Christianity Worldwide, then (1910) and now (map)

Okay, this maybe the coolest map I’ve seen of the spread of Christianity worldwide.  From the Pew Center, it compares the distribution of Christianity today versus a century ago, and it does with a spatial-weighted map.  While the percentage of the world’s population that is Christian has dropped a bit (35% to 32%), the big change is in where Christians live.  In the map, the larger the country, the more Christians live in it.  Look what’s happened to Africa and Asia-Pacific.  This sea-change in the nature of Christianity has many, many implications that we have and will experience for some time to come.

The Worldwide Reach of Christianity: Pew Center Report

Over the past several years, the Pew Center on Religion and Public Life has become the go-to place for solid descriptive statistics about all religions, including Christianity.  They just realized a report on Global Christianity.

The report highlights how Christianity has become a worldwide religion.  Here’s the executive summary:

A comprehensive demographic study of more than 200 countries finds that there are 2.18 billion Christians of all ages around the world, representing nearly a third of the estimated 2010 global population of 6.9 billion. Christians are also geographically widespread – so far-flung, in fact, that no single continent or region can indisputably claim to be the center of global Christianity.

A century ago, this was not the case. In 1910, about two-thirds of the world’s Christians lived in Europe, where the bulk of Christians had been for a millennium, according to historical estimates by the Center for the Study of Global Christianity. Today, only about a quarter of all Christians live in Europe (26%). A plurality – more than a third – now are in the Americas (37%). About one in every four Christians lives in sub-Saharan Africa (24%), and about one-in-eight is found in Asia and the Pacific (13%)

That’s a remarkable amount of change, and something that is great news. Here’s one of their many maps that illustrates just how spread out Christianity is.

Sociological rules of Christmas gift giving

Sociologists will an analyze anything people do, no matter how taken-for-granted the activity. ( I suppose that’s why I like it so much–always trying to look at things a new way). For the season, here is an except about from the famous “Middletown” study. Theodore Caplow, and a team of researchers, studied people in Muncie, Indiana (1979) about their gift giving, and they came up with nine unwritten rules for gift giving.

1) The Tree Rule. Married couples with children of any age should put up Christmas trees in their home. Unmarried persons with no living children should not put up Christmas trees. Unmarried parents (widowed, divorced or adoptive) may put up trees but are not required to do so.

2) The Wrapping Rule. Christmas gifts must be wrapped before they are presented.

3) The Decoration Rule. Any room where Christmas gifts are distributed should be decorated by affixing Christmas emblems to the walls, the ceiling, or the furniture.

4) The Gathering Rule. Christmas gifts should be distributed at [Read more...]

Christianity and Islam throughout the World (map)

Here’s one of my favorite maps.  It shows the percentage of Christianity and Islam in each country throughout the world.  Looking at it all surprises me just wide the reach is of these two religions that trace their roots back to the same person, i.e., Abraham.

 


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