The Current Trends of Global Christianity: Opportunities and Challenges for The Western Church

Subject: Religion
Type: Evaluation Essay
Pages: 11
Word count: 2890
Topics: Church, Christianity

Christianity grew as a result of the efforts of the missionaries. Most of them were volunteers from western countries. Through their effort, Christianity spread faster than other religions, such as Islam. The Christian missionaries faced a lot of backlash from various societies that had alternative views on what religion entails. In the third world countries, some people thought that it was a way of colonizing their land. The aim of the global Christianity during its global spread was to help different community members embrace the religion. Over the years, Christianity has grown to become among the world’s most famous religions commanding a considerable following. The Western church is experiencing a variety of opportunities to support the growth of the religion. For example, there is significant growth of the religion in the south. At the same time, numerous challenges hinder the productive growth of Christianity. An example of some of the problems includes the extension of atheism. Many people are losing their faith in religions due to the disappointments of the world. There is also a decline in the spread of the Christianity message in the west. The future of Christianity, in the western countries, is both negative and positive. There are significant current trends of global Christianity, which comprises of the opportunities and challenges for the Western church.  

The Current Trends of Global Christianity

Christianity makes up about one-third of the world’s population. The situation has been like this for over 100 years now. In the 1910’s, there was a small percentage of Christians while the global north, including Europe and America, had 80% of their population as Christians. The 21st century has seen tables turning regarding areas with a significant percentage of Christianity. Currently, the global north has a reduced community of Christians. Sub-Saharan Africa is reported to have over 70% of their population being Christians as of 2010 statistics. The shift in the Christianity global growth is under review by different scholars, who try to evaluate and analyze the reasons behind these rising trends. Latin Americans are also embracing Christianity. It concludes that the global south is experiencing growth in the Christianity population, while the global north is experiencing a decline. If the trend continues, there will be 1.25 billion Christians in Africa. Christianity is no longer a religion of western-dominated population. 

Christianity is fragmenting at a very alarming rate when compared to the past and other religions. A study shows an estimate of over 41,000 Christian denominations in the world. Some churches have few members, and the lack of regulated religious policies is contributing to the current trends. Most of the countries that embrace Christianity guarantee their populations the freedom of religious activities. Each of the Christianity fragmented groups has their definition of what the religion is all about. In the early 20th century, it was easy to define a person as a Christian based on their cultural, religious and cultural identity. These days, the definition is not precise as each of the group has adopted their different forms of church life. 

Christians are on the target of terrorist activities that have risen for the last few years. There are numerous reports in the news claiming that Christians are being targeted in their place of worship. In Egypt, for example, there are several incidents of worshippers being targeted by terrorists, a trend that did not exist several decades ago. Even though not all terrorist activities target Christians, the fact that churches are under attack is enough to point out the developments. However, despite the incidents, statistics suggest that there are fewer cases of martyrdom when compared to centuries ago. For example, statistics show that 370,000 people were persecuted in 1970’s for their affiliation with Christianity. The figure dropped down to 160,000 in 2000. The number is expected to fall further within the next decades. If the persecution of Christians by terrorists continues, the world might find itself in a weird situation, conflicting what experts are projecting. 

There is a rise in the number of people gaining access to Bibles. The Bible is the spiritual book for Christians, and it incorporates various instructions on how to live a holy life. Statistics show that there are 82.6 million Bibles printed each year. By 2025, the number is expected to rise to 110 million copies per year. It shows that the word of God is getting out to people at a very high rate than ever before. Technology is also contributing to the percentage of people gaining access to a Bible. There are numerous mobile applications for the Bible. It has made it easier for the masses to gain access to the religious book on their mobile phones. Technology is enabling the mobile application of the Bible to spread faster. It does not require any form of transportation. All that is needed is access to the internet using an advanced mobile phone. A good number of the world’s population of access to mobile phones, which makes it easier to access the Bible application version.  

Christianity is experiencing a shift of renewal of the core principles and values that it has upheld over the years. For a long time, Christianity was described to include practices, such as bible-study fellowships and evangelical movements.  It emphasized more on spiritual growth and apostolic life of loving a neighbor as a person loves him/herself. It was common for people meeting at one of the follower’s houses and holding a Bible study fellowship. It did not matter about a person’s financial situation or the position they held in the society. All the people were perceived equal. These days, there is a renewal of the core aspects that define a Christian as well as the activities involved. Some Christian denominations emphasize more on tithing of financial resources, a concept that was regarded as holistic decades ago. Some individuals use the church as a means of satisfying their ego rather than a way of helping each other. They preach that material wealth and good health are symbols of God’s blessings. The trend has witnessed a rise in the number of churches spreading the gospel of prosperity rather than the spiritual growth of the church. The situation is blamed on the increase of desperate societal members, who require instant wealth without working hard. They, therefore, rush to those, who claim that they will receive financial growth if they subscribed to a particular Christian denomination.   

The Future of Global Christianity


The shift in the growth of Christianity as witnessed in the global means that there is a possibility that the religion can reach out to all parts of the world. Despite the decrease in the number of Christianity in the north, something can be done to support its growth in those areas. For example, scholars can analyze the reason for the decline in Christianity growth in the global north and issue a mechanism to deal with the situation. The concept of missionaries for the spread of Christianity was an idea adopted to spread the religion to areas that it did not have followers before. Using the same thoughts, Christians can develop strategies that will help the global north embrace the religion once again. There is still support in the global north, but it is the decline that is worrying a lot of Christian scholars. The solution can be found by identifying the cause of decrease than offering a helpful way to address the problem. 

The church gatherings will continue to exist regardless of the fragmentations of Christian denominations. There are fears that the numerous splits will lead to Christians giving up on any religious forum, but that is not the case. There will those, who will leave the church because it is part of the freedom of worship but the church gatherings will continue to exist. Christians gather because it is an inherently communal activity that has survived many centuries. The concept of Christian gathering is supported by the Bible, which says that Christians should not neglect to meet together. Besides, there is a belief that what can be achieved together is more than an individual can realize alone.  It supports the fact that an organized church will always exist. There is a possibility that the gatherings may shift and look different due to the numerous denominations, but Christians will continue to gather to achieve more together.  

In the future, engagements will drive the church attendance high. Many people will join Christianity and attend church services because of the quality of engagements present. Over the years, some church leaders have always strived to have people visit the church, but that is not long lasting. Eventually, people have abandoned the faith because it was not out of their will. In the future, all that will change as the center of the debate will be engagements. There are a lot of social problems in the society, and people are turning where there are meaningful engagements to solve their problems. Christianity offers support groups for those in any need, and that will attract more masses towards the religion. For example, there are seminars and medical camps provided by various Christianity groups, and they are of help to the society. Such action is enough to attract members of the community and influence them to begin attending church services. 

The emergence of the online church will help Christianity reach out to those who have no access to a church. There is a continuing debate with some suggesting that online church will affect church attendance in person but that is not true. The fact that a person is bold enough to watch a church service online implies that they prescribe to that religion. The church will always gather, but the online church will just be a supplement to the journey. Human relationships require presences, but still, online relationships are still real relationships even though they are not the best. At the same time, there are regions of the world where Christians fear practicing their religion, but the presence of online churches means that there is hope for them.   

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There is expected growth in selfish discipleship as opposed to the current consumer Christianity. The current consumer Christianity seeks the benefits they can attain from worshipping God. Some seek individual gains as opposed to spiritual gain. In the future there might be more selfish discipleship than ever. People are evaluating Christianity, experiences and faith based on personal preferences. People are dying for themselves instead of following Christian teachings that advocate losing oneself for the sake of Christ. People are following the gospel of prosperity while losing focus on what true Christianity entails. There will be more denominations taking the wrong path of selfishness for personal gain. They will make decisions about gathering times, music and some distinctions based on their taste rather than following Christian teachings. 

The rise of militant Islam is a challenge for Christians and its future. Islamic civilization took an ugly turn after the events of September 11, 2001. There was a clash between western countries and the Islamic civilization groups. The war later turned out to target Christians despite numerous confessions by Islamic scholars that the terrorist act does not reflect the Islamic belief. The terrorists have used Islam as a channel to target Christians as witnessed with numerous church attacks in various parts of the world. The conflict between Christians and Muslims is getting worse with time, especially, in the western countries, where the terrorist groups target a significant percentage of Christians as the enemies of Islam. The terrorist propaganda channels portray the war against terrorism as a war between Christians and Muslims. The challenge will affect the spread of Christianity to different parts of the world with some abandoning the religion for fear of their lives. 

The church has failed in advocating for societal justice. There is a rise of social evil, but the church has in many occasions remained silent. For example, there is a rise in pornographic material, corruption, and leaders throwing abuses at each other in what is seen as moral decay. However, the church has remained silent and failed to offer adequate solutions to these problems. The blame is placed on the fragmentation of the church denominations, especially among the Protestants. There is also the issue of misplaced goals and beliefs where the church appears to help fellow churches. Such is the case with World Relief. The Bible calls for Christians to help the needy and currently some have failed in doing that. There are also Christians suffering persecution across the world yet Christian leaders are still silent on that. The challenge threats the unity of Christianity towards helping the needy.   

There is also the challenge of biblical illiteracy. A majority of Christians in the western church do not read their bibles. Most of them identify themselves with the importance of the Scripture, but they do not have the effort of reading. They rely on the church readings of the bible, but they do not read the bible on their own. It is common to find an American who does not know obvious bible verses. For example, some do not know that Sodom and Gomorrah were cities; they think that they were a husband and wife.  It is a shocking revelation that will require an evaluation if the increased printing of bibles is offering any help to the right growth for Christianity. 

The presence of social media is a challenge for the future of Christianity. There are times when Christianity is attacked using social media, a trend that is not pleasant. For example, when one bishop of the church makes a mistake, it is spread as a mistake for Christians rather than an individual error. Blogs are also being used to attack the concepts of Christianity. There is also a challenge for some Christian leaders and pastors using the social media to feed their pride and hypocrisy. The leaders are becoming more interested in impressing their audience instead of tending to the flock of God.   

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How the Transformations and Trends in Global Christianity Affect the Non- Western Missionaries in the South

The current changes and trends of Christianity are affecting non-western missionaries where there is a growing acceptance of other religions. There is a continuing campaign by Islamic supporters to bring the world together and form an Islamic state. If the negative trends of Christianity continue, it will be a way of supporting non-western missionaries. It is evident with the already rising number of western citizens who were initially Christians abandoning their faith and join Islam. Some have gone further to join terrorist groups that plan war against the western countries. There are numerous examples of terrorist activities in western countries that are carried out by former Christians. It is worrying that non-western missionaries can influence Christians to abandon their faith and carry out attacks that lead to deaths of dozens.   

There is also the growth and spread of secularist humanist movement in both Europe and United States by non-western missionaries. The secularist revolution is spreading regarding new sexual agendas that were not initially accepted by traditional Christian view. The group is imposing their beliefs on others by having them included in the laws of the land. Christianity has many rules, but most of them are not enforced to the population. Secularist humanist movements are advocating for their regulations to be covered in the constitution’s bill of rights. If the trend continues, there will be numerous laws by this groups that will appear in the charters in the name of freedom of expressions.   

Non-western missionaries are portraying Christianity as a backward commitment to the health of an individual. They claim that some of the Christian teachings are no longer making sense, making some Christian practice in secrecy. Mainly, this is because of stigma that some Christians are not embracing the religion in public. There are also moments when the non-western missionaries perceive Christians as unfit to hold public offices or take part in cooperate leadership. Some claim that Christians who hold public positions are likely to discriminate those who are of a different opinion. The claim is not valid, but the group is out to oppress Christians and the growth of their religion. 


Overall, the current trends of Christianity are significant in predicting the future of the religion. They are based on observations witnessed in the adoption of practices that they did not occur decades ago. For example, the adoption of technology where there are mobile bible applications. The future of Christianity has numerous opportunities that are not short of challenges. For example, there is potential that the religion will grow in areas that it did not exist before. Besides, there is an opportunity in that meaningful engagements will act as a guide for people joining Christianity and attending churches. The challenges for the future of Christianity are the threats to its spread and growth. The rise of militant Islam and biblical illiteracy are some of the problems that need to be transformed. However, some effects arise due to the transformation and trends of Christianity on non-western missionaries in the south. One of the impacts is the continued acceptance of non-western religions and growth of secularist humanist movements. Nonetheless, Christianity is expected to continue its growth with many people adopting the religion.

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