The Growth of Christianity over the last 2,000 years
The growth of the Christian faith over the last 2,000 years has been remarkable. The faith that began as a small sect of the Jewish religion led by Jesus Christ and whose followers believe is the promised Messiah for all of humanity, now has over two billion followers today. The theme of the Christian faith focuses on grace, truth, and love, the great love of the one Creator God who sent His Son Jesus Christ to be the sacrifice for all, in addition to being the great teacher of all things. The principles of Christianity apply to all of humanity, including faith, sacrifice, pain, suffering, and redemption. Many people today can relate to the life of Jesus Christ on Earth and the disciples of the early Church, who faced heavy discrimination and persecution by the governments and the cultures in which they lived. The suffering that Jesus experienced leading up to the Crucifixion and the later suffering of the disciples is a major theme of the Christian faith. In many nations in the world today, Christians live in places where they must suffer the same treatment that Jesus and the disciples suffered, including being falsely accused of being a threat to their respective nations. The same false accusations that were given to Jesus and the early disciples by the ruling establishments 2,000 years ago are given to Christians today in many nations, particularly in Asia and Africa. Despite this persecution, the Christian Church is growing rapidly today and many believe that this persecution is fueling the growth of Christianity. In other words, the Christian faith is growing in spite of persecution. The Christian faith gives followers a sense of comfort, peace, and meaning of life that no government or other religion can provide. Christianity today is growing in places where there is no Christian history or tradition and individuals from families that have no Christian history are converting to Christianity. There is no other religion or philosophy on Earth today that is experiencing such growth around the world. While other religions in particular nations may be growing as a result of high birth rates and immigration, there is arguably no other religion in the world today that is experiencing the conversion rate of those leaving other religions and converting to Christianity. This conversion rate is a testament of the Christian faith, a faith that is genuine and truthful, and has values that most of humanity can be associated. While it is true that high birth rates in Latin America, Africa, and Asia are helping to exponentially grow the Christian population in the world today, there is simply no other religion or philosophy that has such a high conversion rate as Christianity. The exponential growth of Christianity in Latin America, Africa, and Asia is not spurred by immigration to these places, but by conversion to the faith and the high birth rates of these families that have chosen Christianity. Fertility is one major tenant of the Christian faith, as the Biblical verse proclaims: Be fruitful and multiply (Genesis 1:28). Having children is a major tenant of the Biblical worldview and the Christian faith. Those faithful followers of Jesus Christ and the Bible want to produce more children who are like themselves and grow the Christian faith. The recent trend in western nations today of having fewer or no children is anti-Biblical and will result in negative consequences. This low-birth rate in historically white, Christian nations is a concern for the growth of the faith in general, in addition to the rising growth of secularization in these nations. While the western nations seem to be moving away from Christianity and Biblical values, the Southern Hemisphere seems to be the new path of growth of the Christian faith and worldview. If the western world continues to move away from Christianity, there is a danger of losing God's blessings that many believe these nations have experienced within the last 2,000 years. Just as the Biblical scriptures explain, those nations who follow God's commandments will be blessed and those nations who reject God's commandments will be in danger of losing the blessings that they have experienced in the past or the blessings that they could have. (Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord.....Psalm 33:12).