The Christian Century

February 25, 2011

Phillip Jenkins, a professor at Penn State, once remarked that the 20th century will go down in history as “The Christian Century.”

Christian growth in Africa is nothing short of astonishing. There were 8.7 million African Christians in 1900; there are 389 million African Christians today.Similar things can be said of China, Korea, and much of the rest of the global south.

Christianity even increased slightly as a percentage of the world 33 up to 35% which is actually quite remarkable given that most of the world’s growth was in regions that were not traditionally Christian (China, India, Africa, etc). It is even more remarkable when you consider that major portions of the historic Christian strongholds were overthrown by explicitly atheist regimes (Russia, Eastern Europe, etc). /

Bottom line? Christianity grew remarkably well in the 20th century. Will it go down in history as the “Christian Century”? That depends on what happens in the 21st. I am convinced that the 21st century may see even more impressive growth.

That is my prayer anyway.


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