Astonishing Spread of Evangelical Christianity Told

In his upcoming book, The New Christianity, American church growth researcher and author Jim Rutz describes the astonishing increase in the growth rate of evangelical Christianity. "In the mid-1980s evangelical Christianity experienced a strong upward turn. Prior to 1985 the growth rate was 2% per year, slightly higher than the annual world population growth of about 1.3%. Today Christianity is growing at a rate of about 7.5% each year. "If the current growth continues, the entire world would be followers of Jesus Christ in 2041," Rutz says. There are an estimated 899 million believers worldwide today (including 130 million in China), up from 272 million in 1970. Evangelical Christians include charismatic and Pentecostal Christians as well as a growing number of Christians outside traditional churches. The figures are based on Rutz's extrapolations of statistical material from David Barrett's Global Evangelization Movement and Dawn Ministries.

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