Report Shows Diminishing Rate of Atheist  

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Atheism reached its peak in 1970, with over 165 million atheists worldwide. Since then, atheism has been steadily decreasing, with 138 million today, a number that’s expected to drop to 129 million by 2050. That’s huge. Right?

A few months ago, the good folks at the ​Center for the Study of Global Christianity released the 2019 ​edition​ of their “Status of Global Christianity” report. There’s a lot of fascinating info in there. Some of the more significant stats are detailed in this LifeWay ​article​, 7 SURPRISING TRENDS IN GLOBAL CHRISTIANITY IN 2019, like the fact that Christianity is growing faster than the population is, or that the percentage of unevangelized individuals in the world has shrunk, from 54.3% in 1900 to 28.4% today.

Perhaps most fascinating, though, is the projected decrease in atheism worldwide. According to the report, atheism reached its peak in 1970, with over 165 million atheists worldwide. Since then, atheism has been steadily decreasing, with 138 million today, a number that’s expected to drop to 129 million by 2050. That’s huge. Right?

Christianity is growing faster than the population is.

Well…it’s important, when reading stats like this, to take into account the host of other statistics that complexifies the issue. For instance, a 2015 ​study​ from Pew Research showed that while the number of nonbelievers will likely shrink over the next 25 years, this decline will not be evenly distributed: Europe, Ameri​ca and China will continue to move away from religion while Christianity grows exponentially in Sub-Saharan Africa, resulting in what researcher Alan Cooperman ​calls​ “​the secularizing West and the rapidly growing rest.”​ We also can’t forget that Millenials are ​three times as likely​ to consider themselves atheists when compared to Baby Boomers.

In other words, atheism may be projected to decline, but don’t get the party hats out just yet, believers. There are a lot of factors at play.

So what should Christians do with this information? I was joking about the party hats, but for many Christians, that’s not too far from the truth. Somewhere along the way, atheists became the rival team. They’re the villains in Christian movies. They’re the kids we warn our kids to be careful around. They’re the “white whale” of evangelism, the biggest catch you can reel in. They’re a nice thing to have been—we’re very proud that C.S. Lewis and journalist Lee Strobel used​ to be atheists because it demonstrates that, hey, intelligent people can find their way to God, too!—but they’re a horrifying thing to currently be. So, when you hear that atheism is going to drop in the next few decades, maybe you breathe a sigh of relief, without necessarily knowing why. Read more at Light Workers

One comment

  1. Thank you for taking the time to post. I think part of the reason for the projected growth in religion in the sub-Sahara Africa etc., is in part, due to lack of contraception use and the larger families. Also, access to education is limited in parts of sub-Sahara, which will also have an impact. It will be interesting to see what happens in South America, if Catholicism remains as strong as it has been for the last couple of hundred years.

    Liked by 1 person

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