Source: Missiologically Thinking, April 6, 2015
[On April 2], the Pew Research Center released an extensive report on the future populations of different world religions. Though there is troubling information here, this is a fascinating work providing a sobering reality of our world. Here are a few of the projections [for] 2010-2050:
- In the United States, Christians are expected to decline from 76 percent to 66 percent of the population.
- In the United States, the unaffiliated are expected to increase from 16 percent to 26 percent of the population.
- In the United States, Muslims will outnumber Jews.
- In the United States, the Hindu population will double.
- Europe’s Christian population will decrease by 100 million.
- Europe’s Hindu population will double, Muslims will comprise 10 percent of the population, and the unaffiliated will reach about a quarter of the population.
- 4 out of 10 Christians in the world will live in sub-Sahara Africa.
- The global number of Muslims will nearly equal the number of Christians.
- The global Buddhist population will remain the same.
- The global unaffiliated will decline in population.
Such predictions are difficult to make with accuracy. However, this report should lead us to prayer, more intentional disciple-making, healthy questioning of our present structures and institutions, and the avoidance of burying our heads in the sand and ignoring the possible future.