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Number of Evangelicals worldwide

Autor: Lausanne Global Analysis
Datum: 08.07.2011
Category: Welt-Glaubensgruppen, Presse Engagement

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Ursprünglich geschrieben in Englisch

Evangelicalism is a dynamic Christian force in the world today. From the onset of Evangelicalism in Great Britain in the 1730s to the United States in the nineteenth century and now as a global phenomenon, Evangelicals have had great influence in many spheres, most notably religion and politics. Throughout the twentieth century a series of gatherings and movements converged into the Lausanne Movement and the World Evangelical Alliance, arguably the two most active global bodies of Evangelicals today. All of this leads to two important questions: what exactly defines a Christian as an Evangelical, and how many are there in the world today? The issue is multifaceted, requiring much more than just a cursory tally of adherents. Our analysis will detail two working definitions of the term found in the World Christian Database and Operation World, and specify how these definitions result in differing estimates.

World Christian Database

The World Christian Database (WCD) is an online resource based on the World Christian Encyclopedia (1982, 2001) and World Christian Trends (2001). Data for the WCD are constantly gathered, analyzed, and updated by full-time staff at the Center for the Study of Global Christianity at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary.

The WCD, building on the methodology of the World Christian Encyclopedia, uses a “structural” approach in defining evangelicals. The methodology is slightly complex, differentiating between the terms “evangelical” (lower-case “e”; also called Great Commission Christians[1]) and “Evangelical” (capital “E”). Although the distinction may at first appear minor, these terms represent two distinct groups of Christians within what is broadly global Christianity. First, an evangelical (lower-case “e”) is any church member (therefore, on a church roll) who believes in or embraces seven key components:

  1. Believers centered on the person of Jesus
  2. Believers obedient to Christ’s Great Commission
  3. Believers committed to the gospel as set forth in the Bible
  4. Day-to-day personal witness to Christ
  5. Involved in organized methods of evangelism
  6. Involved in Christ’s mission in the world
  7. Working towards Christ’s second coming and final Advent

As such, these “evangelicals” can be found in virtually any Christian tradition (Protestant, Anglican, Roman Catholic, Orthodox, Independent, Marginal). For the purpose of counting, evangelicals are evaluated at the level of people groups, where two variables are assessed: (1) the degree to which the churches are engaged in evangelism among non-Christians in their people group, and (2) the per-capita sending of missionaries from their people group to other countries. The complex formula is explained and analyzed in World Christian Trends.[2]

Alternatively, Evangelicalism (capital “E”) is a movement within Protestantism (excluding Anglicanism) consisting of all affiliated church members self-identifying as Evangelicals. Christians are also considered Evangelicals when they are members of an Evangelical church, congregation, or denomination (the WCD is structured around denominational data). Characteristics of Evangelicals include personalized religion (being “born again”), dependence on the Bible as the word of God, and regular preaching and/or evangelism. In addition, both of these sub-groups typically adhere to a degree of conservatism in both values and theology.

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Stichwörter: Global Analysis, Evangelicals, research, trends

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PhContributeBy
Antworten Kennzeichnen 0 Daumen hoch Daumen nach unten brother_edward (1)
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If each one of us is aware of our responsability to share Christ to our neigbor these numbers will increase faster. I realize that my responsability is viger than i am considering.


05.12.2012
PhContributeBy
Antworten Kennzeichnen 0 Daumen hoch Daumen nach unten brother_edward (1)
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@ brother_edward: I mean bigger
05.12.2012
PhContributeBy
Antworten Kennzeichnen 0 Daumen hoch Daumen nach unten padre_todd (0)
Vereinigte Staaten von Amerika

Regardless of whether we accept the OW or the WCD definitions and numbers of evangelical Christians in the world, the fact that evangelical Christians are in the hundreds of millions should be both an encouragement and also a wake-up call.  Such numbers show us that the worldwide church is a significant part of the world population.  But, at a time when our global population is at 7 billion, the church cannot slow down its efforts of carrying the gospel to the ends of the earth.  This global analysis is a clear indication that the church has not finished the task that Christ gave it to do. 


05.12.2011
PhContributeBy
Antworten Kennzeichnen 0 Daumen hoch Daumen nach unten dg8074 (2)
Vereinigte Staaten von Amerika
@ padre_todd:

I fully agree.  We cannot rest on our laurels and allow Christianity to fade when there are so many that claim to be in the community.  It is telling when we look at these numbers but then see the decline in places where it was once strong.  We have to continue the commission.


12.11.2012
PhContributeBy
Antworten Kennzeichnen 0 Daumen hoch Daumen nach unten dg8074 (2)
Vereinigte Staaten von Amerika

I don’t think I ever really paid any attention to this distinction.  But the numbers presented here are staggering.  This makes me wonder just why Christianity isn’t growing by leaps and bounds.  I realize it is growing, but if we were all fulfilling the great commission, it seems that it would be growing so much faster.  While I think we can, and should, be proud of our faith and the growth that we are experiencing, it should also alert us to our deficiencies and prompt us to make some much needed adjustments to the emphasis we place on the great commission.


12.11.2012

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