.S.

There was an article in the NY Times, and other media channel, about a Pew Research Center report that the number and percentage of people calling themselves “Christians” has dropped in the U.S since 2007, from about 78% to now about 70%.…/americas-changing-religious-land…/

What they don’t tell you – this is buried in the Pew report – is that while the overall number and percentage of those who call themselves Christians declined slightly, the “number of evangelical protestants is growing”. In 2007, about 59.8 million Americans classified themselves as evangelical Christians,and in 2015 the report says this number has GROWN to 62.2 million!

Perhaps there is a migration of Catholics and mainline Protestants away from organized religion to evangelical churches? Perhaps more are leaving the old dead institutions, and turning to Jesus? Joining a church that really teaches the Bible, is Spirit filled, and encourages its members to trust in the living Lord Jesus. Could this be?

It is interesting to note that one of the signs of approaching “end times” mentioned in the Bible is a general “falling away” from the faith (2 Thes 2:3) This may be the start of just that – people falling away and really ending up believing in nothing, or making themselves “god” and the center of their universe..

By the way, one church that is seeing explosive growth is Saddleback Church, our local church in So Cal. It is non-denominational, and has seen tremendous growth over the past 30 years – with over 35000 members in our local church alone, 12 international campus,and over 7,000 small groups. Why? Teaching based on the Bible, loving people of all kinds no matter what, small groups for encouragement, and really doing Christianity like Jesus would – reaching out, helping people locally and globally. A Bible believing, Christ centered church cannot be beat.

So while there may be some decline in organized Christian “religions” in the U.S., God is moving in a big way through many evangelical Christian churches in the U.S.!

And if you look outside the U.S., the growth of the church and those believing and trusting in Jesus Christ is really exploding! In 1900 there were 10 million Christians in Africa. By 2000, there were 360 million. By 2025, it is estimated there will be 633 million Christians in Africa! Faith and trust in our living Lord Jesus is also exploding in South America, in the Far East, and in China. For more, read…/biblest…/perspectives/colson020722.aspx

According to the Telegraph in the UK: “China’s Protestant community, which had just one million members in 1949, has already overtaken those of countries more commonly associated with an evangelical boom. In 2010 there were more than 58 million Protestants in China compared to 40 million in Brazil and 36 million in South Africa, according to the Pew Research Centre’s Forum on Religion and Public Life. Prof Yang, a leading expert on religion in China, believes that number will swell to around 160 million by 2025. That would likely put China ahead even of the United States, which had around 159 million Protestants in 2010 but whose congregations are in decline.…/biblest…/perspectives/colson020722.aspx

So bottom line – while there is some falling away in the U.S., and a migration to real Bible believing Spirit filled churches in America (which is good news, by the way), the real growth now of the church is outside the U.S. – in South America, China, Africa, Asia Pacific, and yes — even in Iran, and the Middle East! The church is indeed growing – just not here in the U.S. But globally, absolutely!