Church: World Observations

(Not) The Medal Table

Britain may have taken second place in the Rio 2016 medal table, but by other scores, we are not doing quite so well.

Over the last few weeks the British press has been going bonkers about the Olympic medal table and the fact that we managed to come second to the United States and ahead of China. However, I thought that I’d show a different table, one which is, perhaps, less flattering to the UK.

This is the list of the ten countries with the most Christians (across all traditions).

1970 2010 2020
United States United States United States
Brazil Brazil Brazil
Germany Russia China
Mexico Mexico Mexico
Russia China Russia
United Kingdom Philippines Philippines
Italy Nigeria Nigeria
France DR Congo DR Congo
Philippines Germany India
Spain India Ethiopia

There are a few things of interest here. As in the Olympics, the United States has kept top billing and looks like doing so into the future. However, the United Kingdom (in line with all of the European countries apart from Russia) has dropped out of the list. The Olympic host nation of Brazil has been in a solid second spot, while China has come from nowhere in 1970, to be in line to be in third place by 2020.

This table clearly illustrates the shift of gravity of Christianity from Europe to the Southern continents over the last forty years.

I have adapted the tableĀ from Christianity in its Global Context, 1970-2020, which is available as a free download. This is a resource that everyone who reads Kouyanet should be aware of and should refer to from time to time.


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