Christianity Distribution Traditions PEW Study

Research Study by PEW Research Center has revealed some interesting facts.

1.Christianity has ‘width , not depth in distribution’

Distribution of Christians in the World.
Christianity in The World.

I am using Corporate jargon as Christianity of the day is run like a Corporate.

A comprehensive demographic study of more than 200 countries finds that there are 2.18 billion Christians of all ages around the world, representing nearly a third of the estimated 2010 global population of 6.9 billion. Christians are also geographically widespread – so far-flung, in fact, that no single continent or region can indisputably claim to be the center of global Christianity.

A century ago, this was not the case. In 1910, about two-thirds of the world’s Christians lived in Europe, where the bulk of Christians had been for a millennium, according to historical estimates by the Center for the Study of Global Christianity.2 Today, only about a quarter of all Christians live in Europe (26%). A plurality – more than a third – now are in the Americas (37%). About one in every four Christians lives in sub-Saharan Africa (24%), and about one-in-eight is found in Asia and the Pacific (13%)…

2.Regional Distribution of Christians.

Christians in the World,A Survey by PEW.
Regional distribution of Christians.

The number of Christians around the world has nearly quadrupled in the last 100 years, from about 600 million in 1910 to more than 2 billion in 2010. But the world’s overall population also has risen rapidly, from an estimated 1.8 billion in 1910 to 6.9 billion in 2010. As a result, Christians make up about the same portion of the world’s population today (32%) as they did a century ago (35%).

3.Christian Traditions.

Christianity Survey,PEW.
Christian Traditions.

About half of all Christians worldwide are Catholic (50%), while more than a third are Protestant (37%). Orthodox communions comprise 12% of the world’s Christians. Other Christian groups, which make up the remaining 1%, include the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons), Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Christian Science Church.

he Catholic Church includes the international body of churches in full communion with the bishop of Rome, the pope. These churches include the Western (or Latin) church and 22 Eastern Catholic churches.1 Each of these churches has a distinct hierarchy and traditional liturgy, prayers and religious observances. The Western (Latin) church is the largest of these autonomous churches. Among the major branches of the Eastern churches are the Alexandrian, Antiochene, Armenian, Byzantine and Chaldean.2

Catholicism, taken as a whole, is the world’s largest Christian tradition. The Catholic Church teaches that its bishops are the successors of Christ’s apostles and that the pope, as the successor to St. Peter, possesses a unique authority in the church.3 Catholic doctrine maintains that the church is infallible in its dogmatic teaching on matters of faith and morals.4 Catholic worship is centered on the Eucharist, in which, according to the church’s teaching, the bread and wine are supernaturally transformed into the body and blood of Christ. 5


Protestants are broadly defined in this report to include three groups.6 The first group is made up of historic Protestants who belong to churches originating (or reformulated) at the time of the 16th-century Protestant Reformation in Europe, as well as other denominations that came later, such as Methodists. The Protestant Reformation was led by Martin Luther, John Calvin and other theologians who “protested” the doctrines, rituals and ecclesiastical structure of the Catholic Church, leading to the creation of new national churches. The doctrines of the various Protestant denominations vary, but most include belief in grace through faith alone (known as sola fide or “by faith alone”), belief in the Bible as the ultimate authority in matters of faith and order (known as sola scriptura or “by scripture alone”) and belief in the priesthood of all believers.7

Anglicans are the second group of Christians categorized in this report under the broad banner of Protestantism. This category refers to Christians who belong to churches with historical connections to the Church of England or have similar beliefs, worship styles and church structures. The great majority of Anglicans are members of churches that are part of the international Anglican Communion, which recognizes the archbishop of Canterbury as its “Focus for Unity.”8 The Church of England emerged as a distinct Western Christian ecclesial tradition in the early 16th century, when King Henry VIII declared his supremacy over the English church and its independence from papal authority.9

The third group broadly defined as Protestants in this report is independent Christians. Independent Christians have developed ecclesial structures, beliefs and practices that are claimed to be independent of historic, organized Christianity.10 Independent Christians include denominations in sub-Saharan Africa that identify as independent from historically Protestant denominations, churches in China that are not affiliated with official religious associations and nondenominational churches in the United States.

Regional Distribution of Christians.

Study on Christianity,Pew.
Christian Population by Region.

According to a Pew Forum analysis of estimates from the Center for the Study of Global Christianity (CSGC) at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, there are about 279 million pentecostal Christians and 305 million charismatic Christians in the world. (For definitions, see Defining Christian Movements.) This means that, according to this analysis, pentecostal and charismatic Christians together make up about 27% of all Christians and more than 8% of the world’s total population.15 (As noted in the Executive Summary, these estimates are based primarily on numbers provided by Christian organizations and are derived differently from the other figures in this study, which are based mainly on censuses and surveys.

Christian Movements data Christianity Study by PEW.
Christian Movements data Christianity



One thought on “Christianity Distribution Traditions PEW Study

  1. Very interesting, thanks for the informative article, I was very interested to read it, being a young catholic convert living in Australia; I am one of very few, which to me is a shame given the richness of the cultural heriatge one gains with the faith, amongst many other benefits. Thankyou.


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: