How Many Followers Does Christianity Have Worldwide

Christianity in Ancient Times

Christianity began in the 1st century as an offshoot of Judaism, when followers of Jesus of Nazareth proclaimed him to be the promised Messiah of the Hebrew Scriptures. Historical records document its emergence and exponential growth from the time of Jesus’ death in the mid-30s AD. Christianity spread throughout the Roman Empire and, after the split of the East and West, it became the official religion of the Byzantine and Roman Empires respectively.
In the following centuries, Christianity was introduced to Europe, becoming the dominant religion of most of the region by the Middle Ages. This prominence was also spread and strengthened through the numerous crusades and missions which sought to expand its influence and reach. By the mid-18th century, Christianity had one-third of the world’s population as signed adherents.

Influence on World Events

Christianity has greatly impacted the course of history throughout the world, with some notable influences on philosophical, political, economic and social developments. Its moral precepts and teachings held sway as the foundation of Western civilization, as well as of many others around the world. Christianity has been used to both justify and deny wars, enslave and free nations, treat dregs of society as equals and denigrate foreign cultures. Its adherents have taken to the streets, the seas and the skies to bring their beliefs to the ends of the world.
In the modern era, it remains an important factor in world affairs. This influence can be seen in the fact that over 43% of the world population, or roughly 2.9 billion people, identify as a Christian according to recent surveys.

Types of Christianity

Christianity is an umbrella term which encapsulates different forms of denominations and sects. These range from Roman Catholicism, Protestantism, Eastern Orthodoxy and Oriental Orthodoxy, as well as independently constituted churches such as the independent Anglican churches, Christian Science and Evangelicalism. Each major denomination shares the same core beliefs such as the divinity of Jesus and the importance of Salvation, while often having differences in interpretation and in specifics such as the particulars of faith and ritual.
Christianity also has numerous variants and micro-denominations which reflect local or particular distinctives or the influence of particular leaders. It is in such ways that it is able to maintain its continual spread and relevance amongst individuals and groups.

Influence of Christian Leaders

The spread of Christianity has been heavily linked to the various leaders and teachers throughout its two-thousand-year history. Chief amongst these is Jesus Christ himself, though throughout history many men and women have taken up this mantle. This can be seen in figures such as St. Paul, St. Augustine, Martin Luther, John Wesley and Donald Miller, each of which has had a profound effect on those in their sphere of influence and beyond.
Each has imparted their own unique perspectives and teachings to the Christian faith beyond the traditional norms and beliefs. For example, St. Paul is recorded as arguing against slavery, while modern Christian leaders such as Bishop Desmond Tutu have held positions on civil rights and broader social justice causes.

Challenges to Christianity

Despite its success and influence, Christianity has had to contend with numerous challenges over its history. Whilst early forms of Christianity faced opposition from the Roman Empire, in a sign of the times, modern forms continue to experience a diversity of social skepticism, religious and philosophical contention, as well as scientific disputes.
Despite this, Christianity remains one of the largest, if not the largest, religions in the world. It continues to maintain relevance and influence in many forms and settings, from international politics to individual homes and families.

Relevance of Christianity Today

Christianity remains a vibrant and relevant religion in the 21st century—an age of technological advancement and rapid knowledge exchange as well as globalisation and widespread rapid social change. Its relevance is taken across a matrix of beliefs and values, with religion often being entwined with politics, economics and culture in numerous global contexts.
Christianity has contributed countless conversations, movements and actions in pursuit of social change and justice, while maintaining strong support and participation worldwide. It offers a bridge between differing cultures and beliefs, while providing a platform for shared prosperity and global understanding.

Role of Church in Contemporary Society

The Church, being the representative body of Christianity in many societies, plays a key role in contemporary society. This role includes serving as a moral guide for its members, as well as tackling larger social, economic and political issues.
For example, churches have been active in championing the importance of education, leading campaigns to ensure accessible and quality education opportunities for all members of society, regardless of race and economic status. Churches also regularly lend their support to various charities and organisations, often earmarking funds for poverty alleviation, healthcare and disaster relief.

Promotion of Gender Equality

The Church, through its members, has also been actively promoting gender equality. This includes the inclusion of women in church leadership and teaching roles, the repudiation of negative gender stereotypes, and the provision of support for women affected by physical, material and psychological abuse.
The promotion of gender equality has also been taken up by the wider Christian population, particularly through organisations such as The Christian Coalition for Women’s Empowerment, which have had a significant impact in empowering women and highlighting the pressing issue of gender inequality in many parts of the world.

Tackling Social Exclusion and Discrimination

In addition to supporting women’s empowerment, Churches has sought to tackle social exclusion and discrimination, particularly geared towards traditionally marginalised communities such as those based on age, disability, race, sexual orientation and gender.
Churches have played a vital role in providing services to these communities and in challenging beliefs and behaviour that perpetuates such discrimination. For example, many churches have put in place policies to prevent discrimination against LGBT people, while also speaking out against hatred based on anti-religious grounds and offering support for the homeless and needy.

Response to Immigration Crises

Christianity has also been active in responding to global immigration crises. Through its members, the Church has offered aid to those affected by war, famine and persecution. In particular, many Churches have opened their doors to refugees and asylum seekers, providing a place of rest, refuge and hope for those in need.
The provision of services and support from volunteers from the Church has been integral in increasing public awareness on the plight of immigrants and refugees. In some cases, members of the Church have also advocated for reform of immigration policy, recognising the importance of welcoming the stranger and supporting newcomers to ensure they receive the protection and opportunities they need.


Christianity remains one of the largest and oldest religions in the world, having shaped personal beliefs and worldviews for over two millennia. Throughout its history, it has faced numerous challenges, yet remains a vibrant and relevant religion in today’s ever-changing global world. The Church and its members have played a crucial role in championing gender equality, tackling social exclusion and discrimination, and supporting immigrants and refugees. In doing this, Christianity remains an influential faith, with many holding on to its moral and spiritual teachings.

Jennifer Johnson is an experienced author with a deep passion for exploring the spiritual traditions of different cultures and religions. She has been writing about religion and spirituality for the past ten years in both print and digital platforms, engaging readers in meaningful dialogue about the soul's journey through this life. With degrees in Comparative Religion and English Literature, she brings an insightful perspective to her work that bridges the gap between traditional knowledge and modern theories. A lifelong traveler, Jenn has lived in multiple countries exploring various paths to understanding faith, and her dedication to learning new things is palpable in every piece she creates.

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