Rick Warren recently said …
The last 50 years has seen the greatest redistribution of a religion ever in the history of the world. There is nothing even to compare to it. For instance, at the beginning of the 20th century, in 1900, 71% of all, quote, "Christians" lived in Europe. By 2000 only 28% claimed to be Christian, and I'm sure it's far smaller than that who actually even go to a church.
On the other hand, Christianity was exploding in Africa, Asia and Latin America. If you want to know the future of evangelicalism, it is in those continents. To give you an example, in 1900 there were only 10 million Christians in all of Africa — 10% of the population. Today there are 360 million Christians in Africa, over half the population. That is a complete turnaround on a continent that's never, ever been seen or done in history.
You may be surprised to know that there are more Christians in China than there are in America, by far. There are more Presbyterians in Ghana than there are in Scotland, where they came out of with John Knox. There are more Baptists in Nagaland, a state in India, than there are in the South here in America. There are more Anglicans in either Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Nigeria — any of these — than in England. There are 2 million Anglicans in England. There are 17 million Anglicans in Nigeria.
The Church of England is a misnomer. It is now the Church of Africa. I have been involved in the ordination of many of those Anglican leaders. They have spread all over. Last Sunday there were more Christians who went to church in China than all of Europe combined. That is a fundamental shift. If you want to know the future of Christianity, it is the developing world. It's Africa, it's Latin America, and it's Asia.
In fact, there are about 15,000 missionaries now working in England from Brazil, China, Korea, other countries that you used to think, well, those would receive missionaries. In fact, Brazil sends out far more missionaries than either Great Britain or Canada combined. So that's a fundamental shift.
That's all I'm going to say about the future of evangelicalism. It ain't here. Okay?
[To read the complete transcript of this interview with Rick Warren, click here]
I can only agree. The non-West is leading the world in evangelism, church growth and spiritual vitality. We in the West have much to learn from what God is doing in Africa, Asia (including China) and South America.