Christians in the world

Published 12:59 pm Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Each year, millions of young people commit to the sacraments and profess to fulfill the tenets of the Christian faith. Each sacrament helps Christians strengthen the bonds they have with their faith.

Christianity has a significant impact on local communities, as evidenced by the crowded parking lots outside Christian churches each Sunday morning. But Christianity is a global religion that influences life far beyond the borders of North America.

According to, at the onset of the 21st century, Christianity had approximately 2.4 billion adherents. Around one-third of the world’s population identifies as Catholic, Protestant, Eastern Orthodox, Pentecostal, Evangelical, or another denomination of Christianity. And the number of Christians continues to grow. For example, the Catholic Church alone has as many adherents as all of the people living in China.

Christianity’s predominance in the world makes it a powerful influence. That influence is perhaps even more remarkable when considering Christianity originated with a modest following of 12 disciples just over 2,000 years ago. In addition, the number of Christians in the world now greatly outnumbers the amount of subscribers to Judaism — the religion from which Christianity evolved.

Christianity has reached every corner of the globe. According to data from the prayer guide, Operation World, the U.S. and Canada are not even among the 25 most Christian countries based on population percentage. However, the sheer number of Christians residing in the highly populated U.S. helps America earn the title as the country with the greatest number of Christians. The following is a list of countries with the largest number of individuals identifying as Christian, according to Pew Research Center information from 2010.

1. United States: 246,780,000

2. Brazil: 175,700,000

3. Mexico: 113,500,000

4. Nigeria: 92,281,000

5. Philippines: 86,500,000

6. Russia: 67,640,000

7. Republic of Congo: 68,558,000

8. Ethiopia: 54,978,000

9. Italy: 54,070,000

10. Germany: 50,000,000

In terms of the country with the highest percentage of Christians, Nicaragua holds that honor, as nearly 98 percent of Nicaraguans identify as Christian.

Christianity is a far-reaching religion that is unrivaled in terms of the number of adherents. What began in a small area of the Middle East has now spread to billions of people across the globe.