Is Christianity Shrinking or Shifting?

Findings from the World Christian Encyclopedia, 3rd edition

February 21, 2020
12:00 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Location: Berkley Center Third Floor Conference Room Map

In the contemporary press, major religion-related news often revolves around a narrative about the decline of Christianity in North America. Western Europe is now considered post-Christian, and surveys consistently report declines in religious belief, attendance, and self-identification. Yet, over the last century, there has been a pronounced shift of Christianity from the Global North to the Global South that appears to be continuing in the twenty-first century. Africa became the continent with the most Christians in 2018, surpassing Latin America (which surpassed Europe in 2014). This marks a milestone for African Christianity and raises several important issues related to Christianity’s shift to the Global South. This forum provided a nuanced analysis to an important question about the world’s largest religion: Is it shrinking, or is it shifting?

Using findings from their newly published World Christian Encyclopedia, 3rd edition, religion statistics scholars Todd M. Johnson and Gina A. Zurlo presented a truly global portrait of Christianity. Conrad Hackett, Becky Hsu, and Mark Gray responded in a discussion moderated by Berkley Center Senior Fellow José Casanova.

Lunch was served.

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