No Need to Worry, Christianity is Doing Just Fine


The TV pundits and talking heads always talk about “war against Christmas” (like here, or here) that is implicitly part of a larger war against Christianity. In my own experience, growing up in a family of Southern Baptists, I’ve heard pastors frequently lament the “narrow path” that Christians walk and its unpopularity at large. A new report, however, suggests that these lines of rhetoric have little substance.

The Global Religious Landscape,” a study released by the Pew Research Center, discusses every major religious group, including humans unaffiliated with any religion, in depth. What’s most striking is the sheer immensity and reach of Christianity.

Firstly, Christianity has the most adherents in the world. This fact in and of itself likely comes as no surprise, but the gap between Christianity and Islam may: Eight percent of the world population represents around 560 million people.

And the graph below shows how Christianity dominates religious life on at four of the six inhabited continents, while it has a large number of followers on the other two. All in all, 157 of the 232 countries and territories in this study have Christian majorities, and any given Christian has an 87% chance of living in a country that is majority Christian. That’s unparalleled penetration.

While most religions have one or two regions where have demographic significance, Christianity spreads itself almost evenly over five different regions. People don’t tend to associate Christianity with China, but the country has around 60 million adherents and gains more every single day. So, essentially, wherever the next growth boom happens (or continues to happen, in China’s case), Christianity will probably already have a substantial follower base in the area.

So, the “War on Christianity” talk seems to have little to no merit, and if it does, Christianity is kicking ass and taking names. Check the attribution below if you’d like to see more graphs about Christianity or any one of eight major groups.


Attribution

The Global Religious Landscape,” Pew Research
via “Our Christian Earth: The Astounding Reach of the World’s Largest Religion in Charts and Maps,” Max Fisher, The Washington Post


  • Alexandra Gregorski

    These Fox News stories make me laugh. I just don’t understand how telling corporations and faith-based organizations to accept that there is freedom of AND from religion can be called an “attack” on Christianity. It’s like white boys calling their ethnic studies requirements “reverse racism.” Organized religion is such an enemy of progress.

    Would anyone else stand by an argument that a “Christian privilege” exists in the US (similar facets to white privilege, male privilege, etc.)? Maybe I stand alone, but just curious!

Commentary Ticker

  • Data Knows Best: Greatest TV Shows Get Ranked and Graphed
    March 26, 2014 | 10:50 am

    Every argument is better with charts and graphs. Sometimes a little linear regression can provide more insight than a long-winded report. GraphTV tests that theory by plotting the ratings of popular television shows. It all started with Breaking Bad. Data guru Kevin Wu was watching its fifth and final season and couldn’t help but think [...]

  • A Coin-Inspired National Spirit, Hopefully
    March 20, 2014 | 11:56 am

    The Lakota Nation, a group of seven Native American bands in North and South Dakota, voted to make a Bitcoin-like crypto-currency called MazaCoin their official currency, according to Forbes. Programmer and Lakota activist Payu Harris believes that the coin will help the Lakota people gain sovereignty over their land. “To be a truly independent state [...]

  • Smartguns and the Promise of Progress
    March 3, 2014 | 9:50 am

    With the recent Sandy Hook elementary school shooting (and the 44 school shootings since) still relatively fresh in our collective minds, and with Congress empirically unable to do anything to stop gun violence at all, it seems slowing, if not stopping, the gun violence epidemic has fallen on a strange coalition of gun manufacturers, Silicon [...]

  • Watch: Movies Without Imaginary Friends
    January 28, 2014 | 12:56 pm

    If you seriously haven’t watched Fight Club yet (or read the book by Chuck Palahniuk) stop and go do that right now. You’re fifteen years late to the craziest party. Okay, you’ve watched it now? Onwards. A visual effects specialist in New York accelerated himself to Internet fame in mid-January when he edited Tyler Durden [...]

  • The Racism of “Racism”: The Complicated Origins of the Term
    January 17, 2014 | 12:27 pm

    “Racism,” like race, was invented. The term “racism” has done a lot of heavy lifting for anti-racism advocates, helping to frame anyone discriminating by race as misguided. Just as with classism or sexism, not only does the word racism give name to an evil, it helps to create the thing as evil in the first [...]

  • RSSArchive for Commentary Ticker »

Join our mailing list!



Trending on The Airspace