This post is part of a series on Major World Religions. East-West’s hope is to equip believers with facts, stats, and tips on engaging people of other religions with the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Population: 2.2 billion, comprising 32% of the global population
Growth Rate: Expected to increase from 2.2 billion in 2010 to 2.9 billion in 2050
Year Founded: 33 A.D.
Holy Books: The Bible
- John Piper – American pastor, author, and teacher
- C.S. Lewis – British author, theologian, and lecturer
- Bethany Hamilton – Professional surfer
View of Jesus: God and Savior
Where They Live
There are 2.2 billion Christians worldwide. Although founded in the Middle East and North Africa, less that 1% of all Christians live in this region. The greatest populations of Christians live in Europe (26%), Latin America and the Caribbean (24%), and sub-Saharan Africa (24%). Only 12% of all Christians—over 266,000,000 people—reside in North America.
Christianity is founded on the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Unlike other world religions, followers of Jesus do not labor to please God and earn salvation through good deeds. Christians believe …
- There is one God, eternally existing in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit
- Jesus is fully God and man
- People can only be reconciled to God through faith in Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection
- All believers are indwelled by the Holy Spirit
- The Bible is the inspired Word of God
- Followers of Jesus have the responsibility to share their faith in Christ with others
There are many types of churches—Roman Catholic, Protestant, Eastern Orthodox, Charismatic, Evangelical, etc.—that are commonly categorized by many research entities as being part of the Christian faith, although some do not align with the tenets of Christianity listed above. This includes differences in their stances on certain beliefs (sin, heaven, hell, the way of salvation, etc.) and on various religious practices (communion, baptism, church leadership structure, etc.).
East-West does not classify churches that require more than or add anything to the teaching that “salvation is a free gift of God’s grace through faith alone” as part of the true Christian faith. To read East-West’s Statement of Faith, visit www.eastwest.org/beliefs.
As a missional believer, you should seek to connect with other Christians and encourage them to live a life on mission.
It’s important to cite Scriptures that reveal God’s deep passion for all people and our call to be His gospel messengers in these conversations. A few passages you may want to use include …
- Psalm 2
- Matthew 28:18-20
- 2 Corinthians 5:11-21
- 1 Peter 2:9-10
- 2 Peter 3:9
- 1 John 2:2
By pointing them to the Bible, you’re allowing them to discover God’s desire to use them to build His Kingdom and making way for the Holy Spirit work on their hearts.
East-West’s Ministry to Christians
By becoming Prayer Partners with East-West, believers have a unique and powerful opportunity to spread the good news of Jesus Christ where His work on the cross is unknown or unwanted through constant communication with God. To start praying with us, visit www.eastwest.org/pray.
Bodies of believers can be part of igniting a movement for Jesus Christ in the world’s spiritually darkest nations through church partnership with East-West. Our Church Partners pray, give, go, and send so that the Name of Jesus reaches every corner of the globe. To explore church partnership opportunities, visit https://www.eastwest.org/mobilize/
We live in a world searching for truth. With an unprecedented sense of urgency to take the gospel to the nations, East-West mobilizes believers to take the truth of Jesus to the lost through short-term mission trips and mid-term and long-term missionary assignments. To learn more about these opportunities, visit www.eastwest.org/go.
A Field Guide to Major World Religions
This post is part of a series on Major World Religions. East-West’s hope is to equip believers with facts, stats, and tips on engaging people of other religions with the gospel of Jesus Christ. To do so, we've produced a field guide that provides an overview of some of the world's largest religions and made it available to you as a free digital download.